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Boiled Corn on the Cob Recipe

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:

Boiled Corn on the Cob Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
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. 

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $3
Keyword: boiled corn on the cob, corn on the cob
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Calories: 87 kcal
Servings: 5 people

Ingredients

  • 5 cobs of corn shucked/peeled
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar or salt
  • Butter optional to serve
  • Black pepper freshly ground (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place corn in a large soup/stock pot and fill it with enough water to cover the corn.
  2. Bring water to a boil and add 2 Tbsp of sugar (1 Tbsp for a smaller pot and 2 for a huge one).

  3. 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.

  4. 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 Facts
Boiled Corn on the Cob Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 87 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 14mg1%
Potassium 243mg7%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 168IU3%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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

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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.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Cathy Johnston
    August 29, 2020

    I made the corn chowder. It was sensational and I’m not a very good cook

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 30, 2020

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Jen
    August 20, 2020

    Water should be boiled first add corn and never cook more than 5 minutes. 15 is way too long!

    Reply

  • Joey
    August 20, 2020

    Love most of your recipes, but corn on the cob only needs to simmer 3-4 minutes in previously boiling water, otherwise it gets tough. I prefer to cut it off the cob, place in a skillet, butter, sugar s&p, splash of cream and sook for ten minutes…no floss needed after eating this gem.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 20, 2020

      Thanks for your input, Joey! I hope you love every recipe that you will try.

      Reply

  • Aglina Scofiled
    July 29, 2020

    Hi Natasha!
    I always eat these with french sauce, it is amazing.
    You really should try it.
    Try these and you are try it again and again.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 29, 2020

      Thank you so much for that suggestion Aglina! I’m so glad you enjoyed that!

      Reply

  • Sandra Bridgewater
    July 4, 2020

    I love corn fixed this way. To mine I add a tablespoon of lemon juice and it gives it a natural sweet taste to any corn!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 4, 2020

      Isn’t it so good! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe Sandra!

      Reply

  • Hazel
    June 25, 2020

    I luv ur recipes. Another way I do my corn is in the microwave. I remove some husks and put in the microwave for 2 min on one side and then roll it over and another 2 min. Remove and shuck the corn under cold water. Yum!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 25, 2020

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying our recipes, Hazel! Thank you for sharing that tip with us!

      Reply

  • Diane
    June 25, 2020

    Hi Natasha!
    I love watching your videos. You are so sweet and you look like your are really enjoying it, especially at tasting time! Hehe! I have another truck for the corn on the cab. My grand mother use to put milk in the water when she cooked the corn. It also makes the corn yummy and sweet!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 25, 2020

      Nice, thank you for sharing that with us, Diane! That sounds like a great idea.

      Reply

  • Valli K Feldman
    June 25, 2020

    Fresh summer corn on the cob does not need fifteen minutes! Bring pot to boil with corn in it, boil ONE minute, remove corn. I have cooked corn this way for seventy years, always sweet and tender!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 25, 2020

      Thank you for sharing that feedback with us Valli.

      Reply

  • Carol
    June 25, 2020

    I was raised in Canada and this is what we used to live on in the summer months, cooked exactly as your recipe Natasha. It used to be called Taber corn, the best in the world and the secret is definitely the addition of sugar and butter smeared all over it with a little salt. Perfect on young corn, as you say so sweet and tender. Thank you for the memories of my youth.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 25, 2020

      Aww that’s the best! I love it when a recipe can bring back all these great memories.

      Reply

  • Rita
    June 21, 2020

    I want to make the corn salad for a BBQ. Can I make it a day ahead.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 22, 2020

      Hi Rita, It can be done, but I have always felt that fresh corn is best – the kernels are the plumpest and juiciest if enjoyed soon after it is cooked.

      Reply

  • Stephanie
    May 21, 2020

    This corn on the cob recipe looks soo yummy!!!! Thank you for sharing

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 21, 2020

      I hope you love it Stephanie!

      Reply

  • Toni
    May 21, 2020

    This is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing your secret!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 21, 2020

      You’re welcome Toni! I’m so glad you enjoyed that!

      Reply

  • Bob Sarver
    May 20, 2020

    Very good but Im a butter and Old Bay kind of guy

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 20, 2020

      That sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing that with us Bob!

      Reply

  • Patricia
    May 23, 2019

    I’m an old-timer, and they have hybridized corn to the point that unless it is eaten within an hour of picking it, it is already too sweet…I love corn, but not as a dessert.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 23, 2019

      That’s so interesting! We love corn on a cob! Thank you for sharing that with me, Patricia!

      Reply

  • Linda
    August 19, 2016

    Perfect, Natasha! I boiled the corn 15 minutes and it was delicious.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 20, 2016

      I’m so happy you liked it! 🙂

      Reply

  • Mike
    July 20, 2016

    Boil corn for 15 minutes? I usually boil fresh corn for 2-3 minutes, tops.
    I do place the corn in already boiling water, then two minutes, including the time it takes to get to the boiling stage again.
    Most fresh good corn can be eaten raw, so 15 minutes is overkill in my opinion.

    Reply

    • Caladium22
      May 20, 2020

      I agree Mike. I live near a farm that sells their own corn. They recommend boiling it for 3 minutes max.

      Reply

    • Paula Jacobson
      June 15, 2020

      I also agree. I boil the water, then add the corn only—no salt or sugar—and boil the corn for 3 minutes, occasionally up to 5. It is always tender and very sweet. I would think that 15 minutes would yield tough and flavorless corn.

      Reply

  • Sharon
    July 8, 2014

    Farmers told me that pepper brings the flavor out in corn. Having grown up with Butter/Salt I thought this to be odd, but when I tried Shallot Pepper on my corn not only was I a believer, but have all my friend addicted to it too. To change it up I spritz with lemon juice so seasoning sticks & add a smidgen of Cayenne Pepper too. Fool proof way to know when your corn is ready is when you can smell it cooking.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 8, 2014

      Great to know, thank you so much for sharing!!!

      Reply

    • Janna Andrews
      May 23, 2020

      Omg, I have Penzey’s Shallot Pepper and I can imagine this it would be amazing on corn. I have some corn on the cob so I’m making this tonight.

      And thanks for the cooking tip, Natasha.

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        May 23, 2020

        You’re welcome Janna!

        Reply

  • Victoria Tudor
    July 31, 2012

    Hi there I am Victoria all the way from Alaska, love your recipes, cook them like every other day… Wanted to let you know there is this awesome grilled corn on the cob recipe. We tasted it in florida on our vacation its very easy and taste delicious it would be cool if you would post it on here. All you need is Corn, mayo, parmesan cheese and grated red hot pepper flakes. So you grill the corn in the leaves wrapped in foil until it’s ready and then you unwrap the corn leaves( don’t rip off leaves use as a handle to hold the corn), brush the mayo on the corn, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and pepper and its ready to eat.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 31, 2012

      Hmmm that does sound good. I’ll go share it with my husband right now. Thank you!!!

      Reply

  • Victor
    July 25, 2012

    This is one easy recipe, thank you for posting it.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 25, 2012

      It’s hard to make it easier than this

      Reply

  • Veronica
    May 25, 2010

    I usually only make 1-2 corn on the cobs at a time, so I just pop them in the microwave, shucks and all, and cook them for several minutes. The husks keeps the moisture in and they’re perfect. I like that you add sugar to the water–I will try this way when I need to make a big batch for a family barbecue.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 26, 2010

      Thats brilliant! Thanks Veronica. I never would have thought to put them in the micro with shucks on. I will have to try that.

      Reply

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