How to Cook Corn on the Cob on a Stovetop

Fresh ears of corn provide a slightly sweet vegetable side dish for summer meals. Corn on the cob begins turning up in supermarkets in late spring, but the summer months are prime corn season. The later ears of corn are often more tender and sweet. Cooking the corn on the stove top is a simple preparation method that anyone can handle. The most difficult aspect of boiling ears of corn is knowing when to remove them from the water to prevent overcooking.

Step 1

Fill a pot about three-fourths full of water. Add a few pinches of salt. Bring the water to a full boil.


Step 2

Peel away the husks of the ears of corn. Remove the corn silk that stays on the corn. Break off or cut off the stem if it is still attached to the cob.

Step 3

Lower the ears of corn into the salted, boiling water, being careful not to splash. Place the lid onto the pan of corn. Wait for the water to being boiling again.


Step 4

Set the timer for between three and five minutes. Check the corn to see if the kernels are tender. Continue cooking if they aren't tender enough, but avoiding overcooking, which can make the corn tough.

Step 5

Pull out the ears of corn you will serve right away with a pair of tongs. Allow some of the water to drip off of the corn on the cob before placing it on the serving platter. Spread butter on the corn before serving.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot

  • Salt

  • Tongs


Add a pinch of sugar or a pat of butter to the water as you cook the corn for additional flavor. You may need to cook the corn longer if it wasn't recently picked.