How To Boil Corn

Corn is one of the most versatile and delicious vegetables we can get our hands on. It can be eaten in countless ways, making it a staple in many kitchens. Boiling corn is one of the easiest and most popular ways to prepare this beloved vegetable, and it’s a method that’s practically foolproof. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to boil corn perfectly every time.

Step 1: Choose the right corn

When choosing corn for boiling, it’s important to pick the freshest cobs available. Look for ears that feel heavy for their size and have green, tightly wrapped husks. Avoid those with brown or dry silks poking out of the top and stores for more than a few days.

Step 2: Prepare your pot

To make sure the corn cooks evenly, choose a pot that’s large enough to hold the ears without crowding them. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the corn completely. Some people add salt or sugar to the water to enhance the flavor, but this is entirely optional.

Step 3: Prepare the corn

Remove the husks and rinse the corn under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Cut off the base of the cob if necessary, making sure to leave enough of the stem to use as a handle. This will make it easier to handle the corn when it’s hot.

Step 4: Boil the corn

Once the water is boiling, carefully add the corn to the pot. Make sure the water covers the corn completely and return the water to a boil. Boil the corn for 3-5 minutes, depending on how fresh it is. 3 minutes is usually enough for very fresh corn, while 5 minutes is better for slightly older cobs. Once the corn is cooked, turn off the heat and use tongs to remove it from the pot.

Step 5: Butter and serve

After removing the corn from the pot, place it on a plate or cutting board. Spread butter generously over each cob while it’s still hot. You can also add any other seasonings or toppings you like, such as salt, pepper, or chili powder. Slice the corn into rounds and serve it immediately.


1. How do I know when the corn is cooked?

The easiest way to know when the corn is cooked is to look at the kernels. If they’re brighter and plumper when you cut into them, they’re ready. Alternatively, you can poke a kernel with a fork or toothpick to test its tenderness.

2. Can I boil corn without removing the husks?

Boiling corn with the husks on is not recommended because the husks will trap the heat and make it difficult to fully cook the corn. Removing the husks also allows seasonings to be added directly to the kernels.

3. How long can boiled corn be stored in the refrigerator?

Boiled corn can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

4. Can I freeze boiled corn?

Yes, boiled corn can be frozen for later use. Simply remove the kernels from the cob and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop when needed.

5. Is it necessary to add salt to the water?

Adding salt to the boiling water is optional and will not affect the cooking process. However, it can enhance the flavor of the corn. If you prefer not to use salt, you can add sugar or leave the water plain.


Boiling corn is a simple and easy way to prepare this delicious vegetable. With a little bit of attention to choosing and preparing the ears of corn, and a few minutes of cooking time, you can have a perfect cob ready to serve with your favorite seasonings. With the help of this guide, you should be able to enjoy boiled corn that is cooked perfectly every time.

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