Friday, June 22, 2012

Corn in the oven

We had decided in the morning to have baked chicken, so it had been defrosting all day.  Then we acquired a huge load of vegetables from the market, including four ears of corn.  When we drifted into the kitchen at 5:15 to organize dinner, we realized -- the air conditioning wasn't working in that wing of the house!

I had spent the day in my basement studio, where it's always ten degrees cooler than upstairs.  My  husband had spent the afternoon in his office, which is on the other air conditioner (it's a sprawling house, with two separate heating/cooling systems).  Neither of us had noticed that the kitchen and its neighbors were getting hotter and hotter.

But now, cooking seemed like a really bad idea.  We were committed to the chicken, so I turned on the oven and stuck it in.  And then it crossed our minds that it would be neat to cook the corn in the oven, as long as it was on anyway, rather than our usual method of boiling water on top of the stove.

I've never cooked corn in the oven, so I did a fast google on recipes.  I checked out five different recipes, and got no guidance.  One called for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, one called for an hour at 400.  Some called for taking the husks off and wrapping the ears in foil, some called for just putting the ears on the oven rack without any preparation.  Plus your choice of any combinations and permutations and interim approaches.

I decided to do as little preparation as possible.  I sliced off the stem end of the ears, hoping that might make it easier to strip the husks and silk when the corn was done.

I was afraid the ears might ooze liquid from the pierced kernels as they baked, so I put them on a cookie sheet rather than just on the rack.  The oven was at 410 degrees.  Forty minutes later we pulled them out, opened one and did a taste test -- it was magnificent!

The husks were a little browned, and the silk rubbed off easily as we peeled off the husks and used them to grab and remove the silk.

Who knows whether the corn was just great to start with, or how much the cooking method improved the flavor.  But we'll definitely try this again, any time the oven is on for another purpose.  Much easier, not to mention cooler, than any stovetop preparation.


  1. Lately I have been doing corn in the toaster oven. I remove the husks and wrap each ear in foil with some butter, salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. Then I do them at 350 for about 30 minutes. I love how easy it is!

  2. I have done them in a similar way to what you described but on a barbecue. The skin always comes of well and they end up very tasty.