How Long to Boil Corn: The Ultimate Guide

The Challenge of Boiling Corn:

Hello Challenger! We all know that corn is a staple food across the globe. However, cooking corn to the perfect tenderness has always been a challenge. In this comprehensive guide, we will unveil all the secrets on how to boil corn and achieve a perfect tender texture.


Corn is a delicious treat that can make your mealtime extraordinary. However, boiling corn can be daunting, especially if you are not sure how long to cook it. Some people prefer boiled corn to be crunchy while others enjoy it tender, and the cooking time differs based on preference. Besides, corn is a delicate vegetable that requires vigilance during boiling to avoid overcooking or under cooking. In this article, we will show you how to cook corn to perfection, giving you the desired texture and flavour.

Understanding Corn:

Before delving into how long to boil corn, let us understand the anatomy of corn. Corn is composed of the husk or cover, the silk, and the cob. While the husk and silk serve as a protective layer for the kernels, the cob contains the corn grains or kernels. The kernels are the most important part of the corn as they contain all the nutrients and are the part that we eat.

The Benefits of Boiled Corn:

Boiled corn has numerous health benefits. Corn is a rich source of magnesium, potassium, and fibre. Magnesium is essential in regulating blood sugar, maintaining bone health, and boosting the immune system. Potassium aids in reducing blood pressure and preventing heart disease, while fibre promotes digestion and helps in maintaining a healthy weight.

The Types of Corn:

There are various types of corn, including sweetcorn, dent corn, popcorn, flint corn, and waxy corn. The most commonly boiled corn is sweetcorn, and it comes in yellow, white, and bi-colored. Each type of corn has its unique cooking requirements, but in this article, we will focus on boiling sweetcorn to perfection.

The Basic Requirements:

Before you start boiling corn, you need to have the basic requirements. These include:

Ingredients Quantity
Corn As many ears as needed
Water Enough to cover the corn
Salt 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1 teaspoon

How to Boil Corn:

Let’s dive into the core of the matter, how to boil corn. You can boil corn in three ways; on the cob, off the cob, or microwaving. In this article, we will focus on the on-cob method as it is the most common.

The Step-by-Step Process:

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to boil corn to perfection:

Step One:

Start by selecting fresh and high-quality corn. Ensure the ears are firm and have no discoloration, mold, or soft spots.

Step Two:

Peel the ears of corn, removing the husk and silk. If you are not sure how to remove the silk, use a soft brush to remove the fine hair-like fibres.

Step Three:

In a pot, bring enough water to a boil to cover the corn. Add salt and sugar to enhance the flavour.

Step Four:

Adding milk when boiling corn is optional. If you prefer adding milk, add a half-cup of milk to the boiling water.

Step Five:

If you are boiling the corn on high heat, place the ears of corn into the boiling water and cover the pot with a lid. If the heat is moderate, let the water come to a boil and put the corn in the pot.

Step Six:

Cover the pot with a lid and let the corn boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. The boiling time depends on the sweetness and tenderness of the corn. The older or less fresh the corn, the longer it takes to boil.

Step Seven:

After boiling, remove the corn and place it in cold water or an iced bowl for about 30 seconds. This helps to stop the cooking process and keep the corn crunchy.

Step Eight:

Pat the corn dry with a towel or paper and serve immediately. Garnish with butter, pepper, and salt according to your preference.


1. How long does it take to boil sweetcorn?

The boiling time differs depending on the freshness and tenderness of the corn. Boiling sweetcorn can take between 5 to 10 minutes.

2. How do you know when boiled corn is done?

Boiled corn is done when it’s soft and tender. You can check it by inserting a toothpick at the tip of the cob.

3. Should I add salt when boiling corn?

Yes, adding salt to boiling corn enhances the flavour of the corn.

4. Can I boil corn on low heat?

Yes, you can boil corn on low heat. However, the boiling process will take longer.

5. Can I over boil corn?

Yes, you can over boil corn, resulting in a mushy texture.

6. Can I boil frozen corn?

Yes, you can boil frozen corn, but ensure that it’s fully thawed before boiling.

7. What other flavours can I add when boiling corn?

You can add butter, pepper or even herbs when boiling corn for added flavour.

8. Can I boil the corn without sugar?

Yes, you can boil corn without sugar, and it will still cook correctly. The sugar is only added to enhance the sweetness of the corn.

9. Do I need to remove the silk from corn?

Yes, removing the silk from corn is essential before boiling to prevent it from getting trapped in your teeth.

10. Can I eat boiled corn cold?

Yes, you can eat boiled corn cold, but it’s best served hot.

11. What is the best way to season boiled corn?

The best way to season boiled corn is by adding butter, salt, and pepper according to your preference.

12. Can I boil a variety of colored corn at the same time?

Yes, you can boil a variety of coloured corn at the same time. However, ensure that they are the same size for uniform boiling.

13. How can I store leftover corn?

If you have leftover boiled corn, you can store it in an airtight container and refrigerate. It can last for up to four days.


Boiling corn is easy and straightforward if you follow the above steps. Remember to select fresh and high-quality corn, abide by the boiling time, and take it out of the boiling water at the right time. With the added FAQS section in this article, all your questions about boiling corn should be well answered. We highly encourage you to try this at home and enjoy a perfectly boiled corn with your family and friends.


The information given in the article above is solely for informative purposes. The author and the website are not responsible for any damages caused by the adoption of the above procedures or recommendations. Readers should perform all procedures with caution and expert guidance.