The Corn Cooking Method That Can Seriously Deliver Flavor

The next time you finish off a corn on the cob, pat yourself on the back and brag to all your friends that you just consumed (an average of) 800 kernels (per Fresh City Farms). How's that for a "corny" fact of the day? Corn is one of the few vegetables with a sweet profile and is known for its crunchiness when eaten raw. But when cooked, those sweet notes become more pronounced because of the breakdown of glucose molecules, especially at high temperatures, Memphis Wood Fire Grills notes.

When it comes to methods of cooking corn, the sky's the limit. Some home cooks prefer to grill corn on the cob while keeping the husks on, while others swear by a warm "butter bath," Kitchn says. Or, some home cooks may focus on herbs and seasonings like caraway seeds, smoked paprika, celery seeds, or tarragon, as noted by Produce Made Simple. Serious Eats, though, likes to give corn the special treatment, combining a fancy cooking method with some serious flavors. Here's how they do it.

Sous vide that corn!

Let's talk about the sous vide method for a moment. Martha Stewart explains that this French style of cooking involves slow-cooking various food items in a heated water bath; only the foods are packaged in their own little vacuum-sealed pouches. Such foods tend to come out perfectly cooked, ultra flavorful, and tender, and it's a great method for those who want more control of temperatures and cooking times.

Lots of foods can be prepared with the sous vide method, like meat, fish, vegetables, and even yogurt and crème brûlée. But when it comes to corn, WebstaurantStore states that this approach keeps the flavors intact, which can be further enhanced with the addition of butter and aromatics. Serious Eats piggybacks on this by recommending cilantro, scallions, dried chile peppers, and/or garlic as the aromatics of choice, but feel free to get creative with various herbs and spices within your kitchen. Just don't go too crazy with the herbs and peppers. You want the corn to still taste like corn rather than a mouthful of heat or herby flavors.

Since all of this stuff is vacuum-sealed in one pouch, the corn on the cobs has no choice but to absorb these flavors. This translates to extra buttery and herbaceous kernels that are super tender and ready for just about any weeknight dinner recipe or straight-up snacking (just don't forget those napkins)!