How Long You Should Really Boil Corn on the Cob for Perfectly Sweet Ears

The farmers' markets are busy stocking their stalls with corn, just in time to kick off summer and Memorial Day weekend! The time has finally come for cookouts, picnics and outdoor BBQs—all of which call for corn on the cob. Now's a great time to take advantage of the fresh produce that's available at these outdoor markets (and your local grocery stores) because you can only get your hands on the best cobs from May through September.

Planning on having a backyard barbecue this weekend and wondering how long to boil corn on the cob? Ask the farmer how recently the corn was picked. When corn is harvested, the natural sugars start to turn to starch. You want to get the corn at its freshest moment to retain the milky juices in the kernels. Once you know, boiling and cooking corn on the cob is the easy part.

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How Long to Boil Corn on the Cob

The answer to how long to boil ears of corn is a general rule of three to five minutes. You want to shuck the corn and remove the husks first, however. The fresher the corn, the shorter amount of time you boil the corn because really fresh corn just needs a quick drop in boiling water. Be sure you have a pot large enough to accommodate the number of ears of corn you are preparing.

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How to Cook Corn on the Cob

When you bring a pot of water to a boil for a spaghetti dinner you generously salt the water for flavor, before you add the pasta. Not with corn. Salt in the water can cause the tender corn kernels to toughen, which you don't want to do to that beautiful ear you brought home from the market. Add the salt when the corn is removed from the water and drained. You can add a little sugar to the water to enhance the sweetness of the corn.

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How to Flavor Corn on the Cob When Boiling

Another trick to super delicious corn on the cob involves milk and butter. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Now add one cup of whole milk and a stick of butter. The milk helps bring out the sweetness and the butter will add flavor. How can you go wrong with a stick of butter in anything?! Pull the corn ears from the pot with kitchen tongs after five minutes and cover with aluminum to keep warm until ready to serve.

Corn on the cob is one of the greatest food pleasures of summer dining. It's the perfect partner on a plate for that burger that just came off the grill—or even solo by itself. You will never mess up how long to cook corn on the cob with these foolproof tips. Happy Memorial Day!

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