Boiled corn on the cob is the perfect summertime side dish. Boiling corn is the easiest cooking method and you’ll love our secret that makes this corn always sweet, juicy, and tender.

Boiled corn on the cob served on skewers

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Corn on the Cob Recipe:

The start of summer means it is corn on the cob season. I love this Boiled Corn on the Cob recipe for its simplicity. Perfect for summertime BBQs, this boiled corn is SO juicy.

Boiling corn on the cob is the most common way to cook it. If you love corn, be sure to also try our other corn recipes; Instant Pot Corn and Grilled Corn in Foil, so you are prepared to serve this perfect side dish all summer long!

How Long to Boil Corn:

Boiling corn on the cob ensures the kernels stay juicy and plump, yet finding the perfect length of time to boil corn depends on the age of your corn. Fresh ears of corn on the cob can be boiled in about 15 minutes. Ears of corn that may be a little older will take slightly longer – just be careful not to overcook! Check your kernels before removing them from the heat to ensure they are crisp-tender.

Close up of boiled corn on the cob with butter and black pepper

The Secret to Sweet Corn on the Cob:

I love corn on the cob at the peak of its season. However, sometimes finding the freshest corn can be tricky. The secret to ensuring perfectly sweet and juicy corn every time is to add sugar to the water. I learned this trick from my late friend Pearl who was like a Grandmother to me. This extra kick of sweetness makes a huge difference for boiled corn on the cob!

How to Cook Corn on the Cob:

    1. Shuck your corn and place corn in a large soup or stockpot and fill it with enough water to cover the corn.
    2. Bring water to a boil and add sugar. Cover, reduce heat to medium and boil for 15 minutes.
    3. When time is up, kernels should be crisp-tender. Remove from heat and drain. For easier eating, load each ear of corn onto a wooden skewer. If desired, butter, salt, and pepper your corn.

Adding sugar to our boiled corn on the cob for perfect sweet ears of corn

Pro Serving Tip: Serve your boiled corn on the cob on wooden skewers! This keeps your fingers from getting burned as you eat the freshly cooked corn. As an added bonus, the skewer allows you to butter your corn and not worry about the butter dripping all over your hands.

Leftover Corn on the Cob?

This boiled corn on the cob is best when eaten fresh and hot. If you can’t eat all of the corn in one sitting, wrap it in plastic wrap or foil and store it in the fridge then use those sweet juicy kernels for Corn Guacamole or fresh Avocado Corn Salad.

P.S. You can also keep the leftover bare cobs for the best Corn Chowder.

Boiled corn on the cob with butter

What to Serve with Corn on the Cob:

Try pairing corn on the cob with our Perfect Burgers and Potato Wedges at your next BBQ and don’t forget the Lemonade. Your guests will be begging for more.

More Summer Side Dish Recipes:

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Boiled Corn on the Cob Recipe

4.95 from 19 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Boiled corn on the cob served on skewers
Boiled corn on the cob is the perfect summertime side dish - simple, easy to make, and always sweet, juicy, and tender. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 5 people
  • 5 cobs of corn, shucked/peeled
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar, or salt
  • unsalted butter, optional to serve
  • Black pepper, freshly ground (optional)

Instructions

  • Place corn in a large soup/stock pot and fill it with enough water to cover the corn.
  • Bring water to a boil and add 2 Tbsp of sugar (1 Tbsp for a smaller pot and 2 for a huge one).
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium and boil 15 minutes. When time is up, sample few kernels of corn before turning off. "Older" corn may take a few more minutes to cook. Kernels should be crisp-tender.
  • Remove from heat and drain. Butter and pepper your corn if you like. Best to eat it fresh, or wrap it in foil and save it for later.

Nutrition Per Serving

87kcal Calories19g Carbs3g Protein1g Fat1g Saturated Fat14mg Sodium243mg Potassium2g Fiber8g Sugar168IU Vitamin A6mg Vitamin C1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Boiled Corn on the Cob Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
87
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
14
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
243
mg
7
%
Carbohydrates
 
19
g
6
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
168
IU
3
%
Vitamin C
 
6
mg
7
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boiled corn on the cob, corn on the cob
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 87

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Shana
    May 9, 2024

    I’ve never added sugar but just fixed some corn following the recipe completely and the corn came out perfectly. I may also try some of the methods in the comments- microwave, frying…Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  • Carole Briggs
    April 15, 2024

    thanks natasha love your email recipes .received your cookbook finally. Regards Carole Australia PS Have to convert US measurements to Aussie measurements lol

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 16, 2024

      Glad you received it! I hope you’ll enjoy the recipes that you will try!

      Reply

  • Bon Barr
    October 23, 2023

    My friend would boil her corn on the cob (totally submerged) for the same length of time as it took to boil her potatoes (about 20+ minutes). OMG. I boil water in a frying pan. Add the corn, cover, turn over in about three minutes and cook other side for three minutes. Add sugar or salt. It is so crunchy, frying pan just needs to be wiped dry.

    Reply

  • Nanette
    August 18, 2023

    I’m from the Midwest and Oh No to Boiling Corn on the Cob, it’s almost sacrilegious. Yes, when cooking a huge amount Boiling is easiest. I’m saying for like crowds at a Sweet Corn Festival. Boiling Corn extracts most of the flavor and nutrients from the Corn, causes the Kernals to be tough, the pure Goodness of the Corn remains in the water where the Corn was Boiled. The only way I prepare Corn on the Cob is 3 Ears in a 1/2″ of water with 3 Tbls of Sugar sprinkled on top covered in the Microwave on High for 90 Seconds, then Rotate the Corn, return to and repeat for another 90 seconds. Rotate Corn again, Let stand 2 minutes, remove Corn to another covered dish with a stick of Butter. With the butt of a Sharp Knife Cut Corn from the Cob if preparing for a plate or for the Freezer.

    Reply

  • Bill Gran
    August 8, 2023

    Has anyone tried cutting the corn into pieces, inserting the wooden skewers, then putting the whole thing in the boiling water?

    That would save burning your fingers while cutting the hot corn and pushing in the skewers.

    Reply

  • Laurie morrison
    August 7, 2023

    To get all the silk of I use a mr. clean eraser under water and cleans like a champ .

    Reply

  • DeAnna
    July 2, 2023

    Bringing corn to a boil is incorrect. Food grown above ground such as corn should be added to already boiling water. Food grown under ground like potatoes should be put in cold water and brought to a boil because of excess starch. Always add corn to boiling hot water and cook for less time to keep it crispy and snappy . Culinary school 101.

    Reply

  • Diane
    January 23, 2023

    I have boiled my corn with sugar like you do and yes it is delicious but more often than not, i wrap two full ears in saran wrap and microwave for five minutes and it is done and doesn’t heat up the kitchen on those hot days.

    Reply

  • Julie
    September 4, 2022

    I find it much easier to just wrap an individual ear of corn in a wet paper towel and microwave for 2, yes, two, minutes!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 4, 2022

      Sounds good, thanks for the info!

      Reply

      • Doug rice
        December 29, 2022

        Ever try deep frying corn on the cob? Really good after taking a deep fried turkey out of pot and then drop corn in. No butter required

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          December 29, 2022

          Hi Doug. No, I have not. Sounds interesting. 🙂

          Reply

  • Esther A
    August 20, 2022

    I have never added sugar to corn before and I decided to give it a try – turned out amazing!! Thank You so much!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 20, 2022

      You’re very welcome, Esther! So glad you enjoyed this recipe.

      Reply

  • Mary
    July 2, 2022

    I’ve never heard of cooking con on the cob for 15 minutes. I was only to cook it for 3 to 4 minutes at the most.

    Reply

  • Peggy Pine
    June 18, 2022

    Funny story but my mother’s name is Pearl. She was raised in the South. She taught me to put a healthy pinch of sugar in my boiled corn. It is delicious.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 18, 2022

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Peggy!

      Reply

  • Jan B
    May 28, 2022

    I grew up on a small veggie farm. We never boiled corn for 15 minutes. If you use fresh corn on the cob (always buy the ones with small kernels) then you can boil for 3 to max 5 minutes. Yum- tastes fresh and natural – of course with lots of real butter on it. If you boil the corn for 15, you turn it into what we used to call horse corn. LOL.

    Reply

    • Lisa S
      June 1, 2022

      I agree. – seems way to long to me – esp white corn that is tender already. I usually steam mine for 5 min – love your recipes and your blog Natasha !

      Reply

  • Jane
    May 28, 2022

    Looks like you halve the corn before boiling. Much easier than doing it when they are too hot to touch. That doesn’t effect cooking time??

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 28, 2022

      Hi Jane, that does not affect cooking time. I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Crystal Kirtley
    April 28, 2022

    Hi Natasha! Love all your recipes, you are my go to!
    We are doing a all day BBQ, can you keep this warm in the crock pot after you cook it or do you think it would get mushy?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 28, 2022

      Hi Crystal, I bet it would work to keep it warm in a crockpot. I would set it to low setting.

      Reply

    • Jeannine Duval
      May 29, 2022

      Once you have cooked the corn, if you have a cooler you can keep it warm for a long time in it.

      Reply

  • Joy Berger
    August 4, 2021

    My mother in law always added some milk into the boiling water. The corn was always sweet and delicious

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 4, 2021

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Patty
    August 4, 2021

    With all due respect, sweet corn has changed from the days of salting the water & boiling for that long.

    We test boil a few ears & in the end, usually boil for about 3 minutes, rarely more than 5 minutes. Avoid salt as it can toughen the corn.

    Sugar & starches start to change the moment it’s picked which also contributes to a tough or mushy experience.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 4, 2021

      Hi Patty! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I hope you give our version a try!

      Reply

    • anne
      August 20, 2022

      I agree with Patty. I bring the water to a boil then turn it off about 5 minutes.

      Reply

  • Bruce Hoch
    August 4, 2021

    We’re spoiled getting corn fresh from our garden at prime time but 15 min. is to long. 8-10 maximun!
    I always say we start our water boiling before we pick out corn!! That’s fresh.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 5, 2021

      Hi Bruce, with super fresh and ripe corn, you are correct. Most grocery store corn will take about 15 minutes.

      Reply

  • Leigh Hollowell
    April 19, 2021

    Terrific salad!!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 19, 2021

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

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