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Old 08-27-2007, 06:16 PM   #1
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Corn: What not to do...

I had a few ears of corn from my neighbors garden. The first few, I actually just sliced off the kernels and put them raw in some salads. It was fresh, juicy, all was well.

Tonight I thought I would boil it, because I had it for a few days and thought it would benefit from some cooking. Too bad I screwed it up. You might be thinking, how in the world could anyone screw up corn.... I thought I would post this so nobody else would ruin their corn. I filled a pot with water, then put a lot of salt in it, brought it to a boil, put the corn in, cooked it for about 5 minutes. When I took it out it, it was really tough. So I did a quick search on how to cook corn. I should have done that to begin with. Salt was the culprit.

Mental note - don't salt the water when you cook corn.

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Old 08-27-2007, 06:23 PM   #2
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If you have only a couple ears to cook, try taking the dark green outer leaves off and microwave for 6 mins. - yum. I Have been doing it this way for a month now. It is so good and easy ! Hubby and I have been having one every night with our meal. (Still camping) ! The silk and other leaves comes off so easy - use a potholder, or wait it out like I do !!
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:24 PM   #3
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Sorry about your corn, foodie. Just consider it a jaw workout.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:59 PM   #4
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If you have only a couple ears to cook, try taking the dark green outer leaves off and microwave for 6 mins. - yum. I Have been doing it this way for a month now. It is so good and easy ! Hubby and I have been having one every night with our meal. (Still camping) ! The silk and other leaves comes off so easy - use a potholder, or wait it out like I do !!

I didn't even think of the microwave - thanks Barb! I'll definitely try that next time.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:05 PM   #5
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I'm weird, when i was a child (kinda still am...lol) boiling was the only way anyone in the family did corn. I refuse to boil it. I roast it in the oven(husk on, no prep) or grill it the same way. That is the best in my opinion
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:14 AM   #6
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how long does it take when you roast it Chef_Jimmy?

mental note: no salt :)
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:00 AM   #7
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I take all of the leaves of and grill it, no soaking....just a few minutes on the grill and that is it. You can see when it is ready to turn as the kernels turn a darker shade of gold. It is delicious!!!!!
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:48 AM   #8
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Corn starts getting tough after about 24 hours, the sugars turn to starch. That's why we will not eat corn unless we buy it from a local farm, and it was picked that very day. If we don't eat it that day, we toss it, it's just too chewy and we are too picky. That's probably why your corn was chewy, it was getting old.

To cook corn we just put a few inches of water in a pot, add the corn, and cook it for about 5-10 minutes, no longer. The corn is basically steamed. On the grill or in the microwave as already mentioned would be other great steaming options. I love corn! We had some last night.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:01 AM   #9
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You should always salt the water when you cook corn, IMO.

Salting the water does not make it tough.

Boiling corn for 5 minutes is too long. That can make it tough. Plus, the corn itself could have been tough, something you might not have noticed when you ate it raw.

I grew up in Iowa and ate corn so much it started to make me sick. It was years before I could enjoy it again.

To cook corn, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop in husked corn. Turn off heat and cover pot. Corn is done when you can smell it -- generally about 5 min.

Corn is almost all water and is more delicate than you might think. Recall how good it tasted raw? That's why you never want to overcook corn.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
You should always salt the water when you cook corn, IMO.

Salting the water does not make it tough.

Boiling corn for 5 minutes is too long. That can make it tough. Plus, the corn itself could have been tough, something you might not have noticed when you ate it raw.

I grew up in Iowa and ate corn so much it started to make me sick. It was years before I could enjoy it again.

To cook corn, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop in husked corn. Turn off heat and cover pot. Corn is done when you can smell it -- generally about 5 min.

Corn is almost all water and is more delicate than you might think. Recall how good it tasted raw? That's why you never want to overcook corn.

Thanks Miss Jenny...

I was thinking I was going against the grain My family has always salted the water. As has already been stated, freshness and not over cooking are the key points
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:48 AM   #11
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whatever you do, don't ever salt beans before they are done cooking because the same thing will happen that happened to your corn---I guess we all learn lessons---this was a full pot of beans and I was in tears---now I know better
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:09 PM   #12
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whatever you do, don't ever salt beans before they are done cooking because the same thing will happen that happened to your corn---I guess we all learn lessons---this was a full pot of beans and I was in tears---now I know better
Sorry but that, too is a wives tale. There's nothing wrong with salting beans. They'll taste a lot better if you do. Most chefs recommend it, in fact.

Old beans are the likely problem if they won't soften. Also acid and hard water inhibit softening, but salt does not.
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:47 PM   #13
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I salt beans but not until almost the end of the cooking-----and you're absolutely right, Jennyema, if the beans are old and dried out no amount of cooking is going to resurrect them. Case in point---I cooked some pinto beans nearly 6 hours the other evening and finally thru them in the trash out of frustration---they never did soften up. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell they don't date beans, do they? I really wished they would.
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:03 PM   #14
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I have seen dates on some bags of beans ... can't remember which brand, though. I use Goya (which I don't think has dates) and buy at places with high turnover.

I made a batch of baked beans 2 weekends ago by request for a family gathering (they had loved the beans I had made a while back) and forgot to put in the salt till a bit more than halfway through the cooking. Boy what a mistake! They were like night and day compared to the beans salted from the beginning. They were dull and didn't have nearly the depth of flavor of the previous batch. The only thing different was the salt. I nearly cried. But I had a beer and a deep breath and then decided to cook them for longer after adding the salt and luckily I cooked them 2 days beforehand and they improved somewhat in the fridge.

I have always salted my beans and only once or twice have I had a problem and one of those times I cooked them with wine and tomatoes.
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by healthyfoodie View Post
I had a few ears of corn from my neighbors garden. The first few, I actually just sliced off the kernels and put them raw in some salads. It was fresh, juicy, all was well.

Tonight I thought I would boil it, because I had it for a few days and thought it would benefit from some cooking. Too bad I screwed it up. You might be thinking, how in the world could anyone screw up corn.... I thought I would post this so nobody else would ruin their corn. I filled a pot with water, then put a lot of salt in it, brought it to a boil, put the corn in, cooked it for about 5 minutes. When I took it out it, it was really tough. So I did a quick search on how to cook corn. I should have done that to begin with. Salt was the culprit.

Mental note - don't salt the water when you cook corn.
Healthy, sorry to hear it didn't turn out well - tough. Don't think the salted water had anything to do with, imho. I think your cooking time was too short. I'm a city girl, and don't have the luxary of picking fresh corn from the garden, but do have the freshest veggies available in farmer's markets and the 'super' market. If you are boiling the corn, imo/experience, it needs longer cooking time - 10-sometimes 15 minutes - depending on if you added the corn when the water came to a full boil. (I used to add a pinch of sugar - but not always necessary.)

One of the bestest ways I've had corn on the cob, is to add a little butter - or not - wrap the corn in waxed paper (give it a twist on both ends) and nuke it. Hope that helps.
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:02 AM   #16
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Aging and refrigeration seem to contribute to the deterioration of corn's quality. With respect the above discussed bean matter, assuming they're dried beans, an overnight soak should help.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:46 AM   #17
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My microwave is used almost exclusively for corn.
Steaming fresh ears, and popping those lovely bags of kernals and chemical.
I think microwaves were a gift from the corn god...
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:37 PM   #18
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I never thought to use wax paper in the microwave...cool, thanks for that :)
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:40 PM   #19
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If you have a lot of corn on hand and don't want to refrigerate them as I agree with justplainbill that they deteriorate in the fridge, you can parboil them and freeze them. When we lived overseas they had the most wonderful sweet corn but only available for about 3 weeks in early June--that's it. ZIP...nada for the rest of the year. So that's how we preserved them and were able to serve them at Thanksgiving along with the disastrous green turkey I had one year. :)
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:49 PM   #20
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When I was a kid I raised enough sweet corn to buy all of my books for high school and 2/3 of my collage. and we all ways boiled it in salted water. all ways fresh right out of the patch only minutes from picking. old corn is the culprit
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