How to cook corn 7 ways
Updated: Sep 6, 2020
A good feast of corn on the cob can’t be beat. But there are plenty of other ways to prepare this summer vegetable that will mix up meal times and be a hit with the whole family.
1. The Newcombe way
Our family method for cooking corn is technically a boiling/steaming combo - but this isn’t your grandma’s corn on the cob. Most people over boil their corn, which cooks off the natural sugars and leaves a tougher, less-sweet kernel.
We’ve been telling people for as long as we’ve been growing corn (so 30+ years) that this is the best way to prepare a classic cob:
1. Bring a couple of inches of water to a boil in a big pot
2. Add your shucked cobs of corn and cover for 3-5 minutes
3. Remove from the pot, pop on a platter, and serve
Yes, it’s literally that simple and that short. This method warms up the corn so you get that lovely melty butter, but doesn’t cook out the natural flavours. Every bite is sweet and tender. It’s also one of the fastest methods out there - perfect for people who need a hearty meal but don’t have as much time or a desire to cook on those hot summer days.
Disclaimer: this method is not actually called the Newcombe way - we can’t take credit for coming up with it. But it is our favourite way of cooking corn, and hey - the name has a certain ring to it.
2. Grilled corn on the cob
This method combines two staples of a summer cookout - corn and barbecuing! A nicely-grilled cob of corn not only tastes deliciously sweet and smoky, but it takes a great picture. What better way to impress all your friends on social media than with a gourmet-looking (and tasting) dinner?
There are two ways you can go about grilling cobs of corn.
With the husks
If you’re grilling your corn with the husks on, you will need to open up the husk, remove the skills, and close the husks again. Some people do choose to soak their corn in the husk before grilling for 10-20 minutes, but others don’t. Grill the corn on medium-low heat, turning about every 4-5 minutes until you’ve hit all sides of the corn (about 20-25 minutes in total). Remove from the grill, allow the corn to cool slightly, and add your favourite toppings (ours is butter).
Many people prefer this method because the husks provide protection against the direct heat from the grill, but they still get that smoky barbecue taste.
Without the husks
In the husks-off method, many professional chefs and food blogs recommend brushing the corn cob with a bit of melted butter or oil before placing directly on the grill. Rotate every 3-4 minutes to get even grilling. Your total cook time should be around 12-15 minutes. Remove from the grill, allow the corn to cool slightly, etcetera, etcetera.
Grilling corn isn’t an exact science - everyone’s grill cooks slightly differently, and you can adapt these methods. It may take a couple tries to find the method, cook time, and toppings that make your taste buds dance.
Sometimes you don’t even want to look at the oven, let alone turn it on, stand over it, and you know - cook. We feel that on a deep level. When that happens, the microwave is like a dear old friend - but you know, with a popcorn button. But avoid that button when you’re dealing with fresh corn. All you have to do is put the cobs (husks on) in a microwave dish and set the timer to 4 minutes. Once done, remove the dish and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to shuck.
Oven-roasted corn is a little more time consuming, but you don’t have to watch it as closely as you do with the other methods. Now there are several ways to oven-roast corn. You can do it in the husk, without the husk, without the husk in tinfoil, and by cutting the kernels off. There’s also a lot of recipes out there with different temperatures and different times that promise perfect roasted corn. While we haven’t tried them all, we do know that every oven is different. So are peoples’ tastes.
If you’re like us, we tend to ‘under roast’ our corn compared to others because we try to keep as much sugar as possible in the kernels. You may want a longer roast, and that’s totally fine! The best way to figure out what you want is to check your corn in stages and experiment with it. For example, set your oven to 375°F and then set timers for yourself. Try 16 minutes, rolling (or mixing kernels) halfway through. You can always cook something a little longer if it’s not quite where you want it.
If you want something more step-by-step, The Kitchn has an article on roasting corn that’s a great place to start →
5. Throw it in a chowder
Chowder is a classic Maritime dish - especially a hearty bowl of corn chowder. And what better way to make it than with fresh sweet corn? Now chowder isn’t typically a summer dish - but the great thing about our corn is that it’s easy to freeze in preparation for winter. Pro tip: you’ll want to do this earlier in the summer during peak corn season. This way you won’t risk running out of time and us running out of corn.
6. Bake it
Many savoury baking recipes use corn. An obvious example is cornbread. After you cut the kernels off the cob, look at some baking recipes that use fresh corn, and on a rainy day give them a try yourself!
7. Don’t cook it at all
A good cob of corn can be eaten right off the stalk. All the sugars are there, just waiting to be used. You can either chow down on a cob, or cut the kernels off. Mix them into a salad or a salsa to add a sweet touch.
Try all the ways with Newcombe’s sweet corn
No matter how you like your corn, that first bite will only taste as good as the cob you pick. Our corn varieties are hand-selected for their taste, and picked daily for quality and freshness.
For special orders of 5 dozen or more, email us at least 24 hours in advance.