How to Know When Corn on the Cob is Done?

by Charlie
How to Know when Corn on the Cob is Done

Do you struggle to cook corn on the cob properly? This is one of the few foods that shows very little change between its cooked and its raw state, and this can make it tricky to tell when it is done. Let’s find out a few tricks for checking!

How to know when corn on the cob is done? There are a few different ways to tell whether corn on the cob is done. A cooked cob will usually be a brighter yellow color than an uncooked one, and the kernels will look plumper. If you prod a kernel, it should be tender and soft. Cooked corn will also dry more quickly when you lift it out of the water.

How Do You Tell When Boiled Corn on the Cob is Done?

The best way to tell if boiled corn on the cob is done is to look at the color. If the kernels were white, they should turn light yellow when cooked. If they were already yellow, they should turn brighter yellow.

Before you put the corn cobs in the boiling water, it’s a good idea to check what color they are, because pale corn cobs will never turn really golden, even when fully cooked. However, yellow corn cobs will turn darker. It’s important to know what color you started with so you can use this method to tell when the corn is cooked.

The other thing that you can do to check whether corn on the cob is done is to use a sharp knife or the prongs of a fork to pierce some of the kernels. Cooked kernels should be plump and juicy, and should “burst” slightly as you prick them.

You should feel minimal resistance, whereas raw corn kernels will be tough and won’t pierce easily. You will be cutting them, rather than stabbing them.

A third option is to lift the corn cobs out of the water. Corn cobs that dry quickly are cooked, while ones that stay wet are not. This is because when the heat has penetrated to the center of the corn cobs, they will be hot enough to dry off any moisture fast. Cooler, uncooked corn cobs cannot do this.

You may also be able to tell how likely the corn cobs are to be cooked by timing them, but this is a trickier method and may not always work.

How Long Should You Boil Corn on the Cob For?

It’s hard to say how long you should boil corn on the cob for because there are a lot of different factors involved in this calculation. Firstly, corn varies a lot in how tender it is (and therefore how fast it cooks) at different times of the season. Secondly, people like their corn done to different levels, which affects cooking times.

In general, if you remove the husks, you can boil a cob in as little as ninety seconds to five minutes. However, cobs that were harvested in the early part of the season are usually softer and take less time to cook. An older corn on the cob could take five to seven minutes to become tender.

Corn on the cob can be boiled with the husks on, but the cooking time will need to be increased to around fifteen to twenty minutes. Some people prefer this option, but it can make it more challenging to see when corn on the cob is done.

How Do You Tell When Roasted Corn on the Cob is Done?

Corn on the cob that is baked in the oven should also take on a golden color once the kernels are cooked. Like boiled corn, it will brighten up when it’s ready to eat, but you may also see some browning on the kernels. This is fine and should taste lovely.

Another way to check is to take a fork or knife and again gently stab a couple of kernels. They should burst and be tender, rather than hard. They may have a slightly crispier exterior, but they will not feel tough, and you will not have to cut into them to see juice come out; a gentle prick should suffice.

How Long Should You Roast Corn on the Cob For?

Again, this varies depending on how tender, young, and fresh your corn is, but on average, corn on the cob should be roasted for about thirty to forty minutes. Really fresh corn may be as ready in as little as twenty minutes, so use the prick test and the color test to check up on it around the twenty minute mark.

Obviously, the temperature also makes a big difference to how fast the corn will cook, and you’ll see varied instructions on this if you follow online recipes. Most estimate that the oven should be around 400 degrees F, but you will need to increase the cooking time for the lower options of around 380 degrees F.

If the corn starts to burn, make sure you put foil over it and/or turn down the oven temperature.

What Happens If You Eat Raw Corn on the Cob?

You can eat some kinds of corn on the cob safely when they are raw, although they may not taste very good. Raw corn tends to be tough, chewy, and a bit starchy, especially if it is dent corn, rather than sweet corn.

Neither kind of corn will hurt you if eaten raw, but dent corn is difficult to eat raw, because it has a lot of starch and very little sugar in it. Both kinds will be tougher and less sweet, but if you pick the sweet corn very fresh, it is delicious when eaten raw.

Corn that has been picked for a while is far less pleasant to eat raw, but it will not make you sick. You only need to cook it to improve the texture and flavor.

Final Thoughts

You can usually tell that corn on the cob is done when you see the corn become a brighter yellow color. You can also check how tender the kernels are by prickling them with a knife or fork. Cooked corn should be tender.

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