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Tongs are used to remove the corn from the water.
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4.75 from 4 votes

How to Boil Corn on the Cob

Learn How to Boil Corn so that the kernels come out crisp and tender but not tough! Corn is shucked to remove the husks and silk, then boiled to perfection in this simple recipe.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 corn on the cobs


  • 4-5 ears of corn on the cob
  • water
  • butter or oil, optional
  • salt optional


Shucking Corn:

  • Cut and remove the stalk ends from the ears of corn.
  • Peel back the husks to expose the corn, but do not completely remove them. Grab them from the untrimmed end and pull to remove all of the husks and silky strands in one go.
  • Alternatively, you can microwave the ears of corn for 1-2 minutes. Grab the husks from the untrimmed end and pull away from the cob until the husks and silky strands are removed.
  • Pick off any additional strands that remain.

Boiling Corn:

  • Bring a large Dutch oven or pot of water to a boil.
  • Add peeled corn cobs to the pot of water and let it return to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and boil corn for 4-5 minutes if you're adding it to another recipe that will be cooked, or 7-8 minutes if you'll be eating it immediately. Flip the corn over halfway through cooking.
  • Corn is ready when it can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove corn using tongs or a slotted spoon. Place on a paper towel or dish towel to let drain.
  • Serve corn on the cob with butter and a sprinkle of salt. Enjoy!


Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead: Boil the corn and store for up to 24 hours before serving. Corn loses its freshness over time, not to mention it won't have as good of a texture. You can make a large batch the day before if cooking for a crowd.
  • To Keep Warm: Wrap corn in foil and place it in a cooler with towels to keep warm.
  • To Store:  Seal in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • To Freeze: Corn can be frozen either on the cob or off as corn kernels. Remember it's important to partially freeze first so they don't stick together. Freeze the corn in an airtight container for up to 4-6 months.
    • On the cob: Place on a baking sheet and partially freeze for 3-4 hours. Then wrap tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap and place in a zip-top bag.
    • Corn kernels: Spread out on a baking sheet and partially freeze for 1-2 hours. Next, add the kernels to an airtight bag or a freezer-safe container.
  • To Reheat: Warm the corn in the microwave for one minute. Or, wrap in aluminum foil and reheat in the oven at 300°F for 5-10 minutes.


Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg