It isn’t summering until you’ve had corn on the cob. It’s at every barbecue, it makes the perfect side dish to, umm, everything, and unless you’re Michael Bublé, no one judges you while gobbling one down with both hands. Luckily, the summer staple is quick and easy and doesn’t even need fussy toppings (unless you want them — we have so many fun ideas for how to top corn). Just a pat of butter and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.
1. Boil in VERY salty water.
Use the largest pot you have, fill it with water, and salt it really well. One of the first lessons I remember at culinary school was my chef calling all of us over and having us taste a spoonful of his pot of salted water. It tasted like the ocean and he proudly stated that every single pot of salted water we use for boiling ANYTHING should taste like that. So don’t be shy. Your corn won’t taste salty in the end — the salt will just help bring out its flavor. Bring your nicely salted water to a boil.
2. Shuck it good.
While your water is heating up, pull off your corn husks. This can get messy thanks to all the tiny strings, so we recommend doing it over a trash can. Starting at the tip, grab all of the husk and as much of the strings as possible and rip down. Repeat until all of the husks is off. Rub off as much of the lingering strings as possible. (You’ll often see that a hack for removing the strings is to use a clean toothbrush — we don’t buy it.)
3. Boil ’em quick.
Using tongs, drop your corn into the boiling water. Return the water to a boil, then cook your corn for 5 minutes. Set a timer because if you let your corn overcook the kernels can become tough. The goal is juicy, crunchy kernels, not mushy dry ones.
4. Butter it up.
Brush with melted butter, season with salt and pepper, and let summer begin.