How Long do you Boil Corn on the Cob?

How much time does it take to boil a corn cob? The answer depends on the type and quantity of corn used. Fresh corn on the cob cooks in about 5 minutes, while frozen shucked kernels cook in 2 to 3 minutes. The longer it takes to cook corn, the more you cook at once. If you are cooking a lot of corn, you should consider boiling it in batches. The water you use should be clear and not salted, as salt can cause the kernels to harden.

How Long do you Boil Corn on the Cob

How Long do you Boil Corn on the Cob?

When corn is in season, we can never have enough of it! It’s delectable, covered in butter and salt, and vital to some of our favorite corn dishes. However, in terms of cooking, how long does it take to boil corn?

It will go faster than you think, which is good news! There isn’t much time required when fresh corn is in season in the summer. Eaten raw, corn kernels are sweet and juicy enough. The corn should be boiled for four to five minutes or until the kernels are bright yellow and crisp-tender. When ready to serve, remove with tongs from the water and arrange them on a serving platter.

Sweet Corn

The majority of corn on the cob intended to be boiled and eaten is referred to as sweet corn (although there are also extremely sweet varieties). Boil sweet corn for 3 to 5 minutes or until the kernels turn bright yellow. Keep an eye on it because local corn on the cob is typically fresher than grocery store ears and cooks quicker.

Frozen Corn on the Cob

Frozen corn on the cob will take 5 to 8 minutes longer to boil if boiled while still frozen.

Is it Possible to Overcook Corn?

Corn can be overboiling, it’s true. The corn’s pectin will dissolve, and its starch content will absorb too much water if the cobs are left in the boiling water for a long time, leaving the kernels soggy.

How do you Boil Corn?

The recipe is simple if you want to boil corn, though. Please keep reading for more information on preparing corn and how long to boil it.

It would be best if you first cleaned your corn before boiling it. Remove the husks by firmly grasping the feathered ends and pulling down toward the stem end. Remove any remaining silks with your fingers and snap off any long stems. You are now ready to boil! That was simple enough.

Equipment Needed to Boil Corn on the Cob

  • Tongs for lifting the corn into the hot water
  • Large pot
  • A dish or baking sheet to serve the corn on after it has finished cooking

Cooking Corn on the Cob

Boiling a Large Pot of Salted Water

Using medium-high heat, bring a sizable pot halfway full of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, season it liberally with salt (it should taste like the ocean). This is important because it seasons the corn and enhances its inherent sweetness.

Add More Flavor to the Water if you’d Like

You can season the water with different aromatics to give it more flavor. In addition to salt, try a few halved lemons and a few shakes of Old Bay seafood seasoning. Add a little white wine, bay leaves, and crushed garlic.

Place the Corn in a Pot of Boiling Water

With tongs, gently lower the corn into the salted boiling water, carefully not to overcrowd the pot. It’s best only to boil about four cobs at a time so that they can submerge in the water and cook evenly.

Boil Corn on the Cob

Boil corn on the cob that has been shucked in salted boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes or until the kernels are bright yellow and still have a crisp, tender texture. Avoid overcrowding the pot; in a large pot, four corncobs at a time is a good guideline to follow to ensure that the cobs cook evenly.

Season the Corn with Salt and Butter

Brush the boiled corn with butter and season with salt and pepper for a simple side dish that lets the corn shine. You can also brush the corn with seasoned butter that you’ve made yourself.

How to Buy Corn on the Cob Perfectly?

Although pre-shucked, shrink-wrapped corn is tempting, it’s best to buy corn in its husks, which protect the kernels and keep them from drying out and losing flavor.

There’s no need to pay back the husks to inspect the kernels; doing so spoils the corn for other customers. Instead, look for signs that the corn is fresh and high-quality. The husks should be bright green and tightly wrapped around the kernels — never papery or dry. Small strings or silks at the top of the cob should also be moist and pliable.

How Should Corn be Prepared for Boiling?

When you’re ready to cook, take off the husks and silks because no one wants those strings getting in the way of their corn! Work over a trash can or bag outside, as this is messy. Start by grabbing the husks and as much silk as possible, then pull everything down in several swoops until it is all gone. Remove extra strings with your hands before cooking—it’s time-consuming, but it’s well worth it! When grilling corn, you can leave the husks on, but you should still pull them back and remove the silks.

How do You Keep Corn on the Cob?

It is best to eat corn the same day that you buy it. When you boil corn on the cob that hasn’t been shucked until you’re ready to cook it, the starchy corn on the cob will result from the dried-out kernels. The refrigerator can hold corn on the cob in the husks for up to three days. Uncooked corn on the cob that has been shucked can be kept in the refrigerator in resealable plastic bags for up to two days.

If you aren’t using fresh corn on the cob within two to three days, you can freeze it. Corn should be shucked, any extra silk removed, and each ear tightly wrapped in plastic or foil before being kept for up to a year in a freezer-safe, resealable bag or container.

Wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, leftover corn on the cob can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Cooked corn on the cob will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days if properly stored in the fridge.

What is the Best Way to Reheat Corn on the Cob?

Boiling water on the stovetop, in the oven, or the microwave (which is more effective if you’re only reheating 1 or 2 ears of corn) are all options for reheating boiled corn on the cob.

Cooked corn on the cob should be placed in individual foil packets and baked in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 7 minutes. If the corn feels particularly dry or has been kept in the refrigerator for several days, add a teaspoon of water to the foil packets before closing them.

Cooked corn on the cob should be placed on a microwave-safe plate or dish, covered loosely with a damp paper towel, and heated in the microwave in bursts of 10 to 20 seconds at a time while rotating the corn until heated through.

On the stovetop, warm corncobs for 1 to 2 minutes at a low boil in a big pot of unsalted water.

What Causes Sweet Corn to be Sweet?

It all comes down to sugar. Not cane sugar or beet sugar, but naturally occurring sugars in plants. Sweet corn kernels have a very high sugar content when properly harvested.

The genes that regulate the conversion of sugar to starch in the endosperm of the corn kernel undergo a naturally occurring recessive mutation to produce sweet corn.


When boiling corn, consider its sweetness, freshness, and whether or not it has been frozen or husked. Husked or frozen cobs will take longer to boil than fresh, sweet, unhusked corn.

The time it takes for the corn to be ready to eat should be between 2 and 10. Whichever variety you choose, avoid salting the boiling water because doing so could cause the kernels to become harder.