How to tell when corn is done boiling?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to tell when corn is done boiling?”, and how long does It take to boil corn?

How to tell when corn is done boiling?

When corn is done boiling, you can immediately tell the doneness by the color of the corn which is now more yellow and the kernels look more plumper. Use a knife, fork, or skewer to poke the kernel and check for doneness or tenderness.

How to make boiled corn on the cob?


  • 4 ears corn on the cob
  • 4 tsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Remove the silk and husk of the corn cob.
  2. Add water in a large stockpot or dutch oven so that It is half full with water. Place it on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  3. Add the corn on the cob in the pot and cover it with a lid. Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes. 
  4. Drain the water and serve the corn on the cob warm with butter and salt.

How long does it take to boil corn?

Sweet and fresh corn takes the shortest to boil due to high water content. Typically, It takes about 5-10 minutes only. Husked corn takes longer to cook as compared to its unhusked counterpart. Once boiled, the husk is easier to remove.

Cook the husked corn for 10 minutes in boiling water and wait for it to lose some heat before handling it or use tongs instead. Husked corn should only take 2-5 minutes depending upon its freshness and sweetness. The Freshest and the sweetest corn will take only 2 minutes to become fully tender. 

Frozen corn varieties take longer to cook as compared to their fresh counterparts. Bring the water to a rolling boil and let the frozen corn cook for about 5-8 minutes. Frozen, shucked kernels only take 2-5 minutes to become fully tender.

The nutrition profile of corn

Apart from the seed coat, corn kernels hold immense nutrients.

  1. A 100g yellow variety of corn has 96 calories. Corn is high in carbs and scratch is the most abundant carb comprising 28-80% of the dry weight of corn. Sweet corn is relatively high in sugar having contrary to regular corn that has only 1-3% of it.
  1. 9-15% of the dry weight of corn is made up of fiber consisting of hemicelluloses, lignin, and cellulose.
  1. Corn contains 10-15 zein proteins. Zein proteins are considered incomplete proteins but are used for various applications.
  1. Corn contains oil in little amounts i.e. only 5-6%. Corn oil is extracted from corn germ and increases its shelf life as well as lowers bad cholesterol levels due to Vitamin E and phytosterol content.

How to store corn?

Refrigerating corn on the corb

In order to keep corn on the cob fresh in the storage, keep the following things in mind.

  1. Always refrigerate your corn if you are not going to consume it immediately. The low temperature of the fridge will keep the content of the simple sugars high whilst slowing down their breakdown into bland tasting starch.
  1. Do not remove the husk. You can remove the outermost dirty leaves but keeping at least a few leaves intact will lock the moisture inside the corn kernels.
  1. Wrap a plastic sheet around the corn on the cob. Wrapping too tight will result in collecting water inside that will lead to fungal growth, so, keep it a little loose.

Freezing corn on the cob

There are two ways to freeze store corn on the cob.

  1. Simply place the corn on the cob with the husk intact inside the freezer bags. Label and store for about 8 months.
  1. The second method is to blanch before freeze storing. For this, blanch the corn on the cob in boiling hot water for 4 minutes. Remove from the water and let it sit in ice-cold water for 4 minutes to stop the cooking process. 

Now remove the corn kernels off the cob and store them in a freezer bag. Store in small portion sizes and label the bags.

Refrigerating cooked corn

To store cooked corn or corn leftovers, wrap the corn in a thick aluminum foil. Place it in a clean and dry air-tight container and store it in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Other FAQs about Corn that you may be interested in.

How to reheat grits

How long to cook grits?

Can you cook grits in a rice cooker


In this article, we answered the question “How to tell when corn is done boiling?”, and how long does It take to boil corn?