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 Salad, Raspberry Pretzel Salad, and Deviled Egg Potato Salad to your summer cookout menu!
Best Corn on the Cob Recipe
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!
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.
Boiled Corn Ingredients
- Ears of corn with husks and silk removed
- Lemon juice
How to Boil Corn on the Cob
- Fill a large pot about ¾ of the way full with water and bring it to a boil.
- Add in milk, butter, sugar and lemon juice, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- Gently place the ears of corn into the boiling water and bring the water back to a boil.
- Cover the pot with a lid and turn off the heat. Let the corn cook for 6-10 minutes until tender.
- Serve with additional butter, salt, and pepper.
When is corn on the cob 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 to serve with Boiled Corn on the Cob
Boiled corn on the cob is that iconic food of summer. It’s the perfect addition to any backyard bar-b-q. I love a good Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Dressing or a Deviled Egg Potato Salad right alongside a good burger or amazing ribs that fall off the bone or the juiciest smoked brisket. Summer grilling is the best time of year!
How to store Boiled Corn
If there are any leftover ears of corn, it’s best stored when fully wrapped in tin foil and then placed in an airtight container. They can be stored in the fridge for three to five days.
Boiled Corn on the Cob FAQs
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.
You will want the water to be boiling before placing the corn into the pot. Especially with my corn on the cob recipe, you want to make sure the water is boiling so the sugar is fully dissolved before adding the corn.
The amount of time it takes to boil corn on the cob on average is 3-5 minutes. But, depending on your preference it can be longer or shorter! Depends on how crispy you want your corn!
You can boil the corn in plain water, nothing added but it is so much better when the water is doctored up a bit! For example I put milk, butter, sugar, and a little bit of lemon juice in my water and it brings out the best flavor in the corn! It really does make a big difference!
More corn recipes
- Easy Creamy Corn Casserole
- Moist Cottage Cheese Cornbread
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn Dip
- Easy Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Perfectly Moist Cornbread Recipe
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn Recipe
- How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Grilled Corn Salad
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Best Boiled Corn on the Cob
- 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
- 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.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • New Jersey • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin
Reader questions and reviews
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!
Thank you! I don't know how I missed that!
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).
How in the world did I miss that? Thank you!
What does the milk accomplish?
Milk just seems to sweeten and tenderize the corn.
When I added the milk and lemon juice, the milk curdled. That is how one can make buttermilk in a pinch.