With two {everyday} secret ingredients, you won’t believe how easy it is to make the most perfect corn on the cob on the planet!  

Corn on the cob is the main reason summer exists, in my opinion.

Roadside stands of fresh, delicious corn on the cob are popping up everywhere in my area and the sight makes me so very happy.

Corn cut off of a cob of corn on a cutting board.

Since I believe our family loves corn on the cob more than any other family on the planet (concluded through a very scientific survey), I want to share the secret to cooking perfect corn on the cob, and if you never learn another thing from here, I hope this tip will carry you through the rest of your culinary adventures.

Here it is. Brace yourself.

Whatever you do, absolutely, positively, do not cook the corn in salted water. 

A stack of cooked corn on the cobs on a white plate with a plate of butter behind it.

There. That’s it. Well…almost. The secret to perfectly cooked corn on the cob is to cook the corn in water that has been enhanced with two special ingredients – sugar and vinegar. Just a touch of each.

The result is juicy corn kernels that literally pop off the cob and sprinkle morsels of sweet, buttery corn all throughout your mouth when you take a bite.

And so with that description lingering in your mind, I ask you – is it a crime to tell your 6-year old child that corn on the cob is full of grasshopper spit so that he/she will willingly hand over their ear of corn?

Just wondering.

One Year Ago: Shrimp Stir-Fry with Coconut Curry Sauce
Two Years Ago: Easy and Delicious French Bread

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

This recipe was first posted on July 5, 2010 and has been updated with new photos.

Four cooked corn on the cobs on a white plate.

Perfect Corn on the Cob

4.60 stars (83 ratings)


  • 7 ears of corn, husked and silky threads removed
  • 4-6 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar


  •  Bring the water, sugar and vinegar to a boil in a large pot. Gently add the husked corn, submerging all the ears in the water the best that you can. Bring the water to a full boil again. This is important! It may take a few minutes for the water to come back to boiling temperature; have patience and persevere.
  • Once the water is at a full boil, cover the pot, remove from the heat and let the corn sit in the hot, steaming water for 10 minutes. (The corn can stay in the water for up to an hour before serving.)
Serving: 1 Corn, Calories: 91kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 41mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g