A summer classic, corn on the cob is the perfect side dish for any grill out, potluck, or family meal. There’s no need to heat up the kitchen or grill because we have a quick, easy, and fail-proof method to make sweet corn in the Instant Pot! Our recipe for Instant Pot Corn on the Cob will give you tender and sweet corn each and every time. With only 5 minutes to pressure cook, you’ll be sinking your teeth into that tender, juicy, sweet, and classic summer side dish in record-breaking time.
Corn on the Cob in the Instant Pot
For years, we’ve made our corn on the cob by boiling the ears in a pot of water or grilling corn directly on the grates of an outdoor grill. Our minds were blown when we discovered this new method of making sweet corn in the Instant Pot. It’s quick, easy, and ultimately fail-proof. A quick pressure cooking time yields results in tender corn on the cob with kernels that pop with juice and flavor as you sink your teeth into each bite. With only 2 ingredients (corn on the cob and water), you’ll be adding corn on the cob to your menu many times this year.
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is one of the freshest ways to enjoy this vegetable. Corn comes straight from the field, still wrapped in its green husk encased with smooth silk protecting the golden yellow kernels. Grab a few ears of corn and shuck the husk off, remove the silk, and cut the ends off. Now it’s ready for a quick steam under pressure in the Instant Pot. Freshly cooked corn on the cob is a great addition to many sides and salads like our Grilled Corn Salad with Blackberries or Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad or as a topping for burrito bowls made with our always-favorite Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa.
What You Need to Make Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob is one of the easiest and tastiest side dishes you’ll ever make! All you need are:
- Instant Pot – we all use our Instant Pots weekly! If you don’t have one yet, check this one out. You won’t regret getting your hands on one because it truly makes life a whole lot easier.
- Corn on the Cob – easily found at farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and grocery stores from May thru September. All 50 states can grow corn, so it should be easy to find yourself sweet corn.
How to Make Corn on the Cob in the Instant Pot
- In the Instant Pot, place the trivet (metal rack) in the bottom of the pot along with one cup of tap water.
- Shuck the corn. Remove the green husk from the corn on the cob by peeling back one layer at a time. Starting from the top and peeling all the way to the bottom, then ripping the husks free at the bottom. Repeat until all of the husks are removed. The next layer is the silk, peel away all silk strands until just the beautiful yellow kernels are left on the cob.
- Place the corn on the cob on a cutting board and, using a large knife, remove the bottom stem and top portion of each cob if needed. When corn is fresh from the field, the top end can have some browning. Next, cut or break each cob in half.
- Stand the corn cob halves upright on the trivet. Securely place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn the valve to the sealing position, and set the time to cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
- Once the cooking time is up, carefully flip the valve to quick-release the pressure, then remove the lid. Remove each ear of corn from the pot using tongs and place them directly on a serving platter. That’s it!
How to Choose the Best Corn on the Cob
The best corn on the cob starts with, well, the best and freshest corn. Follow these tips to help you choose corn like pro:
- Look for ears of corn with bright green husks. Avoid those that have husks that are pale yellow or brown.
- Take a peek at the very top of the corn on the cob and look for bright golden yellow kernels that are plump. The exception here would be varieties of white or bi-color corn where you’ll want to look for plump kernels that are creamy white or light yellow.
- Avoid corn that has brown spots, insect bites, or those with tassels (a tassel is the collection of silks that lie between the husks and the kernels) that are very dry or slimy.
- Fresh corn will have sticky silks, a bright green husk, and a whitish bottom (where the ear of corn was broken from the stalk).
- Corn that is past its prime will have dark brown silks, a brown and dried bottom, and the corn kernels will appear shriveled. While you can cook over-ripe corn, you’ll find the texture to soft and mealy, and the flavor is less than appealing.
How to Serve Corn on the Cob
We love keeping this vegetable side dish simple to let the delicate and sweet flavor of the corn shine through! After your Corn on the Cob in the Instant Pot has been fully cooked, remove it from the pot, place it on a platter. Drizzle a little melted butter (or ghee or vegan butter) over each cob. All you need now is add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and your corn is ready for serving! A few other ways to enjoy corn on the cob:
- Cut the corn kernels from the cob by holding the ear of corn at an angle on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob. Enjoy the hot-off-the-cob kernels as is, or use them in recipes like Grilled Salmon with Elote-Style Corn and Grilled Corn Salad with Blackberries.
- Eat the corn directly off the cob. Use fun corn holders and turn this healthy vegetable side into a kid-favorite instantly! We love these corn holders for kids and adults.
- Bring fresh to a whole new level with using corn on the cob in Instant Pot to make our Black Bean and Corn Salsa with Avocado.
How to Store Cooked Corn on the Cob
You can cook corn on the cob ahead of time to serve later. After cooking, store the corn on the cob in an airtight container (these large stand-up reusable silicone bags are great for this) and refrigerate for up to 4 days after initial cooking. To reheat corn on the cob, simply place the corn on the cob in a bowl with a little bit of water (enough to cover the bottom of the bowl). Heat it on high for 30-45 second increments until the corn is hot. Or, you can also reheat the cooked corn back in the Instant Pot. To do set, set the corn on the trivet with 1 cup of water in the bottom, and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. Quick release the steam, remove the lid, and enjoy.
Can You Freeze Corn on the Cob?
Yes, you can freeze both uncooked and fully cooked corn on the cob. Remove the husks and silks completely. If freezing uncooked cobs, wrap each cob in plastic wrap and then place inside a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 6 months and allow it to thaw at room temperature before cooking the corn. To freeze already-cooked corn on the cob, let the cobs cool to room temperature before wrapping each cob in plastic wrap and placing inside a freezer-safe bag and freezing for up to 6 months. Use the method in the paragraph above to reheat the corn on the cob.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
With the very sweetest of corn being readily available at the height of summer, we love to pair it with these backyard grill-out favorites. We think these recipes pair especially PERFECTLY with this Instant Pot Corn on the Cob.
More healthy veggie side dishes to try:
- Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Maple-Mustard Glaze
- Garlic Roasted Radishes
- Baked Carrot Fries with Dijon-Thyme Aoili
- Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan
- 4 ears of corn, husk and silk removed
- 1 cup water
- Place the metal trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot along with 1 cup of water.
- Place the corn on a cutting board and cut off the bottom stem and top portion with a knife (corn that is fresh from the field usually has some browning on the top end). Next, break or cut each cob in half to make 8 pieces.
- Stand the cob halves upright on the trivet. Securely place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn the valve to the sealing position, and set the timer to cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
- Once the cooking time is done, quick-release the pressure by flipping the valve to the ‘venting’ position then remove the lid. Remove each ear of corn using tongs and place it on a serving platter.
- Serving Size: 2 halves
- Calories: 60
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 3 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 14 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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About Jessica Beacom
Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her husband and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, and camping out under the stars.