It's so simple, but this is the best way to make Boiled Corn on the Cob that brings out it's sweet corn flavor. It's quite possibly the most iconic food of summer!

Summer side dishes are some of our favorites. Be sure to add Summer Fruit SaladRaspberry Pretzel Salad, and Deviled Egg Potato Salad to your summer cookout menu!

An image of boiled corn on the cob on a plate.

Boiled Corn on the Cob

Boiling corn on the cob is a very common way to cook it due to how incredibly easy this method is, but not all boiled corn recipes are the same. A couple simple, extra additions will give you the best boiled corn on the cob of your life!

An image of ears of sweet white corn.

As part of my American Eats series where I'm visiting some of the most popular and iconic recipes and flavors of each state, one state at a time, I would be remiss if I didn't include a recipe for corn on the cob to represent the state of Iowa right along with their ham balls.

Corn on the cob is one of those awesome vegetables that can go from a Mexican street fair to a tailgate and then be back in time for the holiday table setting. They're incredibly frugal when you buy them in season and knowing how to store and cook them is one way to get the most out of your budget and your events.

An image of ears of corn on the cob being boiled in a large pot with milk and butter.

How to make delicious boiled corn

  1. Fill a large pot about ¾ of the way full with water and bring it to a boil. 
  2. Add in milk, butter, sugar and lemon juice, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. 
  3. Gently place the ears of corn into the boiling water and bring the water back to a boil.
  4. Cover the pot with a lid and turn off the heat. Let the corn cook for 6-10 minutes until tender.
  5. Serve with additional butter, salt, and pepper.
An image of corn on the cob being cooked in a pot of water, milk, and butter.

How do you know when corn on cob is done boiling?

You can tell that your corn is done by watching how fast it dries off when you lift it out of the water with tongs. A hot cooked cob will steam itself dry within a few seconds whereas a colder lesser cooked corn cob will take quite a bit longer.

What happens when you over cook corn on the cob?

If you overcook your corn on the cob, it’s still edible - it’s just chewy. While the best corn on the cob recipes gives you crunchy and sweet corn to sink your teeth into, a batch of overcooked corn will be more mushy. But as long as you turn the water off after bringing it back to a boil, the corn can sit in the hot water for up to half an hour without overcooking.

An image of ears of boiled corn on the cob.

More corn recipes

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The Best Boiled Corn on the Cob

4.41 from 10 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
It's so simple, but this is the best way to make Boiled Corn on the Cob that brings out its sweet corn flavor. It's quite possibly the most iconic food of summer!

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ears corn on the cob husks and silk removed
  • 4-6 quarts water
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup butter 1 stick
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Fill a large pot about ¾ full of water and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in milk, butter, sugar and lemon juice, until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is mostly melted.
  • Place ears of corn into the boiling water, then bring back to a boil. Immediately cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the corn cook in the hot water until tender, about 6-10 minutes, depending on how well you like your corn done.
  • Serve with additional butter, salt, and pepper.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ear | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 304mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 707IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa • KansasKentuckyLouisiana • MaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMontanaNew YorkOregonPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTexasUtahWisconsin

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Interesting recipe! We Add sugar as well, but our family thinks you've killed the corn if it's cooked more than 3 minutes ....tops. Never tried adding lemon juice, although I will next time. There is 1 cup of milk in the list of ingredients, but I don't see it mentioned in the instructions. You must add it to the milk? It looks milky in the photo. Thank you for the recipe....I'll be giving it a try!

  2. Hi! This definitely looks interesting! Just wanted to let you know that your directions don't say what to do with the milk or the butter (though I'm assuming they get added to the pot of water).