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10 Corn On The Cob Hacks You Need To Try

Corn On The Cob Hacks

Summertime just wouldn’t be complete without sweet corn. There’s a couple of produce stands in our town that set up shop in early summer and start the countdown to corn season. And when the corn finally comes in, they have mountains of it for sale! As a lifelong lover of corn, it is a truly wonderful time of year. :-)

However, corn on the cob does require a certain amount of effort to prepare and eat, but I don’t think that should deter anyone from enjoying it regularly. So today, I thought I’d share some of my very favorite corn “hacks” to help make things a little bit easier!

If you have a tip or trick for corn that isn’t listed here, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post sharing your idea, and you and your comment could be featured in a future post!

10 Brilliant (And Delicious) Corn On The Cob Hacks

Corn On The Cob Hacks

1. Mess-Free Corn In Your Microwave

Here’s a super simple way to cook up an ear of corn in a hurry, without making a mess of your kitchen. Place an ear of corn (husk and all) on a microwave-safe plate. Put it in your microwave and cook for 4 minutes.

When the cooking is done, use an oven mitt or towel to hold the ear of corn steady. Use a sharp knife to cut off the bottom end of the corn, then squeeze near the top of the husk. The corn should slide right out, leaving the husk and silk behind! Add whatever toppings or seasonings you like and enjoy!

Mexican grilled corn

2. Make Elotes

Grilled corn (or “elote”) is a popular street food in Mexico. The corn is grilled and then smothered with a combination of crema, cheese, and spices. The result is a creamy, tangy, and delicious corn dish that you’ll never want to stop eating!

Check out my recipe for grilled street corn by following the link below. I won’t claim that this is the most authentic or traditional recipe, but my family and I really enjoy it! Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Related: How To Make Mexican Grilled Street Corn

3. Make Herb Butter

I don’t think I could ever get sick of good buttered and salted corn. It’s just not possible! But if you’re feeling like it might be nice to mix things up a little, why not make your own herb butter? It’s so easy to make, and the flavor of the fresh herbs makes a nice change of pace when it comes to your corn.

Learn how to make it by following the link below!

Related: Make Your Own Herb Butter

Corn On The Cob Hacks

4. Butter Using The Bread Method

One of the most vexing corn conundrums is how best to butter it. Rather than fumbling with a butter knife, many people prefer to roll their corn onto a stick of butter. But recently I learned about a method that I much prefer – using a piece of buttered bread.

Just wrap your buttered bread around the corn and twist a couple of times to spread the butter around. (And when your corn is perfectly buttered, you can pass it on for someone else to use, or just eat it as another side dish to your meal!)

Corn On The Cob Hacks

5. Butter Using The Boiling Method

This tip only really works for boiled corn, but it’s really easy and effective! When your boiled corn is just about done cooking, drop about 8 tablespoons of butter into the water. The butter will melt and float to the top of the pot. When the corn is done cooking, use a pair of tongs to pull it out, and it will emerge with a coating of butter already on it!

Corn On The Cob Hacks

6. Husk Handles For Grilling

Grilled corn is one of summer’s simplest pleasures, and it’s pretty simple to do. But you can make it even easier by eliminating the need for tongs or spatulas to move and flip your corn.

When you’re prepping corn for the grill, peel back the husk without removing it entirely. Remove and discard the silk from the corn, then use a piece of cooking twine to tie the husk together at the bottom of each ear of corn. Tying the husks together creates a handle on the end of your corn, which makes it much easier to move and flip your corn while grilling. Neat, right?

Related: This Weird Hack For Removing Corn Silk Works Like Magic

Corn On The Cob Hacks

7. Cleaner Cutting

When I’m cutting corn off the cob, I always turn to my trusty bundt pan for help. Place the bottom of your ear of corn into the hole in the center of the pan, then use your kitchen knife to carefully slice the corn away from the cob. The kernels will fall neatly into the pan (rather than landing on your countertop and bouncing all over the place!)

If you don’t own a bundt pan, you can easily create a similar system using two mixing bowls. Place a small bowl upside-down inside a large bowl, then rest your corn on the small bowl. (If the small bowl is sliding around, you can help keep it in place by placing a damp paper towel underneath it.)

Corn On The Cob Hacks

8. Save Some For Later

When sweet corn is in season, it’s so affordable and SO delicious! Take advantage of it by freezing some of that bountiful corn to enjoy later in the year.

Start off by cooking the corn in boiling water for 4 minutes, then transfer the corn to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Cut the corn away from the cobs (using the tip above, perhaps!) then spread the kernels out on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet into your freezer until the kernels are frozen, then transfer the kernels to a freezer bag. The corn will stay fresh and delicious for 6-8 months.

Corn On The Cob Hacks

9. Instant Pot Sweet Corn

Making corn is quick and easy in an Instant Pot! Place the metal trivet into the pot, then stack 4 ears of corn in a criss-cross arrangement. Pour 1 cup of water into the pot, then select the “Manual” option and set it for high pressure. Cook for 2 minutes, then use the Quick Release valve to release the pressure.

10. Cool Corn Gadgets

There are plenty of corn-related kitchen gadgets that can help you do everything from shucking and slicing, to buttering and eating.  Here are a few of the corn-y gadgets that we’ve tried!

Corn On The Cob Hacks

Kuhn Rikon Corn Twister

This 2-piece tool is designed to help you slice the kernels away from the cob. It’s easy enough to do with a kitchen knife, so this little gadget isn’t strictly necessary. However, I really couldn’t say no to it, because look how cute it is! (Corn gadgets that look like corn are apparently a weakness of mine.)

Corn On The Cob Hacks

Chef Craft Corn Cob Dish

These little corn cob dishes are another option for buttering corn. Just drop a couple of pats of butter inside and roll the corn around for complete butter coverage. Sure, nobody really needs a specific dish for buttering corn, but these are really inexpensive. So if you eat a lot of corn during the summer, I would say go for it! :-)

Corn On The Cob Hacks

Augsun Corn Holders

I’m sure you know about these little spiked handles for holding ears of corn, and you may already own a set. I like these ones because it came with 6 pairs, and they interlock which makes them harder to misplace/lose.

What’s your favorite way to eat corn on the cob?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • My husband and I like the microwave method the best, only we cut the stem end of the corn off before we put it in the microwave. Then you don’t have to handle the hot corn as much before eating!

  • My sister once told me she eats corn without cooking and so I tried it and I think it is delicious–it is sweet and you can or can not butter it but it really taste great to me simply with only cleaning it and eating it as is. Try it before you say you would never eat it this way–you may be surprised!

  • The buttered bread as well as the buttered water are awesome hacks! We will be trying both of those soon :) Also, it’s just too hot here in Central Texas to fire up the grill so we discovered using our air fryer. Husks removed, brush with EVOO, and cook at 400 for 10 minutes.

  • I worked at a farm store for 10 years and My Mom worked at the same one for almost 30 years and they grow all their own stuff anyway the easiest way we found to grill or even cook corn on a camp fire is to leave it in the husk soak it in water for at least 15 minuets to half an hour depending on how dry the husk is then put it right on the grill or on the grate over your camp fire turn every so often and by the time every thing else is cooked your corn should be done. Side note the husk will turn black but the corn inside the husk is not burning.

  • lately at the store i shop in , they have 4 0r 5 cobs on a tray for sale, they are already peeled
    so i just take one cob (i live alone) wrap it in a paper towel and microwave for 3-5 minutes, depending on
    how big it is , then eat it.
    i do , mic it fully dressed. but usually burn my fingers taking the leaves and stringy things out, so i prefer to peel before it goes in.
    thanks for being there. love this page of yours, there are so many ways to do things , that ours don’t know about.
    we thank you for taking the time and effort to tell us.

  • I HATE silking corn, so I don’t! For the last 30 years, I’ve been microwaving my corn. I have an oblong covered dish which will hold up to five ears (or any less). I husk only the outside leaves and break off the long, stalk end, trim the silky end off with scissors and put in the pan with 1/4 c. water. Microwave on High – 3 min per ear (ever how many you have). I wear rubber gloves and husk the hot ears at the table when ready to begin dinner. All the silks will slide off with the husks, which keep it piping hot. We use the Tupperware Butter-Up which holds butter and salt, easy to pass. LOVE IT!

  • I’ve always preferred boiling corn on the cob…and once its done, I leave it in the broth for a few minutes after adding a cup or so of milk to the broth! After removing the corn, I simply can’t let that amazingly tasty broth go to waste…I use it as a base for potato soup! :) Thanks for sharing all of your hard work, Jillee…you ROCK! :

  • I use saved wine bottle corks to store the corn handles; just push the ends into the cork. Its easy, you don’t loose any and keeps your drawers organized.
    To butter the corn, place your butter/margarine on the scoop of a fork then rub the corn with it.

  • I have used your microwave hint several times now! It works great and makes corn on the cob for one easy and enjoyable. I love your site and always turn to you first when I need help with something.

  • Love our instant pot pressure cooker for making sweet corn, and the bonus is that if there are any uneaten ears I just slice the corn from the cob, measure about 2 cups into a freezer bag, add 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar and 2 Tablespoons of water. Seal the bag, squish it all together, date the bag and throw it into the freezer for quick winter heat and serve ( I add a pat of butter when I reheat it in the micro)… kids’ favorite at grandma’s house!

  • Our method for grilling corn it to remove a couple outer layers of husk & peel back just enough to remove the big bunch of silk at the top, then close it up. We then put the ears into a cooler or large sink and soak for 15-20 minutes. Put the corn on the grill medium high heat, give it a 1/3 turn every 10 minutes. The moisture from the soaking steams the corn. Take off the grill and with an “ovglove” pull back the husk & wrap a paper towel around it to hold. We melt butter into a sauce pan, stick the end of the corn into the pan & use a brush to butter the ear. My family has been doing this since I can remember and I’m almost 70! Makes my mouth water just writing this! :-)

  • Another good way of freezing the corn is to leave the husk on. When you go to cook it leave it in the husk and either cook it in the oven or barbeque.

  • If you put the butter in the boiling water *before* you put the corn in, you’ll get more butter on your corn… the oily butter sticks to the dry corn. The butter will slide off of the corn if it’s already wet, because as we all know, oil and water don’t mix. (I was very proud of knowing this trick for so long, hahaha!)

    Also, *never* add salt to the water you boil corn in. It won’t make a real noticeable difference in how long it takes the water to boil. But! Add sugar to the water, because it not only will make your corn noticeably *less* tough, it also helps with the corn’s natural sweetness!

  • OMG, I appreciate these tips and ideas so much that I was almost in tears. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you soooo much. I will be implementing these into the rest of our summer and then some.

  • For my two-person household, I prep the corn by removing all the “stuff”, and trimming it so it’s ready to cook. I insert the little cob-holders (plastic crew-shaped), but the cob in a corn-on-the-cob similar to the one shown in the buttering method above. I then wrap the body of the dish with waxed paper, leaving the ends uncovered and open. Microwave for 3 minutes . . . perfect every time! Then I use the buttering method above – ad the butter to the little dish, roll the cob to cover, add S&P . . . and thoroughly enjoy!

  • Your ideas are great. I have been using the bundt pan method for a while and it makes the task so easy. I have only little hint, I used the bunt pan but I use an electric knife for removing the kernels. When corn is in season I buy quite a bit and freeze in the appropriate size portions. I have fresh corn all year until the next crop.

    I love your you on a daily basis.

  • When quick-freezing berries and veg in a single layer on a cookie sheet, I find that laying some waxed paper on the cookie sheet first prevents the food from sticking. This is a great method for delicate items like raspberries that are easily crushed if frozen in containers. After a couple of hours, just pop them in a labelled zip-lock, and away you go!.

  • Did you know that you can buy corn from the farmers market, put it in freezer bags and freeze it and pull it out whenever you want and cook it and it tastes just as fresh as the day you put it into the freezer. You don’t have to blanch it you don’t have to husk it you don’t have to do anything to it. When you bring it home you can put it in a paper bag and roll it up or you can put it in plastic bags. I’ve been doing this for probably 20 years and have never had any regrets.

    • I do that too! I found it makes the corn really juicy to leave the husks on and grill the frozen corn. Spmetimes i soak them with the husks on in water first to thaw them a bit.

  • Love all the suggestions….I only wish that you would give us a “Print” option so that we can capture all the great ideas from each day’s post.

  • We recently made “Cooler Corn” We simply husked the corn, cut off the ends, and laid the corn (about 36 ears) in a igloo cooler. We then poured boiling water over the corn, just enough to cover it and closed the lid. We let the corn sit in the water for about an hour, drained the water and had perfectly cooked corn on the cob. The cooler (our kids kept calling it the hot-ter) kept the corn hot for 3-4 hours at the 4th of July picnic we attended. Super easy way to make a large amount of corn for a crowd!! Tasty!!

      • In my family we use a metal pipe with one end ground to a kind of circle shaped knife edge and place one end of the corn cob on a chopping block withjn one of those bottomnless cake tins and then drive the pipe down until it slices all the kernals off , then scrape the kernals into a bowl or what ever using the bottomless cake tin (or something similar ) the shucked cobs are kind of jammed inside the pipe but if you’re doing more than one just place over the next cob and shuck the next and so on – save the smallest cob for last and it’ll be easier to get out .

  • If you have a lot of corn to cut off the cob, a corn cutter is an awesome tool. My husband drove a nail through two pieces of wood stacked on top of each other. I stand the corn cob on the nail and slice down. Goes so fast and easy. I do blanch the corn first, otherwise it is extremely messy.

  • Last year I froze corn the way my grandmother used to: I cut it off the cob BEFORE cooking. Then I “parboiled” with a bit of butter and coconut oil. The pan does get sticky from all the natural sugar, so I had a couple of tablespoons of water. It was a lot easier than cooking all those ears in water.

  • We have been grilling corn all summer. Break them in half after husking. Lay them in tin foil, put some butter and salt on them, and wrap them up securely. Grill for about 13 – 15 minutes (turning halfway). Be careful opening up the foil, it’s hot! But completely delicious!!

  • A dear Southern friend boils her corn on the cob in milk. I haven’t tried but going to and will update. Has anyone ever done this method? I’m a Corn Belt girl (Illinois) and have never heard of this!

  • I have a nuwave I was hesitant to cook ears of corn on it fair that it might burn but I tried it anyway and it came out delicious. The natural juices and flavor tasted so good I’ll never boil or steam my corn again. All it took was 8 minutes.

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