Fresh corn is one of summer’s most loved vegetables. Sweet, crisp and endlessly versatile, it’s the side dish to some of your favourite summer meals. And we have all the tips you need to enjoy it, from husking to cooking.
Buy the best
There are a few telltale signs of freshness to look for when buying corn.
- The silk sticking out of a cob should be slightly damp and brown. Black and dry silk indicates an older cob.
- Give the cob a gentle squeeze. If the kernels are plump and juicy, the cob is a winner.
- Don’t husk the corn in store. It’s considered a social faux pas, as some believe exposing the kernels promotes the loss of the corn’s natural sweetness.
Husking corn was once a difficult process that was necessary to get at the sweet kernels. Not anymore! Simply husk and then rub the cob with a tea towel to remove the remaining silky fibres. Watch how it’s done in our video.
Free the kernels
Behold a culinary trick so cool it can be done in front of an audience! To keep the corn stable and the kernels from flying when cutting them from a cob, wedge the wider end of the cob into the middle of a bundt pan. Firmly grasp the narrow end of the cob and use a paring knife to slice downwards. The best part — the kernels fall neatly into the bundt pan, which makes them easy to scoop up. This trick is great for any recipe that calls for fresh corn and for those who aren’t fans of eating the corn straight off the cob.
Now that the corn is prepped, it’s time to get cooking! Here are some basic preparation methods.
Grilled When it comes to cooking corn on the barbecue, it’s all a matter of taste. Each of these methods creates a different flavour and texture.
- In the husk – Soak unhusked corn cobs in water for about an hour before placing them on the barbecue. (The wet husk will steam the kernels and protect them from charring.) Grill for 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat for perfectly steamed kernels that are plump and sweet.
- Wrapped in foil – Remove the husks and place each cob on a piece of aluminum foil. Top with flavoured butter (and any other add-ons you like, such as herbs, bacon bits or sliced green onions), then wrap them up tightly and pop them on the grill for 20 to 30 minutes on medium heat. This results in great flavour infused into every sweet, juicy bite.
- Right on the grill – For smokey flavour, grill husked corn directly on the grill for about 10 minutes, turning frequently The kernels will caramelize and get slightly crispy but should not be completely charred.
Roasted Don’t have a grill? No problem. Roast corn in the oven. Much like grilling, husked corn can be roasted in or out of foil. Roast foil-wrapped corn for 25 minutes at 450°F. Unwrapped corn can be roasted for 45 minutes at 400°F.
Boiled Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and gently place husked corn in the water. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Remove cooked corn from the water and serve.
Featuring sides, toppers and mains, our collection of recipes will have you enjoying corn all summer long.
Roasted Corn Relish: Husked corn, sweet bell peppers, jalapeños, green onions and lime are grilled to perfection and tossed with cilantro paste, lime juice and salt.
Bacon-Wrapped Barbecued Corn: There are plenty of summer foods that benefit from being wrapped in bacon. Corn is no exception.
Creamy Curried Corn Relish: Rediscover your love for creamed corn with this fresh, curry-spiked relish. It makes a great burger topper or side for grilled chicken.
Layered Corn, Black Bean & Rice Salad: Fans of layered taco dip will flock to this salad. Ready in 25 minutes, it’s a pretty summer salad than makes an impressive potluck contribution.
Shrimp Boil with Sausage, Potatoes & Corn: If there’s one meal with the power to transport taste buds to the East Coast, this is it — casual, communal and guaranteed to put people at ease.
Grilled Herb Butters: Corn on the cob purists swear by boiled corn slathered in a healthy dose of butter. Break from tradition and whip up one of these flavoured butters.