How Long Does it Take to Boil Corn on the Cob?

Corn tastes delicious slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt, but it’s also the key ingredient in many recipes. So when it comes to cooking it, just how long does it take to boil corn?

Sweet corn kernels can be cooked in many ways. But if you’re looking to boil corn, the recipe is straightforward. Read on to learn more about how long to boil corn on the cob and just how to boil it.

How long to boil corn on the cob


There aren’t significant indicators of how long to boil corn, but typically perfect cooked corn kernels should look bright yellow, plump, soft and juicy.

Generally, the fresher the corn on the cob, the less time it takes to cook, and during the summer – when fresh corn is in season – you don’t need much time. So, as a rule of thumb, fresh corn typically cooks faster than older corn, so keep that in mind and adjust cook times as necessary. In doubt, set a timer because if you let your corn overcook, the kernels can become tough. You can also stick a fork in it and see if it’s tender.

If you think this sounds too vague, a more precise answer is typically between 5 and 7 minutes. 

How to boil corn on the cob


Step one

Fill a large stock pot about half-full with water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add some peeled corn on the cob. Do not add salt to the water. The salt can toughen the corn.

Step two

Cover and return to a boil. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove the corn on the cob from the hot water and place it on a platter.

Step three

Peel an inch or two of the paper off one end of a cold stick of butter.

Step four

Hold onto the paper-covered end of the stick of butter and use it to easily butter the corn on the cob. Don’t forget to sprinkle it with salt.

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