How to Steam Corn on the Cob

Discover how to steam corn on the cob (the right way!) for a fresh, healthy and delicious dish.

It’s not really summertime until there’s a plate of corn on the cob gracing your table. And if you’re looking for the fastest, easiest way to cook corn, time to get out the steamer! We break down how to steam corn in this ultra-simple guide for the best sweet corn ever.

Put your corn to good use in one of these tasty recipes.

Why You Should Steam Corn

We’ll be the first to admit that grilling and boiling corn (Here’s how!) are both tasty ways to serve up sweet corn. But steaming corn has some serious advantages, too. For starters, it’s absurdly easy and doesn’t require a stove. You can whip up a batch of steamed corn with a microwave. Secondly, steaming corn takes very little time. It’s the fastest way to cook and serve corn on the cob.

But the most important reason you should try steaming corn? 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.

But first, learn how to pick the best corn at the market.

How to Steam Corn in the Microwave

Step 1: Prep & ‘Wave

Pull out a microwave safe dish. Place the corn (still in the husk) on your dish and pop it into the microwave. Zap for 3 to 4 minutes on high heat. If you like your corn a bit softer, add an extra minute of cook time.

Step 2: Let Them Rest

Naturally, the corn is going to be outrageously hot when you take it out of the microwave. Give the ears a few minutes to cool down before you remove the husks. Once husked, serve with butter and season with salt and pepper.

How to Steam Corn on the Stovetop

Step 1: Boil the Water

Place a vegetable steamer in a large pot. Add just enough water so that the base of the pot is filled, but the water isn’t touching the steamer. Cover and bring water to a boil.

Step 2: Husk Your Corn

While the water is boiling, husk the corn cobs and cut them in half (or thirds), if desired.

Step 3: Get Steaming

Once the water is boiling, pop the corn into the steamer. Replace the cover and let the cobs steam for about 4 to 6 minutes, depending on how soft you like your corn. Keep an eye on the water levels and top off as needed. Serve with your favorite flavored butter and a dash of freshly ground pepper.

And there you have it! Steamed corn is the perfect summer side for your favorite backyard dinners. If you need a little more inspiration, here are a few other fabulous ways to enjoy corn on the cob.

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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.