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How to Cook Fresh Corn

How to cook fresh corn in a pressure cooker, air fryer, smoker, grilled, and how to boil corn too so kernels gets tender but not mushy! Here are our tips. 

how to cook fresh corn

Wondering how to cook fresh corn so it’s tender but not mushy or overcooked? Here are the 5 ways to cook ears of corn on the cob so you can try them all and decide which one is best! Little tips and cooking hacks we use to make every kernel perfect. The best vegetable side dish ever. (affiliate links present)

  • Are you still boiling your corn on the stovetop the “old fashioned” way??!! Please. Stop!

It’s 2019 and there are 4 other ways to try cooking corn that are WAY better than that. AND you can save water while you’re at it because the most liquid needed is 1.5 cups. 

Yes. Seriously.

They are not only faster by a long way but keep the kernels nice and crispy but tender in the middle. A game changer if you ask me and I have never ever brought a pot of water to a boil to cook this ever again. This is where you need to start.

How to Smoke Corn on the Cob 2

What is the easiest way to remove corn kernels?

This may be handy to have or necessary if you have kids. Yes, we had to do this for years and years when my girls had their braces and that was a no no. This is how you do it.

  1. Cut the top 1.5″ off the tip of the corn as you see above.
  2. Husk the corn and discard the silks.
  3. Put your cooked or uncooked cob on a cutting board with the cut end facing down.
    1. Better yet! Use a large bowl with a smaller bowl in the center and put small end of cob on the inner bowl. 
    2. Slice kernels off as seen below but they’ll fall in the bowl and there’s less mess/waste.
  4. Hold the other end with your hand.
  5. Using a sharp knife starting at the top of the cob and slowly moving your way down.
  6. The kernels will fall off on to the cutting board.
  7. Then you can scoop them up and serve them on plates, or cook corn kernels if they are still uncooked.

I highly suggest using a bowl so the little pieces don’t fall all over your countertop but a place will do if that is all you have.

how to remove corn kernels 2

Ok, now for the top 4 ways of how to cook fresh corn!

Air fryer corn on the cob is so easy and NO water is required for the kernels to get tender.

  • So we use our Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and air fryer machine to cook our fresh sweet corn.
  • Any brand will do.
  • This takes less than 10 minutes total.
    • no need to wait for water to bring to a boil
  • Kernels come out slightly tender but still have a nice “crunch” to them.
  • Great method if you want to throw some parmesan cheese on them and lightly brown that.
  • You can only really fit 3 full cobs at a time.

Now if you have a really large model, which they offer now, you may be able to fit more. I typically break mine in half no matter what anyway because sometimes that is all you need, and they fit better anyway like that.

perfect corn on the cob

Now on to how to smoke corn on the cob and why we love it this way.

First off we LOVE making smoker recipes when the weather warms up. We only get a good 4-5 months of great sunny warm weather so every chance we get during those months you can always find us outside. You definitely have to soak it up since the rest of the year you’ll find flurries or shoveling a lot of snow off your decks.

  • You can throw these on with your main dish on your pellet grill/smoker or electric smoker and everything will be done around the same time.
  • It’s easy to test how tender the kernels are along the way. Just pull back the end of the husks and poke with a fork. Keep on the grill if your meat needs more time or you want them softer.
  • Kernels remain nice and firm but still tender at the same time.
  • Removing the husks is easy once they’re done.
  • No prep necessary since you cook corn in the husk.

Traeger corn is killer I tell you.

How to Smoke Corn on the Cob

Of course our Instant Pot corn on the cob is SO easy!!

Once I made it this way there was NO going back to boiling water again.

  • Using your pressure cooker it takes just 3 minutes!
  • You can of course use a Ninja Foodi, Crock Pot Express or Mealthy to do the same thing.
  • It allows your vegetables to maintain all their nutrients vs. the loss when you boil them in water.
  • Kernels get tender but not mushy, they maintain a nice texture.
  • Add the corn fresh or frozen and it works well either way.
  • Instant Pot vegetable cook times can be found here for frozen and fresh corn

Now how to save leftover corn is not too hard. Unlike other veggies they keep their texture and don’t get too soft when in the fridge. I mean you want to eat it within the next day or two but kept in a sealed container or baggie you can reheat it well in the microwave. Add a bit of butter to loosen it back up with a sprinkle of salt too.

pressure cooker corn

The last two are…..

#4 – This is how to grill corn

#5 – Of course you can always boil corn on the cob too.

  • Just fill a large pot with hot water and put it on the stovetop on med/high heat
  • Once it starts boiling add salt and drop the corn in without husks or silks attached
  • Cover the pot
  • Boil for 10 or more minutes, or until kernels are as tender as you’d like
    • test with a fork
  • Add butter salt and pepper and enjoy

BIG negative is this takes a good 30 minutes to do.


What do you use corn for?

Well there are TONS of great corn recipes too you should try like:

Next check out all the ways to cook brussel sprouts!!

Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!

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Tuesday 4th of May 2021

My mother-in-law showed me a quick and easy way to cook corn. Take 1-3 ears of fresh corn. Do not shuck. Put in the microwave and cook for 4-5 minutes on high. Take out with pot holders/oven mitts. Let cool til you can peel back shuck without burning your hands. The silk will come right off. You may have to adjust timing for your microwave but once you figure out what works for your microwave, you'll have great corn and nothing to clean.

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