It has been a while since we’ve done a recipe. And, it has been a while since we had a huge internet fight over something. Therefore, we will discuss:
how to cook corn on the cob!
First, you have to get some very fresh corn and do everything you can do to minimize the time from picking the corn to cooking the corn. Or, just go to the grocery store and get Genetically Modified Frankencorn. It will taste fine.
Then, decide which basic method you want to use. You can steam it (I have no idea how to do that), you can roast it (which we will not cover here, but it is a great way to cook corn on the cob), you can microwave it (I’ll have a hint or two for that below) or you can boil it. Here we will focus on boiling it.
The core of this recipe is simple: Drop husked corn on the cob into water that is at a full boil and cover the pot with the heat still on full blast. Let the water return to a boil (though it need not be to a fill roiling boil) and turn off the fire. In five or six minutes the corn will be ready, and since you turned the heat off and did not boil the crap out of the corn for several minutes, it will taste better than otherwise.
1) Put salt in the water. No one knows why, but a lot of people do this.
2) Add about a quarter cup of sugar per gallon of water, maybe more sugar. I don’t usually do this but many swear by it.
3) Just before the corn is about to boil, if you are only cooking four or five ears max, put the ears of corn on a plate in the microwave for about a minute, maybe 90 seconds. This warms up the cobs and allows the water to get back to a boil faster.
Microwaving Corn On The Cob
If you want to microwave the corn, there are a number of methods that are used, but the main problem is that straight microwaving can remove moisture. Here’s what I do. I break the ears in half and stand them up in a short straight sided bowl with a little water in the bottom of it, and cover the whole thing with plastic wrap. Then, I microwave it for five or six minutes on half power, then three minutes on full power. If the corn is not very very hot, I rearrange the ears a bit, recover, and give it another two minutes. Be careful to not burn yourself. I quickly add that this microwave method is fairly experimental for me. I usually use the boiling method.
Hat tip to Bruno Marino for the stop-the-boiling method. Bruno may be the best cook I’ve ever met, and he was trained by the CIA. He’s pretty good with a mass spectrometer, too.
Enjoy your corn.
More on cooking here.