***this is the post that is going to be known as corngate ’09. this post is for THOSE people. who burn boiling water. who have to call their sisters to find out how to make canned tomato soup. who think frozen waffles are fine dining. true corn lovers know that grilling is the best way to cook corn. But I feel this post is needed, because THOSE people? Should never know corn can be cooked by an open flame. I’m only trying to save the innocent ears.****

It has come to my attention Internets (serious eyes) that the Fourth of July is coming up and a lot of you don’t know how to properly cook corn on the cob.

THIS IS NOT OKAY AMERICA.

(To the rest of the world, bear with me, I’m about to set America straight.)

As a Midwesterner I feel it my duty to know how to prepare corn. Just as it is a Texans duty to know how to prepare brisket or a New Englanders duty to know the proper care and preparation of chowder. After spending a year learning how to choose and prepare corn and a year to practice I feel safe in saying I. HAVE. IT. DOWN.

First? Quit husking your corn at the grocery store. QUIT IT. While you’re at it, DON’T EVEN OPEN IT. Just feel it. It should be heavy for its size and firm. (I know, BUT WHAT ABOUT BUGS? Corn begins losing its tasty tasty sugars as soon as the kernels are exposed to air, so buy a couple of extra ears and deal with the possibility of bugs. In three years? I’ve had maybe three bugged ears and they were all redeemable. It’s called a knife.)

(Also? Don’t buy corn out of season. Part of your carbon footprint involves eating what’s in season where and when it’s in season. If possible keep your eye on the corn bins during peak corn season, when they refill the stock? BEST PICKINGS EVER.)

Okay.

Now you have your corn. While your boiling a huge pot of salted water husk your corn and rinse it off. (I’m not OCD about the silks, you shouldn’t be either.)

wherein I school America in how to properly cook corn.

As soon as the water is boiling add the corn.

wherein I school America in how to properly cook corn.

Let the water return to a boil, put a tight fitting lid over the top, remove it from heat (turn it off please, I know there are those people out there) and set a timer for five minutes.

wherein I school America in how to properly cook corn.

After five minutes take out your first serving, leaving the rest in for up to 10 more minutes.

wherein I school America in how to properly cook corn.

Butter (real butter please,) salt (kosher sea salt please) and enjoy.

proper corn eating technique.

Also this week in honor of America’s Birthday?

The proper way to make pie crust (cherry for us!) and the proper way to make baked beans.

You’re welcome founding fathers. Really.

****
What are you obligated by geographic location to know how to make?

Comments

  1. Awesome! I love, love, love corn-on-the-cob. I usually just boil the crap out of it. Your way is much faster and easier!

    Casey Reply:

    @Suzy Voices, And it taaastes betterrrr.

  2. I eat corn on the cob with a fork and knife. Is that allowed?

    Casey Reply:

    @Avitable, No. Cease and desist.

  3. I think I’m obligated to know how to make REAL green jell-o (salad). BUT, I don’t know how. So, since you are from Utah, perhaps you could post that sometime this week too?

    And being born and raised in CT I can make a great New England Clam Chowder, among other things.

    Casey Reply:

    @Susan, Go find another Mormon.
    Or get our cookbook.
    Yes. We have one.

  4. I like to grill the corn. I just pull the husk down and butter/salt it, then I pull the husk back up and lay them in the grill. Oh, it’s so good.

  5. You? Rock my world. And now I have an insatiable urge for corn on the cob.

    I’m bunkered down in boring old CT, so I guess I’m required to know how to make New England Clam Chowder. So I’ll do that, just for you. Because clam chowder is freaking deeeleeeecious!

  6. Your way of cooking corn? Awesome.

    Adding fresh ground black pepper with the kosher salt? Even better.

    (I KNOW. It sounds all kinds of WRONG AND STUPID. But please TRY IT ONCE. Even my four year old likes it that way!)

    Casey Reply:

    @daysgoby, My parents add pepper.
    I? Do not like the pepper.

  7. Hmm I’m from Tennessee so I can make sweet tea in my sleep…

    I can definitely make some excellent mashed potatoes from scratch… we liked it fried… so fried chicken, fried fish… you get the point…

    Basically your meat and 3 veggies.

    It’s amazing how bad some people are at cooking… and I say this as my own sister can’t cook.

    Casey Reply:

    @Becca, Dude. What is it out here with Sweet Tea? PEOPLE FIGHT FOR THE STUFF. Crazy.

    Becca Reply:

    @Casey, Yes… it is insane. Think of our completely shock when we visit somewhere up North and they don’t know what sweet tea is? I remember the first time I went to Florida (Yes, Florida) and the only restaurant in town that had sweet tea was a chain.

    As the old saying goes, “We like a little tea with our sugar.”

  8. I am a born and raised midwesterner and I have to disagree. You should NEVER submerge the whole ear. Put an inch or two of salted water in the pot, bring to a rolling boil, add the ears and the rest is the the same. You need to steam those babies (much like they are steamed when you grill them), not boil them. Or grill them – the best way to do corn on the cob.

    Casey Reply:

    @kakaty, I did the inch water thing tonight in honor of you. Slight difference. Noted.
    And yes. Grilled. Agreed.

  9. this is how I grew up with making it. My mama’s style.

    I now have swiched to the following method.

    1. oven @350

    2. bake corn in the husk for 30 minutes

    3. let cool and shuck it.

    Enjoy! with lots of butter and seasoning salt!

    Casey Reply:

    @DesignHER Momma, sooo long. immediate corn gratification…

  10. Hmmm, probably apple pie and apple sauce and apple butter and anything remotely apple related since I live in the apple capitol of the world…
    but yesterday I spent the whole day canning and freezing and dehydrating cherries … (which we picked ourselves) if I don’t see another one for awhile I’ll be okay!

    Casey Reply:

    @Krista, Ooh, how are your bowels?

  11. Being only 120 miles apart, I would say that our requirements are similar. But since you did corn, I will say that I feel obligated by my southern family roots to know how to bake a killer apple pie (although I confess, I’ve never made my own crust, teach me please!). It’s my Maw-Maw’s recipe. She also made amazing fried pies, which my mom has taken over.

    Casey Reply:

    @Kim, YOU HAVE NEVER MADE YOUR OWN PIE CRUST?
    FOR SHAME!
    (Uh, can we swap recipes?)

    Kim Reply:

    @Casey,

    We can TOTALLY swap recipes. I have to get mine from my mom’s house though. I mean, I know how to make it, but I am so OCD about it, that even though I could probably do it in my sleep, I still follow the recipe every time. It’s GOOD. It’s a perfect 4th of July recipe.

  12. You just totally took me back. That is EXACTLY how my mother made corn on the cob, which happened to be the, um, only thing she knew how to cook. I’m a rebel and like to grill it these days, but WOAH blast from the past!

    Casey Reply:

    @Burgh Baby, I am your mom. SURPRISE!

  13. Living in the midwest has made me learn a few tricks myself… for instance, Salt will actually toughen your corn if put in the boiling water. The best way to keep it nice and crisp is to put about 1/4 tsp. Sugar and 1 lemon wedge in the water. It comes out PERFECT every time! Try it next time!

    Casey Reply:

    @Ann, I did the sugar lemon thing tonight, I’m on the fence. More corn must be consumed to decide.

  14. I am sure I should know how to make Funeral aka Mormon potatoes being that I do reside and always have in UTAH. But I don’t…Got a REALLY good recipe for that my Utah buddy?

    Casey Reply:

    @Rachel, Personally they always taste better when someone else made them for someone elses funeral.

  15. I grilled corn on the cob for the first time two weeks ago – much easier than I thought it would be and… Seriously the Best Corn Ever! I don’t know if I can go back to the boiled cobs.

    Casey Reply:

    @Erika, YAY! You’re a big girl! YOU CAN GRILL! (For people like my sister in law? It’s better that they never know corn can be cooked by open flame, you know?)

  16. Wait, people husk their corn at the grocery store? That’s weird.

    Casey Reply:

    @Kristina P., It’s ALL THE RAGE OUT HERE.
    Because corn gains ten thousand pounds when you bring it home and it just becomes. too. hard.

  17. MMMMM, I just look at that corn and think of the farm-fresh corn we eat every day when we go to the lake house in the Poconos. Must. Acquire. Fresh. Corn. Now.

    *drools*

    Sorry, where was I? Ah, yes. New York is a bit of a melting pot, if you will, but the dish I’m always asked to make over and over again is my honey rosemary London Broil. So, yeah. Let’s go with that.

    Casey Reply:

    @metalia, Poconos. Blah blah. DID ANYONE SEE MY DIAMOND BRA? Heh.
    Pass the beef please.

  18. Those of us born in the Hoosier state know that you MUST GRILL CORN….never boil it!

    Also, forget the corn in the store…it’s gotta come from a roadside stand.

    I’m just sayin’

    Casey Reply:

    @Have the T-shirt, Agreed. On both accounts. But here’s the thing. There’s people out there that should never know that corn can be cooked by open flame. These are the same people that try to fry turkeys and burn down their house. I’m just trying to save the innocent corn that gets sent to the wrong house. You know?

  19. I’m french Canadian and you better not screw with my pork stuffing or tortiere (meat pie)!! Few people have any interest in making either of these, so please email me if you want the recipes..

    Also – apparently I`ve been making corn all wrong by boiling it for like 30 minutes, I`ll stop that now.

    Casey Reply:

    @Kris, Meat pie. As long as it doesn’t have gizzards in it and stuff I want some. With my pie crust.

  20. Mmm, I love corn like that…or grilled…or however I can get it.

    I’m from Ohio, and YES I do know how to make BUCKEYES! :) So yummy!

    Casey Reply:

    @Mommy Daisy, I hear buckeye I duck and cover. Too many bad Ohio State fan run ins.

  21. Summit County, CO
    I don’t even need to glance at the high altitude instructions on anything. It’s just how we do. But at sea level? I commit culinary atrocities.

    Casey Reply:

    @kara, Dude, I had to convert from High Altitude in Utah to Low in Indiana.
    A lot of cookies were harmed in the transition.

  22. DUDE. So I called to ask how to make tomato soup! It’s because your soup is delish and mine tastes like dish soap, okay? If you had the cooking skills of a dead band aid you would have called too!

    Casey Reply:

    @Olivia, It’s just funny, because I just follow THE DIRECTIONS ON THE CAN.

  23. Being from Rochester, NY, I am contractually obligated from birth to know how to make a) Buffalo wings and B) White Hots.

    Casey Reply:

    @mrs chicken, Cody lived in Rochester for two years so I know exactly what a white hot is.
    Most of America does not.
    Did you know that?

    mrs chicken Reply:

    @Casey, I know, when you say “white hot” anywhere else but western NY people look at you like you’re nuts. It is a little on the redneck side, the white hot.

    How funny about Cody! Small world. In about 11 days, I’ll be grillin’ me some white hots in the Rachacha.

    Casey Reply:

    @mrs chicken, I also know what Nick Tahoe’s (sp?) is. Doesn’t mean I like it though. Pretty much worst meal of my life.
    FOOD NO TOUCHY. BLERGH.

  24. I grew up in PA- western PA- Pittsburgh-area…..I’m therefore obligated to know how to make Pierogies and spread Pierogie-goodness among us. And yes, PA Pierogies are a proper noun, and therefore capitalized :)

  25. THANK YOU for this post! I can’t tell you how many chewy, tough, mushy, overcooked ears of corn I’ve had to eat at the homes of others.

    Our recipe is a replica of yours, except for the beginning:

    1. Put water on to boil.
    2. Go out back and pick enough corn for the meal.
    3. RUN, don’t walk to the house to get the corn shucked and into the pot.

    I know today’s corn is supersweet and doesn’t turn starchy quite as fast as the varieties available 30 years ago, but it’s still a good idea to try and find corn that will spend as little time as possible between stalk and pot.

    As for dishes I’m required by birth to know how to make: grits, sausage gravy, red-eye gravy, biscuits, fried chicken, sweet tea, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows (I despise this one, sadly!), cornbread (NOT the sweet, cakey kind!), collard greens, various pickles and — in a nod to my small but vocal Yankee branch of the family — bagels and soft pretzels.

    Sorry, I talk too much.

  26. Funeral potatoes.

  27. Yummy!

  28. Who are these people who do not know how to make corn??

  29. I never worry about the bugs, but I do worry about the shriveled up ends. So, I’m one of those “peekers” that you probably hate. :) I’ll try to do better!

  30. I grew up just outside New Jersey. We always bought our corn in the Grocery store because it was ALWAYS Jersey corn and it was good (or so I thought).
    The first time I brought corn home to my then fiance, now husband said “what’s THAT”. It was June. Corn isn’t ripe up hear in New England until August.

    I have since seriously learned the error of my ways and only by corn in August from farm stands.

  31. Ok that corn looks good and that is the way I used to make it but…. there is a little gem at Indianapolis Farmers Markets known as “My Dads Corn”. Indianapolis monthly talked about them in an issue last summer.
    I think I might be a corn connoisseur and have tried many kinds at grocery stores and farmers markets but this stuff is the BEST. The owner told me the best way to cook it is to STEAM for 8-10 min. De-husk, rinse, get a pot with a few inches of H2O boiling then put one of those metal things with holes that closes up on itself, put corn in, lid on 8-10 min of steaming and it’s perfect. Sorry to be a know it all, you are getting so many variations of this simple task but try “my dads corn” and you won’t be disappointed!

  32. Thanks, Casey! My corn always ends up soggy and mushy. Your way sounds perfect.

  33. I heart corn. I’m perfectly grilling it. Haven’t quite got there yet!

  34. Oooops did I start something?

  35. I have to second the my Dad’s sweet corn a pp mentioned. I bought it from the fresh market (54th and college) last summer and it was AMAZING. (Haven’t seen it this yr) It’s brought in fresh every day and almost always sold out everyday last yr. Very convienent for the city dwellers.

  36. well, like you said…i’m from texas so i HAVE to know how to cook a brisket…

    also on the list of requirements:
    red beans
    chili
    steak (basically anything on the grill)
    banana pudding
    pecan pie

    thank goodness i inherited my grandmother’s cooking skillz…otherwise i’d be deported from texas

Trackbacks

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