There’s nothing like the taste of freshly grilled sweet corn on a hot summer afternoon. Barbecues are simply incomplete without the smell of beautifully charred, golden yellow corn on the cobs that are a favorite of kids and adults alike.
If you’re like me, there isn’t much you need other than a little bit of butter and some salt and pepper to enjoy the perfectly cooked corn at home.
If you’re in search of quick, almost hassle-free ways to prepare corn on the cob, you’re in luck because we’ve got you covered.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss three simple methods you can use to cook corn on the cob and how you can pick out the freshest corn at your local supermarket.
How to Cook Corn on the Cob
Preparing corn on the cob is incredibly easy. You can roast it on the grill, boil it, or simply cook it in the microwave.
Roast It on the Grill
We have an in-depth article on how to grill corn 4 different ways but here will cover the basics of what you need to know.. When you’re grilling the corn, make sure you’re using the freshest corn you can find.
You want the ears of the corn to have a sweet smell and a little firmness when you try to press them. Try to avoid using corn with blackened tassels for the best results.
You can grill the corn along with the husk, but you need to be careful as it can catch fire and you’ll end up with burnt corn tips.
What I like to do is peel off a few layers to make sure it gets the right amount of heat to cook faster.
- Carefully peel back corn husks.
- Remove the silk from the corn.
- Carefully fold husks back over corn cob.
- Place on a medium-high grill for 20 minutes. Rotate the corn every 5 minutes.
With this method, you can boil as many ears of corn as you can fit into your pot.
- Place a large pot of water on the stove and let it come to a boil. In the meantime, husk your corn.
- Add the corn to the boiling water, cover the pot, and let them cook for one minute.
- Turn off the heat and allow it to sit in the hot water for 30 minutes (with the lid on).
- Once the corn has been steamed to perfection, use tongs to take them out of the hot water.
- Brush the cooked corn with butter and sprinkle a little bit of salt on top before serving.
Cook It in the Microwave
When you’re making corn on the cob in the microwave, you can leave the husks on as this will trap enough heat and moisture to cook the kernels more evenly.
- Carefully place about 4 ears of corn inside the microwave in a single layer and let them cook for somewhere around 3 to 5 minutes. If you like your corn to be a little tender, you should leave them in for another minute.
- After they’ve been cooked all the way through, place them on a cutting board or a cooling rack so they can cool down a little. Shuck the corn right before serving to make sure they’re still warm.
- Throw them under the broiler for a few seconds if you want them to have some color, and serve with butter, salt, and pepper.
Take Your Corn on the Cob to the Next Level
Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)
There’s nothing quite like the taste of roasted sweet corn seasoned with salt and pepper, but if you’re a fan of Mexican food, you should definitely try making some delicious elote corn before summer comes to an end.
All you need to do is mix some Mexican crema (or sour cream), mayonnaise, chili powder, lime juice, and cumin in a bowl until a rich, creamy sauce is formed.
Dip your roasted corn on the cob in this sauce and then roll it in a bowl full of crumbled cotija cheese. Once all the corn has been generously coated, serve them on a platter for everyone to enjoy.
✔Check out our in-depth article on how to make Mexican street corn
How to Pick out Corn on the Cob
It goes without saying that you need to pick out the freshest corn when you’re making corn on the cob because it’s supposed to have the sweetest taste right after it’s harvested.
Make sure the corn you’re buying from your local market has a tight green husk around it that hasn’t dried out and it’s covered in a lot of silk.
The ear of the corn should be firm and the kernels should be perfectly plump. Ideally, the silk should be packed with moisture as well.
Avoid getting corn with little holes in the husk because those are a sign of worms.
How to Know If Corn on the Cob Has Gone Bad
Corn on the cob is usually safe to consume for around 3 to 5 days if it’s properly stored inside the refrigerator.
If you want to extend its shelf life, you should try storing it in the freezer so it can last for about 10 months to a year.
There are two ways you can tell if corn on the cob is no longer safe for you to eat:
If your corn has a rancid or moldy smell, that means it has gone bad and you should discard it immediately.
If the corn has a slimy texture or you can see bits of mold on the surface, it’s a clear sign that it’s spoiled and should be thrown out.
It’s up to you how you choose to cook your corn on the cob because as long as you’re using the freshest corn, there isn’t much you can do wrong. If you wind up with extra, this is the best way to reheat corn on the cob.
You can add as many toppings as you’d like or keep the flavor simple and classic. If you’re craving some corn on a busy weekday, I’d suggest cooking it in the microwave for the quickest result.
Don’t store any leftovers for longer than 5 days in your refrigerator and watch out for any signs of spoilage!