How To Steam Corn

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One of the easiest and fastest ways to cook corn on the cob is to steam it. Learn how to steam corn using these directions, and you’ll be plating up this side in no time.

This method delivers tender yellow kernels that are bursting with sweet flavor. I really like how consistently these turn out, especially for use in other recipes.

Cooked corn on blue plate

Steamed Corn

I am a fan of steamed corn. Although, I have to admit that the older I get, the less I enjoy biting it directly off the cob. Fortunately, it is easy enough to just cut the kernels off the cob after steaming. Keep these things in mind when steaming it:

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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, set a timer so that you don’t over steam the ears, based on the desired tenderness. Distractions happen, so give yourself the benefit of a reminder.

Third, check how well the ears fit in the steamer basket (I use this basket all the time!) before boiling the water. If they prevent the lid from covering the pot, either get a bigger pot or cut the ears in half.

Steamer basket with corn

How To Steam Corn

Follow these instructions on how to steam corn:

Prep the pot: Add two inches of water. Insert the steamer basket. You can also use a metal strainer or colander. If there is any standing water over the bottom of the basket, pour some out. 

Boil the water: Set the pot over a burner and turn it to high. Cover the pot. When you hear the water boiling rapidly, lift the cover to check. If steam billows out, you’re ready to begin steaming.

Steaming Corn: Place the ears carefully into the steamer basket. Cover the pot again, and lower the heat setting to medium. Set the timer, now.

Corn on plate

How Long To Steam Corn

Wondering how long to steam corn? That depends on how tender you want the kernels to be. You can pull it off the heat any time after it turns bright yellow.

Corn is tender crisp after 3 to 4 minutes of steaming. But, you can continue steaming it until 12 to 15 minutes have gone by, at which point it is as soft as it is going to get.

Steamed corn fabulous with just butter and salt. But, you can spruce it up however you like. I like to add garlic and parmesan.

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 steaming, you may want to try roasting, grilling, sauteeing, or even boiling it.

Corn on plate

How to Steam Corn

One of the easiest and fastest ways to cook corn on the cob is to steam it. Learn how to steam corn using these directions.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 ears of corn break in half to fit in the pot, if needed
  • butter for serving


  • Bring two inches of water to boil in a pot.
  • Place the corn in a steamer basket and put the basket into the pot of boiling water. Cover the pot, and lower the heat to medium. Steam for 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove them from the heat when the corn is bright yellow and still slightly firm. Serve with butter.


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

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