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How to Tell When Corn on the Cob is Done?

How to Tell When Corn on the Cob is Done?

Although preparing corn is not rocket science. However, it does take a little skill to prepare perfectly cooked corn. 

It does not matter whether you are boiling corn in a large pot on the stove, roasting your ears of corn in the oven, or grilling it on your portable pellet grill.

You have to cook the corn just right to get those juicy, tender kernels that are loaded with flavor. 

Part of cooking corn to perfection involves knowing how to tell if corn is done. However, before we discuss how to determine when corn is done, let’s discuss overcooking corn. 

Can You Overcook Corn On The Cob?

Corn seems like the one food that can’t be overcooked. You can cook corn for an hour, and it will still remain juicy, right? Wrong. 

Just like any other food, corn can be overcooked. Overcooking corn will lead to chewy hard kernels instead of juicy, buttery kernels. 

How Long Are You Supposed To Cook Corn On The Cob

How long to cook corn depends on the cooking method. For example, only takes 4 to 5 minutes to boil corn. In contrast, grilling corn on the cob takes 15-20 minutes. 

How To Tell When Corn On The Cob Is Done 

If you want perfectly buttery, juicy corn on the cob, then you got to remove it from the heat at the right time. Use these 4 methods to know if your boiled con on the cob is ready.

Cooking Time

Sometimes you can get distracted and forget you are cooking corn on the cob. Depending on the cooking method, you can set a timer.

It’s a gentle reminder to remind you that your corn on the cob is done cooking. 

If you are boiling corn, it will only take 3-5 minutes if the water is boiling when you add the corn.

In contrast, it will take 10 minutes to cook if you add the corn to the water before it boils. In contrast, if you decide to toss the corn on your portable pellet grill, it will take 15-20 minutes to grill corn. 

Paring Knife Test 

You can also use the paring knife test to determine if your corn is cooked. Simply poke the corn kernels with the tip of a paring knife. 

The corn kernels should be tender enough that the paring knife slides in without any resistance.

However, the corn kernels should not be mushy or tough as it is a sign that the corn is probably overcooked or undercooked. 

Taste Test

You can also taste the corn. If the corn is tender, slightly soft, and crisp, the corn is done. 

Keep in mind everyone like their corn on the cob cooked a little differently. You may prefer a softer or harder texture. So, cook your corn for a shorter or longer period if desired. 

Moisture Levels

The moister method is a little trickier than the other methods. Lift the corn on the cob out of the boiling water.

If the corn on the cob dries quickly, it is cooked. However, if the corn on the cob remains wet, it needs to be cooked longer.

The concept behind the moisture method is that when the heat pierces the interior of the corn, it becomes hot enough to evaporate moisture quickly.

Undercooked corn on the cob cannot cause moisture to evaporate quickly. 

How To Tell If Roasted Corn On The Cob Is Done 

Roasted corn on the cob is slightly different from roasted corn on the cob. Roasted corn on the cob develops a golden-brown color.

This is not a sign that the corn is overcooked. The browning will intensify the corn’s sweet flavor.

You can also use the paring knife test to determine if corn on the cob is cooked.

The corn kernels should be tender and burst. If the corn kernels are hard, the corn on the cob is overcooked. 

How To Boil Corn on the Cob

All of this talk about corn on the cob probably has you craving those sweet kernels right now. Luckily, it’s super easy to cook corn. Besides a pot of boiling water, all you need is fresh corn. 

Depending on the size of your family, as long as you use a large pot, it should be enough to feed a lot of people. The key is to keep the ears of corn submerged in the water. 

To cook the corn, remove the husk and silk from each ear of corn. Ensure you remove all of the silk from the corn; the thin little strands can stick to the corn.

Discard the husks and the silk. While you are removing the husk and silk, add water to your pot and set it over medium-high heat. 

Once the water starts boiling, carefully lower the corn into the boiling water. Cook the corn on the cob for 3-5 minutes until the kernels are tender and slightly golden. 

If your corn gets cooked before the rest of your meal is finished, you can turn off the stove and let the corn sit in hot water.

The hot water will keep the corn warm until you are ready to serve it. 

Next, all that’s left to do is eat the corn. Remove it from the water, place it onto a platter and serve it with a few pats of butter, salt, and pepper. 

Final Thoughts

Cooking corn is more complex than adding it to a pot of boiling water. The kernels will become tough and chewy if you overcook corn on the cob. Worst of all, the corn will lose its delicious, sweet flavor. 

On the other hand, if you undercook corn, it will be overly crunchy. Furthermore, the corn will not be heated all the way through, and no one likes unevenly cooked corn. 

This is why knowing how to tell if corn is done is so important. It is the only way to end up with perfectly cooked, sweet, juicy corn.