Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob Recipe
Yes, you can cook corn on the cob in a pressure cooker! While it does take about the same amount of time as conventional methods, there are two benefits to pressure cooking the corn. If you’ve ever brought a pot of water to boil on a hot summer day in a hot kitchen without air conditioning, you’ll know one of the benefits. My electric pressure cooker doesn’t heat up the kitchen (or the cook) like a big stockpot full of boiling water on the stove does. Even when you open it, because you’re dealing with such a small amount of water, there’s not a lot of steam (and consequently, heat) released. The second benefit comes from that small amount of water, and the enclosed cooking system: you’re essentially steaming the corn, not boiling it, so you’re not losing as many nutrients in the cooking water. I’ve read that generally, pressure cooking vegetables eliminates fewer anti-oxidants from your food than boiling them does. Oh wait, there’s a third benefit: its delicious!
When I was a kid, every year my father eagerly awaited Memorial Day weekend, not because it was the start of the summer holidays, but because that was the start of corn season at the local corn stand. He would drive down at an unseemly hour of the morning to get his ticket to be amongst the first in line, then return before they opened to queue up for his purchase. He would come back home laden with baskets of plump, juicy red tomatoes and large paper bags full of fresh, sweet corn that had been picked just hours before. It was the most delicious corn I have ever tasted (when freshly picked, the natural sugars have yet to convert to starch), especially when served with real butter, and that corn was a treat for us all. The treat lasted through Labor Day, when the last of the fresh corn would be harvested, and my father would have to wait another eight months for his next fix.
Corn on the Cob, GMOs and Organic Corn. My sister is very interested in nutrition, reads up on the subject constantly, and is very concerned about GMOs. She says the best GMO produce to avoid is corn, but its problematic, because even here in California, she has trouble finding organic corn. If you are also seeking organic corn to avoid GMOs, the best places to check would be Sprouts / Henry’s, Whole Foods, and other “health food” oriented markets, or your local farmer’s market. (Corn is generally in season between Memorial Day and Labor Day.) If your market doesn’t have organic corn, be sure and ask for the manager, and let them know you’d like to purchase it. For every person who asks, its an indication of the number of people who walk away without saying anything, so be sure and request it. If the markets, especially the health food markets, know there is a demand, they’re more likely to make the effort to try to meet it.
CORN BUYING TIPS: Your best chance of getting a good deal on fresh corn is during the domestic growing season, roughly from Memorial Day to Labor Day (may vary slightly because of weather). Check the weekly circulars for your local supermarkets as well as stores like Sprouts, Henry’s, Wild Oats and Whole Foods. Corn, like potatoes, starts converting its sugars to starches as soon as it is harvested, so to get the best quality, sweetest ears of corn, you want to get it as soon as possible after it is harvested. Local farmers markets are your best bet (short of growing it yourself), but if that’s not an option, if your supermarket labels the origin of its produce, the closer it is grown, the better: shipping corn from distant sources can add days between picking and eating, days in which natural sugars convert to starches. Once you purchase your corn, don’t wait, eat it right away.
Corn on the cob
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 cup of cold water
Several tablespoons of butter (optional)
Electric pressure cooker
12″ silicone tipped tongs
Corn Brush (optional)
Vegetable steamer (optional)
PRESSURE COOKING TIP: Add a few tablespoons of butter, and the recommended amount of coarse kosher salt, to the cooking liquid in the bottom of the pressure cooker pot. The pressure cooker will not only melt them, but infuse the corn niblets with hot salt and butter as it cooks the corn ears.
- Shuck the ears of corn, removing the husks. silks and any damaged portions of the cob. If you have difficulty removing some of the finer silks, try using a Corn Brush.
- Trim the ends of the ears of corn. With a good sharp chopping knife, cut off the stem end, and remove any tips which are damaged, missing corn, or discolored. Test the ears in the pressure cooker bowl to see if they will fit, either on their sides on top of your vegetable steamer, or stacked at an angle in the bowl, with tops of the corn at the top. You may need to trim the ears slightly, or cut the cobs in half. (Remember, the food shouldn’t rise above the top line in your pressure cooker pot.)
- Place the corn cobs in the pressure cooker, making sure the corn doesn’t reach higher than the limit line for food in the pot. If you have only a few ears, you can lay them on their side on top of the vegetable steamer. Otherwise, you can stack them upright, at an angle, inside the bowl, with the tips facing up. Add 1 cup of cold water and ½ teaspoon of coarse kosher salt. (Optional: Add a few tablespoons of butter to the water at the bottom of the pot.) Pressure cook at HIGH PRESSURE (10 PSI) for 2 – 3 minutes, using QUICK PRESSURE RELEASE. (If you have a standard stovetop pressure cooker, you would remove the cooker from the heat and run it under cold water to hasten pressure release.)
- When pressure is released, remove the lid, holding the far edge of the lid up at an angle over the pot, so any hot water drops back into the bowl and any residual steam keeps away from your face. The corn will have darkened slightly after pressure cooking. (In this case, I used sweet white corn, which became slightly yellow during cooking. This is perfectly normal. Yellow corn will also darken slightly after pressure cooking.)
- Remove the ears of corn from the pressure cooker with your tongs. Insert Corn Holders into both ends of the ears. Serve corn cobs piping hot, with a pat of butter, salt and pepper (optional).
- Corn on the cob
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 cup of cold water
- Several tablespoons of butter (optional)
- Clean and shuck the corn, removing the silks and husks. If you have trouble removing all the corn silk, try a Corn Brush.
- With a good sharp chopping knife, cut off the stem ends of the corn, and any tips that are damaged, missing corn, or blemished. Put the corn cobs in the pressure cooker to make sure they fit without reaching above the limit line in the pot. Adjust as necessary, either by trimming off a bit of the tip, or by cutting the ears in half.
- If you’re only cooking a few ears, you can lay the corn on its side on top of the vegetable steamer. If you’re cooking more, omit the vegetable steamer, and stand the corn cobs at an angle in the bowl, with the tips at the top. Add the water and coarse kosher salt. (Optional: add several tablespoons of butter to the cooking water.) Pressure cook at HIGH PRESSURE (10 PSI) for 2 – 3 minutes using QUICK RELEASE. (If you have a stovetop pressure cooker, you would remove the cooker from heat, and run it under cold water in the sink to speed pressure release.)
- When pressure is released, remove the lid, holding it at an angle over the bowl to allow any hot water to drip back into the pot. Cooked corn will have darkened in color slightly.
- Remove the corn ears from the pressure cooker with your tongs. Insert Corn Holders into each end of the corn. Serve immediately with a pat of butter, salt, and optionally, pepper.