How do you know when corn is done?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how do you know when corn is done?” with an in depth analysis of the reason that how do we know when corn is done?. Moreover, we will also discuss different methods of cooking corn.

How do you know when corn is done?

When the corn on the cob is fully cooked the yellow color of the corn is more intense. The kernels are plumper and more tender. You can test it by pricking a kernel with the tip of a sharp knife.

How much time do you boil corn?

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Carefully add the corn and return the water to a boil. Cook until the kernels are tender but still crunchy,  approximately around for four minutes.

Can you overcook corn?

Avoid cooking corn for too long. If you have super fresh corn which can even be eaten raw, it’s a waste of time to cook for the commonly recommended time of 20 or more minutes. Overcooking can also result in chewy and firm kernels.

Does corn on the cob float when done?

  • Choose a pot large enough to hold the amount of corn you want to cook, with room for water to cover the corn. 
  • Add husked corn ears and bring the water back to a boil on high heat (covered or not). Since corn tends to float on top of the water, cover the pot.
  • Cook for 20 or more minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Strain the boiled corn when soft.

Can you boil corn for too long?

Heat speeds the conversion of sugar to starch. Thus, overcooked corn not only will be mushy, but it will also lack its characteristic sweet taste. Boiling corn for too long is, therefore not recommended.

How do you tell if corn on the cob is done on the grill?

Place the prepared ears of corn on a medium heat grill, rotating the corn every so often. Allow the corn to slowly continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes. You will know it is done when you press a kernel and it shoots out its sweet liquid. Do not overcook the corn or it will become mushy.

Why is fresh corn chewy?

Overcooked corn is chewy because heat gradually breaks down the corn’s cell walls, causing the kernels to lose their subtle crunch. For best results, cook the corn in boiling water for just a few minutes, until the kernels are still crisp but easily pierced with a fork.

Is it better to steam or boil corn?

It’s the fastest way to cook and serve corn on the cob. But the most important reason you should try steaming corn is: steaming preserves more nutrients compared to boiling or grilling, allowing you to reap all of corn’s nutritional benefits while still getting a fantastic flavor.

Do you have to soak corn before grilling it?

No, it does not have to be soaked before grilling. However, if you are grilling your corn in the husk, it’s a good idea to soak your corn so that the husks do not burn or catch fire.

Cooking corn:

Whether you are using the grill, oven, or stove, cook corn on the cob just right so the kernels are tender and full of flavor. Cooking it too long toughens the kernels, which makes them chewy and loses their sweet flavor. Cooking it too short makes the kernels too crunchy and not heated all the way through.


  • At a temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, corn on the cob cooked on the grill or in the oven takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook, provided you turn them every 5 minutes.
  • In boiling water, it takes about 3 to 5 minutes to cook corn on the cob. If you put the corn in before the water boils, it can take closer to 10 minutes to cook.
  • Pierce the kernels with a paring knife. They should be tender and pierce easily. They should not be mushy or tough.
  • Taste it to see if the corn is tender and a bit soft, but crisp at the same time with the texture you prefer. Some people prefer corn cooked longer than others. Cook the corn longer if desired.
  • Do not add salt to the water when boiling corn on the cob, it toughens the kernels.

You can read the health benefits of corn here.

Other FAQs about Corn that you may be interested in.

How to store cooked corn on the cob?

How to know when corn is done?

How long does it take for a corn cob to decompose?


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “how do you know when corn is done?” with an in-depth analysis of the reason that how do we know when corn is done?. Moreover, we have also discussed different methods of cooking corn.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.