Corn is a must-have summer vegetable. Hot, sweet, and slathered in butter—is there anything better to truly make it feel like summertime? We didn’t think so! So today we’re talking through the 4 ways to cook corn and sharing some helpful tips for each method. But before we get started, there’s one thing we must discuss—how to shuck corn!
First, cut just a bit of the stem-end of the corn on the cob off—approximately where the stem meets the first row of kernels. Then pop it in the microwave, husk and all, for about 30 to 60 seconds. Then pick up the uncut side of the corn and let the cob slide on out. You can remove any remaining silks with a wet paper towel, rubbing vigorously, or by giving it a quick scrub with a vegetable brush!
Now that we’ve covered that important topic, let’s talk cooking methods!
Tips for Boiling Corn
While it’s common practice to boil corn in salt water, it can actually toughen the corn! Instead, try adding a bit of sugar to the water to bring out the natural sweetness in corn. You can save the salt for when it comes time to serve it. Another way to bring out the sweetness? Add milk to the water!
Tips for Grilling Corn
There’s a big debate as to whether corn should be grilled husk on or husk off, and while both are great, there are some added benefits to cooking with the husk on. Without the husk, corn can cook faster, which means it may start to char well before the insides of the kernels become tender and juicy. Keeping the husk on helps to almost steam the corn while you’re cooking—just be sure to soak the corn before tossing it on the grill so the husk doesn’t catch on fire! If you still want a bit of char, try peeling just a few of the outer layers of husk off so that you still get the steamed effect but the flames get a chance to dance a bit closer to those sweet kernels of deliciousness.
And if you really want a pro-tip, before you grill the corn, peel back the husks, leaving them intact at the base, and de-silk the corn before pulling the husk back into place. Now you can enjoy the benefits of grilling the corn with the husk on without trying to peel those pesky hairs off of hot corn.
Tips for Making Creamed Corn
Making creamed corn can be very labor-intensive, but it’s a labor of love! One must-have tool is a corn cutter. They come in wood or stainless steel and can be purchased on Amazon or at your favorite retailers. Get one with an adjustable blade so you can adjust how deep the cutter goes. After you get all the kernels off (try not to get whole kernels), run your knife down the cob to get any remaining juice. Add butter, salt, and pepper, and then be sure not to overcook it. If it seems too dry after cooking, you can always add a bit of cream to it.
Want more tips for making creamed corn? Watch Paula make her homemade creamed corn recipe here.
Tips for Cooking Corn on the Cob in an Air Fryer
Cooking corn in the air fryer is so simple! Simply shuck the corn, spray it with cooking spray and add your desired seasonings. If you want to cook it in lots of butter or cheese, wrap your corn and all your butters and seasonings in tin foil prior to cooking. Depending on the size of your corn on the cob and your air fryer, it may work best to cut your corn cobs in half before placing it in the basket so you can fit more in it. Just be sure not to overcrowd the basket!
What’s your preferred way to cook corn? Do you have any tips we missed? Please share with us in the comments below.