Not enough stove space or just need some corn in a hurry? This instant pot corn on the cob is fast and low-effort – without losing any flavor.
When it comes to vegetables, I’m an experimentalist. A fountain of knowledge, perhaps, on not only the best veggies to eat at any given time but the best way of cooking them. I’ve tried dozens of methods for cooking corn in particular, working out which is my favorite and when to best use them (I really love grilling it on the barbeque during the summer!).
But for a year-round option, I always head to my trusty Instant Pot. Corn in a pressure cooker makes a quick, low-effort side dish, sealing in flavor without losing color or its tender texture. Plus, this steaming method makes instant pot corn one of the healthiest ways to enjoy these plump kernels.
For instant pot corn on the cob, I prefer to use fresh corn bought from a market or stand. When buying ears of corn, it’s important to look out for two things so you get the best:
- The look: Bright green husks that are tightly wrapped around the kernels with plenty of slightly sticking silk. Avoid if it’s brown or yellow.
- The feel: Kernels should be firm beneath the husk and heavy in size. You can gently touch the outside to find any soft spots or missing kernels.
How to Cook Corn on the Cob in Instant Pot
Remove the husks and silk from the corn. To easily do this, use a sharp knife to cut off the root and the end of each corn on the cob. Using a firm grip on the other end of the corn, pull and twist the husk so the corn slides out the other end.
Alternatively, you can peel the outer leaves and then break them off the cob.
Add the trivet (metal steam rack) and pour one cup of water into the pressure cooker. Place the corn on the cob in the instant pot, resting on the trivet. Put the lid on and seal the lid, ensuring the venting knob is in the sealing position.
Chef’s Tip: Place the cobs in alternating directions if you’re cooking enough corn to have them in layers. This helps the air circulate around the corn and ensures they cook evenly.
Select “Pressure Cook” (if there are different options) on MANUAL (high pressure) mode and cook for 5 minutes.
Once cooked, use a kitchen towel to carefully use the quick release (turn the venting knob to the venting position) to release the remaining steam in the pressure cooker. Once the floating valve drops, carefully open the lid.
The corn should be a vibrant yellow color and the kernels plump and juicy.
Remove the corn from the cooker and enjoy.
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob Serving Suggestions
It’s so versatile that you can enjoy it on its own, jazz it up with extra flavors, or as part of a meal.
My favorite ways to add flavor:
- A squeeze of lemon juice and some parmesan cheese, sprinkled with parsley,
- Covered in roasted garlic butter,
- Blending butter, lime juice, salt, and chili powder,
- With chimichurri sauce or hot sauce and cotija cheese,
- Covered with pesto or BBQ sauce,
- Furikake seasoning,
- Mayonnaise with garlic and spices.
Experiment with flavors for your palate – spices like smoked paprika, Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and fresh herbs (I like basil and chives) greatly compliment the corn.
Furthermore, I like to serve corn on the cob with classic barbeque food – think ribs, burgers, chicken. It also works great with kebabs, sprinkled over salads, with pasta, mixed with other veggies in burrito bowls or just used as a garnish for a meal.
Storing and Reheating
Instant pot corn on the cob is also easy to make in advance. Once prepared, allow the corn to cool completely. Put in an airtight container and store for 3-5 days in the fridge.
To Freeze: Once your cobs are cooled, flash freeze them on a baking tray until solid (usually a few hours or overnight). Make sure the cobs aren’t touching. Once frozen, transfer to a Ziplock bag – they’ll keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. You can also remove the corn kernels and freeze those in a Ziplock bag with the air removed – they’ll keep for the same amount of time.
To Reheat: Wrap your frozen corn in a damp paper towel and microwave in 15-20 second intervals until thawed, or simply reheat in a pot full of hot water with the lid on for 2-3 minutes.
My Favorite Corn Recipes
- Spiced Corn Ribs (Corn “Riblets”)
- Oven-Roasted Corn with Garlic Butter
- Boiled Corn on the Cob
- Grilled Corn on the Cob In Foil
If you try this corn recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- 5 corn on the cob or fewer if wanted
- 1 cup water
Prepare The Corn
- Shuck the corn. Cut the end off the cob with a sharp knife, then twist hard to remove the corn inside. Alternatively, peel the leaves away until you get to the last layer and pull hard to invert the corn and pull out.
Pressure Cook the Corn
- Add the trivet (metal steam rack) and pour one cup of water into the pressure cooker. Place the cobs on the trivet. Place them in alternating directions if you're cooking enough corn to have them in layers.
- Put the lid on and seal the lid, ensuring the venting knob is in the sealing position. Select "Pressure Cook" (if there are different options) on MANUAL (high pressure) mode and cook for 5 minutes.
- Once cooked, use a kitchen towel to carefully use the quick release (turn the venting knob to the venting position) to release the remaining steam in the pressure cooker. Once the floating valve drops, carefully open the lid. Enjoy!
Storing and Freezing
- To Store: Allow the corn to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-5 days. To Freeze: All the corn to cool completely, then flash freeze on a baking sheet without the cobs touching (usually for a few hours or overnight). When frozen solid, transfer into Ziplock bags. It'll keep for up to six months.
- Soak the corn cobs in warm water for 2-3 minutes in a pot with a lid or wrap a damp paper towel around them and microwave in 15-20 second intervals until ready.
- Use fresh corn: The fresher the corn, the sweeter and juicier it will be.
- Times may vary: Based on the size of your ears of corn and how tender you like your corn. For example, for tender-crisp results, 2-3 minutes may be enough for you. I recommend starting with the lower time as it’s fairly easy (and quick) to bring the pot back up to pressure if you need to add an extra minute.
- Use hot water to save time: If you use hot water in your cooker, reaching full pressure will take less time.
- If the corn is too long: If it’s only slightly too long, you can just trim the stem end. Otherwise, chop the cobs in half.
- If you don’t have a trivet: Use a steamer basket or rolled-up balls of foil.