How To Boil Corn

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It really doesn’t get much simpler than How to Boil Corn on the cob. Follow this guide on boiling corn and you’ll be enjoying those sweet kernels with buttery goodness in no time.

This is the way that my mom always prepared corn and it will forever take me back to my childhood. I prefer this method when I am making a meal that requires most of my attention to be elsewhere.

Cooked corn in pan

Boiled Corn on the Cob

Keep these things in mind when boiling corn on the cob:

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First, shuck or remove the husks off of your corn. This can be done by peeling back the green husks starting at the end with the silks. Remove any of the fine silks when finished.

Second, add salt to the water! Salt will enhance the flavor of anything you boil.

Third, don’t overfill the pot. Water takes a long time to boil because it has a high heat capacity. Save yourself some time and money by using just enough water.

Corn boiling in pot

Note: It’s recommended that you add root vegetables to cold water, but wait for a boil with others. Remember, if it grows below ground, put it in before the boil; if it grows above ground, add it after the boil.

How To Boil Corn

Follow these instructions for cooking corn:

Prep the corn: Remove the corn from the husk. Break the corn in half if smaller ears will more easily fit into your cooking pot.

Prep the pot: Fill a large pot halfway with water (use more or less, depending on the amount of corn you plan to boil). Throw in a few pinches of salt, then cover and set it over high heat.

Reduce heat: Once the water comes to a boil, carefully add the ears of corn. Then turn the burner down. You will get the best results if you boil your vegetables with a simmer.

Boiled Corn ready to eat

If the water gets low enough that the corn is not fully submerged, I add boiling water from my electric kettle (you can use hot water from the faucet, too). This keeps the temperature from dropping.

Strain the water: Once the corn finishes, drain the water from the pot using a strainer or colander. If you leave vegetables sitting in hot water, they will continue to cook.

Yellow sweet corn

How Long To Boil Corn

Not sure how long to boil corn? Generally speaking, you can pull it off the heat any time after it turns bright yellow. But, most ears of corn will be finished cooking after 5 to 7 minutes in boiling water.

I like my corn with just butter, salt, and sometimes a bit of pepper. That’s the most common way that I serve it. But, I do like to heat things up with paprika and cayenne, or even go all out with garlic and parmesan when I have the time.

Buttering corn on the cob can be a mess, my kids LOVE this little gadget, and I love no mess.

There are so many great ways to cook corn! Once you’ve mastered boiling, you may want to try roasting, grilling, sauteeing, or even steaming it.

Boiled Corn ready to eat

How to Boil Corn

It really doesn't get much simpler than boiling corn on the cob. Follow this guide on how and you'll be enjoying those sweet kernels of corn.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 ears corn
  • water enough to cover
  •  butter for serving


  • Bring large pot of water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Add corn and bring back to a boil. Simmer for 5-6 minutes or until corn is tender and bright yellow.
  • Remove from heat and drain off the water. Season with butter, salt and pepper to taste.


Calories: 102kcal · Carbohydrates: 1g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 11g · Saturated Fat: 7g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 3g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 30mg · Sodium: 122mg · Potassium: 7mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 1g · Vitamin A: 353IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 4mg · Iron: 1mg
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Boiling water with corn in pot
Boiled Sweet Corn

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