Cook corn on the cob and you’ve got a uniquely summer time treat. Fresh corn from the field brushed with melted butter is a strong child-food memory for me, and can be one for your children as well. If you’re lucky enough to get some fresh corn on the cob, how to cook it will be the difference between sweet success and starchy mess.
Don’t ever refrigerate corn on the cob. Under cold temperatures, sugar in the corn will turn to starches, robbing you of the sweet flavor of fresh corn on the cob. You may think that your corn is still fresh because it’s only been in the refrigerator for 24 hours, but this is enough time to make a cob from the field taste two weeks old.
Steaming is always better than boiling. If you submerge corn on the cob into a big pot of boiling water, you’ll have water that tastes like corn and corn that tastes like water. Rather than direct contact with the hot liquid where your fresh corn on the cob can lose flavor, add only a small amount of liquid to your stock pot. With a steamer basket or round wire rack, be sure the corn is suspended ABOVE the simmering liquid. To assure the steam cooks evenly, I often stand the ears of corn on end.
Your steamed corn on the cob is finished when it squirts. After a few minutes in the steam bath, I check for doneness by trying to burst one of the kernels on the corn. If the outer skin on the kernel is soft enough, and the inside cooked properly, it will burst with slight pressure from a finger.
This is my favorite way to approach corn on the cob and know how to cook it right. While this is not the only way, I feel it’s easier than cooking the corn while still in the husks, or wasting a whole bunch of tin foil wrapping each ear. If you want to cook corn on the cob and retain all the flavor and nutrients, a steaming method is the way to cook it right. Do you cook your corn with the husks still on? Do you prefer to clean and steam the corn like me? Let’s see which way is more popular by leaving a comment below: