It isn't summer until you've had corn on the cob. It's at every barbecue, it makes the perfect side dish to, umm, everything, and unless you're Michael Bublé, no one judges you while gobbling one down with both hands. Luckily, the summer staple is quick and easy and doesn't even need fussy toppings (unless you want them — we have so many fun ideas for how to top corn). Just a pat of butter and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.
1. Boil in VERY salty water.
Use the largest pot you have, fill it with water, and salt it really well. One of the first lessons I remember at culinary school was my chef calling all of us over and having us taste a spoonful of his pot of salted water. It tasted like the ocean and he proudly stated that every single pot of salted water we use for boiling ANYTHING should taste like that. So don't be shy. Your corn won't taste salty in the end — the salt will just help bring out its flavor. Bring your nicely salted water to a boil.
2. Shuck it good.
While your water is heating up, pull off your corn husks. This can get messy thanks to all the tiny strings (AKA stilk), so we recommend doing it over a trash can. Starting at the tip, grab all of the husk and as much of the silk as possible and pull downwards, toward the thickest end of the corn. Repeat until all of the husk is off. Rub off as much of the lingering silk as possible. (You'll often see that a hack for removing the silk is to use a clean toothbrush — we don't buy it.)
3. Boil 'em quick.
How long to boil corn is the biggest issue here. There aren't great indicators for when it's done, but they will look bright yellow, a little plumper, and will be soft and juicy. Using tongs, drop your corn into the boiling water. Return the water to a boil, then cook your corn for 5 minutes. Set a timer because if you let your corn overcook the kernels can become tough. The goal is juicy, crunchy kernels, not mushy dry ones. Fresh corn typically cooks faster that older corn, so keep that in mind and adjust cook times as necessary.
4. Butter it up.
Brush with melted butter, season with salt and pepper, and let summer begin.
Have you tried this method yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
ears of corn, shucked
Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add corn and cook 5 minutes.
- Drain corn and brush with melted butter, then season with salt and pepper.