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Corn off the cob on plate

Make-Ahead Buttery Corn Off the Cob Side Dish

A super easy, comfort food corn-off-the-cob side dish with layers of butter that's delicious all year round and can be prepared ahead of time.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Corn, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling time: 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 Serves 5 to 6


  • 8-quart tall pot
  • 2-quart round glass baking dish with lid (or similar size oven-proof casserole dish and foil)


  • 3 ears white corn on the cob (or multi-yellow colored corn on the cob) chucked and silk strands removed, rinsed
  • 3 ears yellow corn on the cob (or multi-yellow colored corn on the cob) chucked and silk strands removed, rinsed
  • Water (for boiling the corn on the cob) about 1-quart of water per ear of corn
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter cut in small cubes
  • 9 dashes ground black pepper or add to taste
  • 9 dashes salt or add to taste


Boiling the Corn on the Cob:

  • In a large pot, add just enough water to cover the ears of corn. Bring the pot of water to a boil.
  • While the water is warming up, add white vinegar and sugar.
  • To the pot, using long tongs, carefully add each ear of corn. Gently add the corn in the pot of water so that hot water doesn't splash out.
  • While adding the ears of corn to the water, keep a close eye on the water level so that it doesn't boil over the pot.
    If the water level starts to get too close to the top of the pot, carefully use a large ladle to transfer some of the water out of the pot.
  • If needed, adjust the placement of the ears of corn so that each one of them is submerged in water. If more water is needed in the pot, carefully add just enough to cover each ear of corn.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat down to low.
    Simmer the corn on low heat until the corn is just tender (about 8 to 10 minutes; may be less or more depending on the size of the ears of corn).
    Be careful not to overcook the corn or it will be tough.
  • After the corn is done cooking, using tongs, transfer each ear of corn from the pot onto a large plate in a single layer. Let the ears of corn cool on the plate until they are cool enough to handle (about 8 to 10 minutes).

Cutting the Corn Off of the Cob - 3 optional ways:

  • 1. Corn on the Cob Laying Flat on a Cutting Board - lay the ear of corn flat on a cutting board vertically so that the top of the corn (the narrower end) is directly above the stem-end. Carefully cut down the side of the cob to remove the kernels.
    Try to cut the corn off the cob in medium to large pieces (they will likely break into smaller pieces when handling them but try to keep some of the rows of corn attached to one another if possible).
    Then rotate the ear of corn so that the cut side of the cob lays flat on the cutting board. Carefully continue cutting and rotating the corn until all of the kernels are cut off of the cob.
  • 2. Corn on the Cob Sitting Upright on a Cutting Board - Stand the ear of corn upright on a cutting board by holding an end of the corn with one hand. With the other hand, starting at the top end of the corn, away from your hand, carefully slice the corn off the cob (in medium to large size pieces if possible).
  • 3. Corn on the Cob Standing Upright Using 2 Bowls - In the middle of a large bowl, lay a small bowl upside-down.
    With your hand, hold the ear of corn upright while it rests on top of the small upside-down bowl. With the other hand, starting at the top end of the corn, away from your hand, carefully slice the corn off the cob (in medium to large size pieces if possible).
    The cut pieces of corn on the cob should fall into the larger bowl.

Layering the Corn Off the Cob in a Baking Dish:

  • For the First Layer - In a 2-quart round glass baking dish (or similar size oven-proof casserole dish), add a layer of 1/3 of the total amount of cut corn. Evenly place 1/3 of the total amount of butter on top of the cut corn. On top of the corn, sprinkle ground black pepper and salt.
  • For the Second Layer - In the baking dish, lay another layer of cut corn using half of the remaining corn, half of the remaining butter, pepper and salt.
  • For the Third Layer - In the baking dish, add a layer of the remaining cut corn, cubes of butter, pepper and salt. Cover the baking dish with a lid.

If Making this Dish Ahead of Time:

  • Store the covered baking dish in the refrigerator no longer than one day before serving.
    About 30 minutes before serving, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and set on the kitchen counter to bring the corn up to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. And bake as follows.

If Making this Dish Before Serving:

  • Bake the corn in a preheated oven until it's warmed through (about 15 to 20 minutes). Serve while warm.



  1. When adding salt, sugar, spices (or other dry ingredients) to a pot of water, it's best to add these ingredients before the water gets hot so that the steam from the water doesn't "gum up" the dry ingredients when attempting to add them.
  2. When boiling corn on the cob, one thing NOT to add to the boiling water is salt because it may make the corn tough.
  3. While the corn is cooking, keep an eye on the pot to make sure the water doesn't boil over.  If the water in the pot starts to boil over the sides of the pot, carefully remove the pot from the heat and also remove the lid.