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If you’re looking for a healthy side dish, or the perfect vegetable to serve at your summer BBQ party, you’ll love this easy Instant Pot corn on the cob. Flavorful, juicy, and perfectly cooked every time.
There are so many different ways you can make corn on the cob – boiling on a stovetop, steaming in a pressure cooker, grilling in a charcoal grill, cooking in a microwave, and even air frying.
The method I like most is steaming corn in an Instant Pot, and here’s why.
Boiling vs steaming
Did you know that steaming corn vs. boiling actually preserves nutrients, and gives a much more appealing and bright yellow color?
When cooking sweet corn in an Instant Pot, it does not come into contact with the water. This prevents the nutrients from leaching into the liquid, and will instead be retained by the corn kernels.
This means corn that is steamed is actually healthier than corn that is boiled.
Are you looking to steam a variety of vegetables in your Instant Pot? Here’s a foolproof guide on how to steam veggies perfectly in your Instant Pot every single time.
Reasons to love this recipe
- Hands-free: If you’ve ever tried boiling corn on the cob, you know that you have to watch it carefully. Instant Pot corn is a hands-off approach that is easy to make at a moment’s notice.
- Takes less than 15 minutes: Cooking corn on the cob this way is quick, easy, and the perfect last-minute side dish.
- Perfect for a crowd: It’s easy to make a large batch using an 8-quart Instant Pot, making it perfect for a BBQ party.
- Low on calories: The total calories of corn on the cob is just 106 per ear!
Here’s what you need to make the recipe
What you’ll love the most about cooking corn on the cob in this way, is how little you need to actually prepare the recipe. All you need is:
- Corn – Select corn that is bright, firm, and has juicy kernels when pierced gently with a fingernail.
- Instant Pot
That’s it! This recipe is very simple to prepare, and the clean-up is a breeze. You’ll only want to use this method from now on!
How to choose the best sweet corn
One of the best ways to determine if your corn is fresh and perfect for corn on the cob is to assess the tassels. The tassels of the corn should be browned and still slightly sticky. If the tassels are black, matted, or dry, they are too old and should not be used.
Older ears of corn can be used, however, to make Instant Pot cream corn or for cutting off the kernels to freeze for later.
The outside of the corn should have a bright green husk, and be slightly damp to the touch. This indicates that the ear of corn is very fresh and perfect for making Instant Pot corn on the cob.
How many cobs can I cook at once?
As many as your Instant Pot can accommodate. Just make sure that you don’t fill beyond the fill line on the pot. The cooking time will stay the same.
- You can cook corn in the husks, but I won’t recommend it because you’ll have to wait until it cools down to remove the husks. And also doesn’t make it any easier to peel them off.
- You can put as many corns as you can fit in as long as you don’t cross the fill line. Remember, the cooking time will stay the same.
- Cut the corn into half if they don’t fit in.
- Release the pressure immediately after the cooking cycle is complete to avoid overcooking.
How to prep ahead
If you would like to prep ahead, you can easily shuck your corn and freeze them in advance. You won’t even have to thaw your corn.
That’s right; you can make Instant Pot frozen corn on the cob!
All you have to do is set your manual pressure time to 5 minutes instead of the 1 minute that is recommended for fresh corn.
Once the cooking time is up, release pressure immediately, open the lid, and remove carefully with a pair of tongs.
Different ways to season
- Salt and butter
- Lime juice, salt, chili powder
- Garlic butter
- Butter, garlic powder, parmesan cheese
These mega silicone bags are perfect for storing cooked corn in the cob in the refrigerator or the freezer.
How to freeze the whole cob
Before freezing the cob, make sure it has completely cooled down. Place the cobs into a freezer bag for storage. For best results, consume within six months.
How to freeze kernels
Once you have removed the corn kernels from the cob, you can easily freeze them by placing them in freezer bags directly for later use. For best results, consume within six months.
If frozen, let the corn on the cob thaw in the fridge overnight. To reheat, use one of the following methods –
Instant Pot – Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot and set the time to 0 minutes (yes, zero minutes!). As the water heats up to bring the Instant Pot to pressure, the corn on the cob will warm up nicely.
Oven – Place each cob inside a foil packet. Add some butter, water, salt, and pepper to each cob of corn and heat in a 350°F oven for 4-8 minutes.
Air fryer – You can do the same thing in an air fryer for 3-4 minutes at 325°F instead.
Stovetop – Another way is to place the cobs into boiling water for 3-4 minutes, or until heated through. Remove with tongs and serve immediately with your choice of butter or seasonings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gently peel back the green husks, breaking them off at the end. Run cold water over the ears, using your hands to remove the silks that have been left behind. Once all of the silks are removed, your corn is clean and ready to cook.
Yes, you can easily freeze corn on the cob. You can place the uncooked corn directly in your freezer with the husks attached, OR you can remove the husk and place it in a freezer bag. To freeze cooked corn, make sure it is completely cool before placing it in a freezer-safe Ziploc or silicone bag.
Once your corn has reached a bright yellow color, and the kernels are plump and juicy, you can be sure your corn has cooked through and is ready to eat.
Yes, you can. Overcooked corn on the cob will be mushy in texture and will also have a dull color. To avoid overcooking, follow the cooking time in the recipe and remove from the heat as soon as the corn is finished cooking.
If your corn is hard, it is possible that your corn was old, and left on the grocery store shelf for too long. As corn ages, it toughens up as more of the sugars convert to starch.
Corn on the cob is cooked when the kernels are plump, juicy, and have a bright yellow hue. You can test your corn to see if it has cooked through by using the tip of a sharp paring knife.
Yes! All corn that you can purchase at your local grocery store or market is sweet corn. Field corn is used for animal feed only and is not sold for human consumption. You can be sure that all corn on the cob is of the sweet variety, although there may be varying levels of sweetness between varieties.
Yes, you can place the corn directly in the water. The corn ears that are in direct contact with the water will be boiled instead of steamed.
Other healthy Instant Pot side dishes to try
- Instant Pot potatoes
- Instant Pot sweet potatoes
- Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts
- Instant Pot green beans
- Instant Pot honey glazed carrots
Instant Pot Corn in the Cob
- 4 corn
- 1 cup water
- Start with removing the green husks from the corn. Peel away the silk strands.
- Rinse off in water to wash off any remaining silk strands clingin to the corn.
- Place a trivet in the Instant Pot and then add a cup of water for 6-quarts and 1.5 cups for 8 quarts.
- Stack the corn over the trivet. If the corn does not fit it, cut in half.
- Cover the Instant Pot and set the timer for 1 minute.
- Release pressure as soon as the cooking cycle is complete.
- Remove the corn carefully using tongs.
- Enjoy it with the toppings of your choice.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.