My love of corn on the cob began when I was very young. Every summer I looked forward to going to the Sweet Corn Festival in Wisconsin. Once the nominal admission fee was paid it was all you can eat. Let’s just say I don’t do well with buffets. I have vivid memories of feasting on sweet corn until I was physically sick.
Fast forward to the present. The sweet corn festival continues in my very own dining room usually 2-3 times a week. My kids request and then devour corn on the cob. Even our dog is well trained to eat it right off the cob.
We had friends visiting from Chicago this past weekend and we got into a discussion about the best way to cook corn on the cob (exciting, I know!). For years I have added the corn to cold water and boiled them together. Our friends boil the water first and then add the corn. So what’s the best method to create perfect corn on the cob? I did a little research in my very own test kitchen and came up with the answer.
Selecting the corn
If growing your own corn isn’t an option (it’s not for me) then carefully hand select your ears of corn at the farmers market or super market.
- I always peel back the husk at the market to check on the corn inside. If it doesn’t look good, don’t buy it.
- Look for bright green husks that fit snugly around the ear of corn. The kernels should be in tight rows right to the top of the ear of corn-not white, small kernels, but full sized yellow kernels.
- Buy organic when you can.
How to cook corn on the cob
- Husk the corn just before cooking to keep the corn fresh.
- Remove as much of the silk as possible.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring water to a boil. I use a big stainless steel stock pot.
- Drop in husked ears of corn.
- Once water comes to boil again remove corn with tongs. Leave in a little longer if you like your corn on the softer side.
- I don’t put salt or butter on my corn. I love the flavor just the way it is.
Now you have perfect corn on the cob.
I tried grilling corn on the cob last year for the first time and it didn’t disappoint.
- Soak corn on the cob in bowl of water (don’t remove husk) for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat the grill on medium heat.
- Remove corn from water.
- Place the soaked corn in the husk on the grill.
- Cook for 20 minutes, turning the corn every 5 minutes.
- Use a fork to determine if the kernels are soft. If they are then the corn is done.
- Remove the corn from grill with tongsand peel away husk and silk. Use pot holders or dish towel to hold corn-it will be very hot to the touch.
What’s your favorite way to make corn on the cob?
[Photos used under Creative Commons from slgckgc, Keith McDuffee, Oakley Originals/Flickr]