How Long Should I Boil The Corn On The Cob For The Best Results?


9 Answers

Shane Richardson Profile
If your corn on the cob has been tough in the past then it is actually more likely that you have not boiled it long enough rather than too long.

The amount of time you boil corn on the cob really depends how soft you want it. For a really soft corn on the cob you should boil it for up to 10 minutes however you can reduce this time to around five or six minutes if you don't like it too soft.

To boil corn on the cob simply follow these steps:

  • Grab a large pan or pot that can easily hold the amount of corn on the cobs you are to boil
  • Fill the large pan with water and put it on the hob until it boils
  • Clean your corn on the cob with water
  • Put the corn on the cob in the boiling water and cover with lid
  • Boil for around five to 10 minutes, depending on how soft you like it
  • Remove the corn on the cob with tongs as it will be piping hot.
You can cook corn on the cob a number of ways and so if you are not truly satisfied with the taste when you boil corn on the cob then it could well be worth trying a different way.

You can cook corn on the cob by steaming it, grilling it on the barbeque or even doing it in the microwave. You can find instructions on how to cook corn on the cob these ways at
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Overcooking the corn will definitely toughen it.  On an electric stove, I have found it best to bring a large pot of water to a roaring boil on high heat.  (Do not salt the water because it will also toughen the corn.)  Put the corn in the pot and wait for the water to start boiling again.  Immediately cover the pot and turn off the heat.  Leave the covered pot on the burner for about 10 minutes then remove the corn and serve.
Corn that is not fresh will often be tough no matter how long or short a time it is boiled, and I have found it is more often the problem than the boiling time.  Corn with the husk removed is usually not as fresh as corn in the husk, and it is often tough.  Buy your corn with the husk on and look for fresh leaves and dry silk.
You might also consider using a microwave to cook your corn on the cob.  It is actually faster and healthier if you are cooking only a few ears.  It is what I do most of the time now.  Wrap the ears of corn in a damp paper towel.  You will have to experiment with your microwave and the number and size of ears of corn to determine the best time.  Somewhere around four or five minutes is a good place to start.  I even put some butter and salt on them before I wrap them, if I know I am going to serve them immediately.
Larry Patterson Profile
Larry Patterson answered
An old farmer, who I bought corn from once, told me that boiling corn dilutes the kernels with water.  He said it is best to steam it by putting a small amount of water in the bottom of a pan and placing something (a tin pie pan for instance with holes pouched in it) on the bottom of the pan and cook for about 4 minutes after starts boiling.  We did it that way for many years.  Now we just microwave and it tastes about the same.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Only 10 minutes after water starts boiling
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Kymm commented
I've found that wrapping it in foil with lots of butter and putting it on the grill is the best..
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
 You probably aren't boiling it long enough.
 Boiling time differs from stove to stove. Just boil it about 45 min. To 1 hour. then stick a fork in it to see if it is still tough. When you can pierce the corn with ease than it is done.
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Anonymous commented
Try it in the microwave oven, leave the leaves and silk on put it in for three min. Per ear, a great way to cook it for one or two people.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
When the water starts to boil, time for 2 minutes. Then, turn OFF the stove and put the lid on the pot and let set for 10 minutes. The corn will be tender and delicious, and you will not lose the nutritious value,
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
10 minutes, Thank You, I thought it was 7.
Janis Booth Profile
Janis Booth answered
Boiling kills the flavour. What we do is peel the leaves back,  remove the hair and then put some butter on the cob with a little seasoning, rewrap the leaves around the cob,  then roast it on the BBQ. Perfect results every time. Over cooking it will certainly make it tough if you boil it.

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