To Grill or to Boil? What’s the Best Way to Cook Corn on the Cob?

To Grill or to Boil? What’s the Best Way to Cook Corn on the Cob?

If you ask someone their favorite summer vegetable, there’s a good chance they’ll answer corn on the cob. In fact, according to, more than 91 percent of Americans say corn is one of their favorite vegetables. It’s sweet, juicy, and deliciously crunchy, so it’s no surprise it’s a popular staple at picnics, cookouts, and just at home, too. There are many different ways to cook corn on the cob, but if you’re wondering which is the best, you’ve come to the right place.

What’s the best way to cook corn on the cob?

Corn on the cob is the culinary term for a fresh ear of maize (corn) that is still attached to the cob—that’s the central inedible core that holds all of the kernels together. It’s often covered in green leaves called husks, but these are usually removed before cooking. (Fun fact: the corn on the cob you’ll find in the grocery store or farmers’ markets is usually sweet corn, which is harvested when the kernels are at their peak tenderness and sweetness. Field corn, on the other hand, is usually used for animal feed.)

When it comes to cooking corn on the cob, we hate to say it, but the best way really depends on your tastes and needs. There is no definitive answer here (sorry!).

If you’re looking for a simple, quick way to cook corn on the cob, for example, one of the best options is to boil it in water with a little salt, which only takes around five minutes. The texture is still tender, and the flavor is still pleasantly sweet. Another fast option is to microwave the corn, which is arguably the most hassle-free method.

However, if you prefer smoky corn on the cob, the best cooking method is grilling, which helps to caramelize the kernels, giving it a nice smoky, charred flavor and a crispy texture. You could also roast it in the oven to create a similar effect.


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Is corn on the cob good for your health?

If you’ve ever looked down at the toilet bowl after pooping and seen a small yellow kernel of corn in there, you’re not alone. This happens to most of us who eat corn on the corb. But it’s a common misconception that this means our bodies haven’t benefited from eating corn. The digestible parts of the corn are absorbed, while the cellulose (that yellow external part) is excreted.

Corn is actually good for digestive health due to all of the fiber it contains, which helps to promote a healthy gut. It also contains vitamin C, B vitamins, and folate, as well as magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. Plus, it also contains two potent antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin. Research suggests these compounds are beneficial for eye health and may help reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Grilling cornUnsplash

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5 vegan recipes to serve with corn on the cob

When it’s smothered with plenty of vegan butter and your favorite seasoning, corn on the corb is a side dish that’s hard to beat. But what do you serve it with? We’ve got a few ideas—find some of our favorites below.

VegNews.BarbecueBurger1Quarry Books

1 Spicy Ancho-Spiced Barbecue Burgers With Caramelized Onions

If you’re grilling some corn, we highly recommend laying these smoky, spicy patties from the Veggie Burger Atelier cookbook on the barbecue next to them. The flavors from the ancho chile powder and barbecue sauce would complement the natural sweetness of corn on the cob beautifully.
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VegNews.EggplantHotDog3Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer

2 Smoky Grilled Eggplant Vegan Ballpark Hot Dogs

Who says grilling has to be a meat-focused meal? Combine these eggplant hot dogs with corn on the cobs for an ultra-nutritious cookout dinner. But it’s more than nutrient-rich, this combination is also delicious, thanks to the tender, meaty texture of the grilled eggplant and its satisfying contrast with the crispy, juicy kernels of the corn.
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3 Chickpea Salad With Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

The crunchy vegetables in this tasty chickpea salad provide the perfect contrast to the tender, juicy kernels of corn on the cob. Plus, the lemon garlic vinaigrette dressing adds a nice bright, zesty, and refreshing flavor, which is perfect for a light summer meal.
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VegNews.SweetAndSourSeitanRibsWade Hammond

4 Sweet and Sour Vegan Ribs With Lemongrass Bones

We challenge meat lovers to turn down these deliciously juicy vegan ribs, complete with lemongrass bones. Made with seitan, they’re the perfect cookout entree to impress your friends. Plus, the sticky, glazed exterior of the ribs will pair beautifully with buttery, succulent corn on the side.
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VegNews.SweetPotatoBreakfastBoats.RecipeFrugal Vegan

5 Loaded Southwestern Sweet Potato Boats

There’s no doubt that the zesty, spicy flavors of these sweet potato boats, which are loaded with ingredients like black beans, salsa, cumin, and cayenne pepper, will complement the natural sweetness of corn on the cob. It’s a match made in plant heaven.
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For more on plant-based cooking, read:

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