Instant Pot corn on the cob (pressure cooker corn) is quick, easy, foolproof, and makes tender, sweet, and juicy corn every time – the perfect side dish!
Right now, I’m in a bit of an experimental phase. Not with my hair or fashion, though, but with my veggies! This summer, I’ve made it my mission to test every cooking method for all my favorite veggies (like asparagus) and compare and find my favorite. This is why I’ve been sharing recipes for boiled, microwaved, grilled, roasted, and now corn on the cob Instant pot version (aka pressure cooker corn on the cob)!
What’s in This Post
Why You’ll Love Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob
If you’re already an Instant Pot pressure cooker lover, you’ll love this Instant Pot corn on the cob. It’s simple, fuss-free, and quick. Plus, the steaming method provides consistently (it IS one of the most consistent methods) tender and juicy corn every time while retaining more nutrients than other cooking methods.
More so, steaming or pressure cooking corn arguably retains more flavor than boiled but remains just as plump and juicy. Considering the time it takes your pressure cooker to reach pressure and then cook the corn, it may not be the absolute quickest method, but it still has the corn on your table in under 15 minutes (less when using hot water) using fresh OR frozen corn!
How to Buy Fresh Ears of Corn
I’ve spoken about this previously in my boiled corn post, but let’s do a quick recap. Tips for selecting the freshest corn on the cob:
- By look: Look for bright green husks tightly wrapped around the cob (not dry or yellowy-brown). Also, the corn silk should be light gold and slightly sticky (no brown or brittle/dry). The more silk, the better.
You can also peek at the stems where the corn is broken off the stalk. If it’s brown, the corn isn’t fresh. Instead, choose ones that are light and even still slightly moist.
- By feel: The corn should be firm and heavy for its size. Also, run your fingers up the outside of the cob to check for plump kernels, gaps in the kernels, or soft spots.
Avoid peeling back the husk as it will dry out the corn, so you’ll lose freshness (and flavor) sooner. Refer to the image to see the difference between fresh vs. old and shriveled corn on the cob.
To store the corn: If you plan to use it on the same day, store the corn at room temperature. Otherwise, pop them in a Ziplock bag in a crisper drawer for 2-3 days.
How to Shuck Corn
The most annoying part about cooking fresh corn is shucking it. Luckily, there are several methods to make this job as quick as possible.
- Simply use a sharp knife to cut off the root end of each cob.
- Then, using a firm grip on the other end of the corn, pull and twist the husk slightly, so the corn just slides out on the other end.
If you want to avoid cutting the corn at all, no problem.
- First, peel away the outer leaves until there’s just one thin layer of inner leaves remaining.
- Next, peel back the leaves until you can see just the first few rows of kernels.
- Then, grasp all the tops of the leaves and tassel in one hand and pull it down with a firm tug, pulling it until the husk and cob are inverted. Then, simply break them off the cob.
If there are any remaining little silk ‘hairs’ on the corn, you could hold the corn over an open flame with some tongs, and they’ll burn away in seconds.
The Fastest Way to Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
How to cook corn on the cob in Instant Pot requires just a few simple steps using fresh or frozen corn. All you need is corn on the cobs and some water.
How to Prepare Corn on the Cob
First, shuck the corn (see the methods above).
Then, add one cup of water to the bottom of your pressure cooker and insert the metal steam rack (trivet).
I usually use cold water for ease. If you use hot water, though, the Instant Pot will come to full pressure in only a few minutes.
Place the ears of corn on the stand and seal the lid, ensuring the venting knob is in the sealing position.
If you’re cooking enough corn to have them in layers in your Instant Pot, place them in alternating directions. This helps the air circulate around the corn and ensures they cook evenly.
How Long to Pressure Cook Corn on the Cob
Fresh Corn on the Cob
Then select “Pressure Cook” (if there are different options) on MANUAL (high pressure) mode and cook for 2-3 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 remove the lid, use tongs to retrieve the pressure-cooked corn, and enjoy!
Frozen Corn on the Cob
I haven’t tried cooking frozen corn in Instant Pot before, though taking into consideration it will likely be husked and blanched, I’d recommend cooking it at 4 minutes, waiting a few minutes before releasing the quick release. If it hasn’t been blanched, then it may need 5 minutes.
How Do You Enhance the Taste of Corn on the Cob
My favorite simple way to enjoy this Instant Pot sweet corn is topped with butter salt and pepper. It turns out perfect like this.
Other ways to dress up the corn:
- A squeeze of lemon juice and parmesan cheese (optionally with parsley/cilantro)
- Roasted garlic butter (fresh or roasted) and parmesan
- Butter, lime juice, salt, and chili powder
- Butter and hot sauce
- Mayonnaise, paprika, and parmesan cheese or cotija cheese (or queso fresco)
- Furikake seasoning
- Lemon and pepper
- BBQ sauce
You can also experiment with different seasonings like smoked paprika, chili powder, Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, tajin, etc. Or with fresh herbs like parsley, basil, chives, green onion, etc.
Ways to Enjoy Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
As long as you don’t exceed the fill line on the pot, you can cook as many as needed. I’ve found that 6 is a general maximum for a 6-quart pot and 8-9 for an 8-quart.
If you wish to cook the corn in the husks, I recommend slicing off one end of the corn to help them fit into the machine and adding 1-2 minutes of extra cooking time. Then use a kitchen towel to help you pull off the husks without burning yourself.
Fresh corn will take just 2 minutes for tender-crisp results or 3 minutes for tender corn. Frozen corn will take between 4-5 minutes. It’s best to experiment with the lower time first, as you can easily do an extra minute if needed, but can’t fix overcooked corn.
More Simple Vegetable Side Dishes
- Simple sautéed zucchini
- How to cook asparagus (multiple methods)
- 5-minute sautéed sugar snap peas
- Grilled cauliflower steaks
- Sauteed Green Beans
If you try this Instant Pot corn on the cob recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob (Easy and Quick)
- 4 corn on the cob
- 1 cup water
- Shuck the corn (more tips on this in the blog post).
- Add one cup of water to the bottom of your pressure cooker and insert the metal steam rack (trivet). I usually use cold water for ease. If you use hot water, the Instant Pot will come to full pressure in only a few minutes.
- Place the ears of corn on the stand and seal the lid, ensuring the venting knob is in the sealing position. Place them 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 2-3 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, use tongs to retrieve the pressure cooked corn, and enjoy!
Instant Pot Frozen Corn on the Cob
- If the corn has been husked and blanched, I recommend cooking it for 4 minutes and waiting a few minutes before releasing the quick release. If it hasn't been blanched, then it may need 5 minutes.
- Make ahead/Store: Once prepared, you can store the cooled Instant Pot corn on the cob in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Freeze: Flash freeze the cooked cobs, not touching, until solid, then transfer to a Ziplock and store for 6 months. You can also remove the corn kernels and freeze just them in a Ziplock bag, with excess air removed. Reheat: Reheat the corn either in hot water (with a lid) for 2-3 minutes or wrapped in a damp paper towel and microwaved in 15-20 second intervals.
- Use fresh corn: The fresher the corn, the sweeter and juicier it will be. Use organic where possible, too, for the most flavor.
- 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 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 Instant Pot, it will take less time to reach full pressure.
- 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.