Corn on the Cob, 3 Ways

In the tradition of many a San Francisco restaurant, I wanted to experiment with Corn on the Cob three ways; grilled, microwaved and traditional 2-minute boil method. I was curious to see which was actually the best way, best being a combination of time + effort.

Grilled: The most time consuming of the three methods, grilling also provides the most depth of flavor. To prepare the ears of corn, peel back the husks, but do not remove. Remove all the silks and then pull the husks back up, covering the corn. Soak in a bowl of water for about 10-15 minutes, while you prepare the grill. Grill over moderate heat for about 15-20 minutes, until the husks are brown and crispy. Remove the cobs, shuck the corn and serve with butter. Alternate method – shuck corn completely and wrap in foil. Grill as above, until corn is hot. Peel off foil and serve.

Microwave: The easiest of the three methods, all you need to do it stick the whole ear of corn in the microwave, husks and all, and cook for 1-2 minutes on high. Remove (carefully!) and peel off husks and silks, which will come off quite easily. Even with the speed of preparation, this was not my favorite method, as the corn ended up a little on the chewy side. I like mine nice and crisp.

Boiling: This is the method I was raised on, which probably gives me a slight bias. Shuck the corn and remove the silks. Break cobs in half, if desired. Boil a pot of water, and drop the cobs in. Cook for 2 minutes, not a moment longer (some purists think 1 minute is sufficient). Remove with tongs, serve with butter. Kernels stay crisp and tasty and this is the way I like my corn!

I also experimented with smoked paprika and chili powder as additions with the butter, but I think my favorite is butter and salt.

How do you like your corn on the cob?

One comment

  1. What a timely post! I use the method that is similar to microwaving and grilling. Soak the whole ear in water for 30 min (weight it down, as it floats), and grill, turning for 20-25 min. This steams the corn (like microwaving) and it is so easy to peel off the husks; the silk comes off easily!

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