Summertime just wouldn’t be complete without sweet corn! There’s a couple of produce stands in our town that set up shop in late spring, which signals 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 Hacks For Corn On The Cob
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.
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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!
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!
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
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!)
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!
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?
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.)
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.
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!
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.)
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! :-)
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.