Life Style

How to Boil Corn on the Cob


Boiled Corn on the Cob is a summertime staple, and with this method, it’s super easy to prepare. Tender, juicy, and sweet.

Whether you cut the kernels off the corn, eat it in rows, or munch away randomly, corn on the cob with this classic summer side is always a favorite with a little butter and salt.

plated Boiled Corn on the Cob

A Summertime Staple

  • This is the perfect way to enjoy a fresh (or frozen) ear of corn.
  • We love grilled corn but simply boiling corn makes the flavor of the sweet corn shine.
  • This method ensures perfect corn every time and it’s easy.
  • No watching a boiling pot required, focus on making juicy hamburgers, steak, or ribs!
  • Corn is all of the goodness of summer in one bite. Sweet and buttery.

No Fancy Ingredients Needed

While some recipes add sugar or milk to the water, I find with fresh sweet corn it isn’t needed.

Choosing Corn Cobs – In the summer we head to farmers markets for the best corn!

To select the freshest corn, ensure they have bright green husks and the husks don’t seem dry or brown. There should be a lot of silk that is a golden color and has a slight stickiness to it. Peel back a few leaves to ensure the corn is bright and fresh inside.

Seasoning – We love salted butter (and a little extra salt) and pepper. Simple perfection.

Variations – Change up the seasoning by adding fresh herbs (like parsley or cilantro), a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, some chili powder, or try herbed butter.

corn in a pot to make Boiled Corn on the Cob

How Long to Boil Corn on the Cob

This is an easy fix-it and forget-it method of cooking corn.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Use tongs to add the cobs to boiling water and let them boil for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and cover, let the corn rest in the water for 5-6 minutes or up to 30 minutes.
  4. Drain the corn and place the cobs back into the warm pot. Add butter (or even garlic butter) and salt & pepper to taste.

Break the corn in half to fit in a smaller pot (or to serve smaller appetites). Run a sharp knife along the line where you’d like to break it and then firmly grasp each side and break it in half.

If you don’t have a large enough pot, cook the corn in batches and keep covered in a warm oven (170°F).

Boiled Corn on the Cob with butter salt and pepper in the pot

Got Leftovers?

Always cook a little bit extra to add to other recipes like fresh corn salad or Frito corn salad. Otherwise, leftovers can be frozen. They will also keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat add a little water or butter to a pan, add the corn, then cook until heated through. The cobs can also be heated up on the grill.

Best Ways to Cook Corn

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Boiled Corn on the Cob in the pot

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Easy Boiled Corn on the Cob

Boiled corn on the cob is a great time-saver in the kitchen and it always comes out just right!

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 11 minutes

Total Time 16 minutes

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.

  • Remove husks and silk from corn. Break cobs in half if desired.

  • Once water is boiling, add corn and boil for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover.

  • Leave the corn in the hot water for 5 minutes longer or up to 30 minutes. Drain well.

  • Place corn back into the warm pot, add butter, salt & pepper and toss to coat.

If you’d like to prepare the corn ahead, you can let it boil for 1-2 minutes and then cover and let it sit in the hot water for 30-45 minutes. 
The method of letting the corn sit in the water (instead of boiling) keeps it juicy without overcooking the kernels.
Cut the cobs in half to fit into a smaller pot or feed smaller apetites! Run a knife around the cob where you’d like to break it in half and grasp each end.

5 from 22 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Calories: 128 | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 345IU | Vitamin C: 6.1mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
close up of Boiled Corn on the Cob in the pot with a title
plated Boiled Corn on the Cob with writing
close up of Boiled Corn on the Cob with writing
Boiled Corn on the Cob cooked in the pot and plated with writing


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