Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob

Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob is easier and better tasting than corn cooked in boiling water. No more waiting for a large pot of water to boil! Just add the water and corn to the pressure cooker and focus your attention on getting dinner on the table.

Easy Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob, plated with an Instant Pot in the background

When I first started pressure cooking, I didn’t think it’d be much easier cooking corn on the cob in the pressure cooker. I assumed it wouldn’t save that much time, and you’d have to break the cobs in half because they wouldn’t fit in the pressure cooker. I couldn’t have been more wrong! 

Not only does the corn fit easily in the pressure cooker, it only has a 2 minute cook time! Plus, since you don’t have to wait for a big pot of water to boil, you can start cooking quicker! And the best part is that since it’s steamed and not boiled, it tastes better!

Corn on the Cob, soft butter, and an Instant Pot in the background

Making Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this delicious Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob!  It really is quicker and easier than the stove top. 

To show you just how quick and easy corn on the cob is in your Instant Pot, I made this short video. 

 

Finding the Right Cook Time for Corn on the Cob

While corn on the cob is often listed in pressure cooking time tables, I’ve found that their timing doesn’t always yield the best results. Maybe I like my veggies a little crisper than others, or maybe it’s my altitude, I’m not sure. 

For making PERFECT corn on the cob in the Instant Pot, I like to use a 2 minute cook time and a quick pressure release. 

A pan full of corn on the cob, cooked and ready from the electric pressure cooker

The perfect cook time for you will depend on a number of factors:

If you’re unsure, I always recommend starting with a shorter time because you can always add another minute or two. You will find your pressure cooker comes back to pressure really quickly after you’ve released the pressure. So it won’t add much time if you need an extra minute or two.

Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob, husked and stacked on a steamer basket inside of an Instant Pot

Accessories for Making Corn on the Cob in the Pressure Cooker

I really love my stainless-steel steamer basket for making corn on the cob in a pressure cooker. It has a big pop-up handle in the middle that unscrews so you can fit beautiful full-size corn on the cob inside your 6-quart pressure cooker.

Or if you’d rather not remove the handle, you can use a green silicone steamer basket that has handles to help you quickly remove your corn from the pressure cooking pot. 

While I like to use a steamer basket, you can also stack the corn on the trivet that came with your Instant Pot.

To get corn out of your electric pressure cooker, I like to use the red silicone mini mitts to just grab the individual ears of corn and put them on a platter. However, if that’s too hot for you, canning jar tongs actually work really well. 

white corn in husks, ready to be cooked in the electric pressure cooker

How to Choose Fresh Corn for Corn on the Cob

My favorite corn comes from a little family farm that grows it fresh and picks it daily. I try to buy from them whenever I can. Here are a few tips I got from a generous produce employee:

I had always been taught to peel the husk back and look at the tip of corn itself. However, I’ve learned that unless you’re planning to eat the corn that night, peeking at the cob in the store means your corn won’t last as long.

So if you’re not looking at it in-store, here’s how to tell:

  • The color of the husk should be bright green and tightly wrapped (this means its fresh)
  • The silky stuff at the top of the husk (aka the “tassels”) should be brown and just a little sticky (dry or black it means the corn is old)
  • The husk shouldn’t have any brown holes in it, especially towards the top (Because this may mean bugs got to that corn first.)
  • The corn should feel solid underneath the husk, and you should be able to feel the individual kernels. You don’t want any areas missing kernels (again, because of bugs)

Corn on the cob with the husks still on and the tassels green and brown

How to Store Corn on the Cob

If you are cooking it within a few hours of purchase, store your corn on the cob in their husks at room temperature. Otherwise, they’ll stay freshest if you refrigerate them inside the husks and tightly wrapped in a plastic bag. 

After cooking, you can wrap any leftover corn in plastic and freeze right on the cob. When you’re ready to eat, transfer the frozen corn to a steamer basket. Add a cup of water to the pressure cooking pot and steam the corn again until it’s warmed through. (To avoid over cooking, I’d start with a 1 minute cook time and add from there until you find your perfect timing.) 

Corn on the cob cooked in the pressure cooker, plated and topped with butter, salt, and pepper

Best Toppings and Seasonings for Corn on the Cob

Looking for toppings for corn on the cob? Honestly, I prefer my corn on the cob served the classic way—just slathered in butter with a bit of salt and pepper. Steaming the corn in the pressure cooker really lets the sweet corn flavor to come through and makes it a perfect side for barbecue baby back ribs, beef brisket, or burgers.

However, mixing up your corn on the cob has become super popular lately. Between food trucks and state fairs, there are some amazing flavor combinations out there!

In my state, at the Utah State Fair, we have a truck that serves fresh corn on the cob with lemon butter and Parmesan cheese.

The Arkansas State Fairs serves bacon-wrapped corn on the cob. I’d make it easy to eat and serve by sauteing diced bacon in your pressure cooking pot. Once the bacon is crisp, remove it from the cooking pot and set aside. Wipe out the pot and then start the corn on the cob recipe. But if you really want to wrap your corn, I’d try steaming it for 1 minute in the pressure cooker, then wrapping it in bacon and finishing it on the grill like in my BBQ Bacon Cheese Hot Dog recipe. (mmm…bacon cheddar!)

At the Minnesota State Fair, you can order Cheesy Nacho Corn on the Cob, coated with crushed Doritos and drizzled with nacho cheese.

Many state fairs from New York to Texas also offer Mexican Street Fair corn, aka Elote, made with crema mexicana, queso fresco, cilantro, and lime. (Seriously, this combination is up next on my list to test out!)

If you have an air fryer, Ninja Foodi, or CrispLid pressure cooking accessory, you can even try breading and frying your corn on the cob! 

Are there flavor combinations you like with your corn? Or are you a corn purist? Let me know in the comments!

Corn on the Cob, plated and drizzled in butter, with an Instant Pot in the background

Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob

Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1-6 fresh ears of corn, shucked and cleaned

Instructions

Add 2 cups water to the pressure cooking pot. Place a steamer basket in the pressure cooking pot, and stack the corn inside the basket. If needed, you can break the ears of corn in half to help them fit better inside the cooking pot.

Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 2 to 3 minutes cook time*.

When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and do a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove lid.

Remove from the cooking pot to a serving platter. Just prior to serving, slather the corn in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

*The cook time depends on how soft you like your corn, how fresh the ears of corn are, how many you have in the cooking pot, and the material of your steamer basket. If you're unsure, I'd always recommend starting with a shorter time.

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Other Great Barbecue Sides for Summer

Corn on the cob is the perfect summer vegetable. If you’re looking for other great options for your summer, I have a round up of great summer side dishes, including 

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Baked Beans

Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Baked Beans

Quick Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Potato Salad

Quick & Easy Pressure Cooker Potato Salad

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Amish Macaroni Salad

Amish Macaroni Salad

Plus, my cookbook, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook, also has some great options including Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin (page 245), Loaded “Baked” Potatoes (page 249), and Refried Beans (page 265).

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