Corn blog

Photos by Donna

I posted this photo last September and was going to repost the actual post shouting the joys of baked buttered corn, but deleted it by mistake!  But I thought of it because after the sadness of finding a squash in my CSA, the changing of corn for tiny tender and sweet, to fat and starchy, is yet another sign of summer’s passing.

A way to bring some happiness to the end of summer is to take that corn and simply bake it with butter.  It’s fabulous.  The starchy corn juices create a virtual custard and the long high heat transforms the flavors in a way that a quick boiling of the corn can’t.

I use the Lee Wooden Corn Cutter, above.  It goes against my advice to rid your kitchen of unitaskers—it’s quaint, goofy, and really works.  I use it a few times a year, but I love it.  If you don’t have one, I’m sure a box grated and a knife would work fine.

I use a mixture of cut corn and juices and whole corn cut from the cob at about a 3 or 4:1 ratio.  (Don’t forget to use your cobs to make corn stock–it’s fabulous base for soups!)

Put the corn in a backing dish or Dutch oven (choose a vessel that will give you about a 3-inch depth), add some chunks of butter (the above dishes have about an ounce apiece, salt and pepper, and bake in a 400 degree oven until it’s bubbling hot and golden brown crust has begun to form, about 45 minutes (you can dry them out, so don’t over bake).

Really delicious, really easy, the best way to use corn has it heads out of season.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Corn is my favorite time of year.


51 Wonderful responses to “Baked Buttered Corn”

  • Ted

    I like to take the fresh kernels and mix them with a bit of queso oaxaqueno. I use this to stuff roasted poblano chiles and put a bit of home-made tomatillo sauce on them and bake for 20 minutes at 325F.

  • erik

    Thanks for the new idea. I will have to try this dish sometime this week. Also, I had never thought about making a corn stock. That sounds good. I have a chicken carcass waiting to be made into stock as well.

  • Will Turnage

    My favorite way to remove corn kernels is to stick the small end of the corn into the center of a Bundt pan. Then use a knife to scrape the kernels off the side. You can get through a few ears of corn very quickly and the Bundt pan catches all the kernels.

  • Tags

    Have you tried any of the sous vide techniques from “Under Pressure” on this stuff?

  • Tags

    And how about buttered-corn poached lobster?

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  • Andy Coan

    Corn cob stock! Why didn’t I ever think of that?

    …I hope that little gem goes in the 2nd Ed. of ‘Elements,’ in the stock essay. 🙂

  • Natalie Sztern

    Oh wow, I just came home with corn cobs from the grocer…you are gonna get me real fat this winter I think.

    Three corn cutters in my drawer and I hate them all..use my knife instead and all the milk falls into the bowl instead of my counter. altho i must say your cutter looks mighty good…hmmm another few bucks? Did you know Amazon from Canada only sells books!! If any Amazon marketing people read this blog why are you losing such revenue in Canada???

  • ruhlman

    Will, great tip, thanks.

    Carol, I don’t measure, water to cover.

    Natalie, that’s just the browning from the heat. Cook them till theyre piping hot and lightly browned on top.

  • Kate in the NW

    Yum! We just got some cornmeal to make some sweet cornbread (I like to put fresh sweet-corn kernels in the batter) – I’m thinkin’ this stuff might even be good spread on top of it – maybe with a little drizzle of homemade caramel? Mmmmm….

    How about a post on all the different stocks that can be made from “garbage”? (Or at the very least, “compost”).

  • Kate in the NW

    Ooooh, oooh – another thought – how about a “Stock Chart”, a la “Ratio”? All (well, many) of the possible ingredients, the best combinations/ratios/uses, and perhaps a listing of the common stuff most of us just throw out or compost without thinking (bones, corn cobs, veg peelings, who knows what else…). Please?

    Oh – and I am fast becoming a big fan of using little cubes of daikon in clear soups – it’s a lovely texture and it takes on a complex sweetness when simmered in chicken stock (homemade, of course!).

  • Ralph

    Remark: the universally sold “sweet white corn” (sold everywhere, even in “boutique” markets here in SoCal) is an abomination. Sure, it’s very sweet, like candy. Trouble is, it doesn’t taste anything like what (over 70+) years I could ever have recognized as corn. Even the FROZEN yellow stuff is better. Even the ubiquitous frozen kernels at least TASTE like corn. Oh, well. Sob! as Li’l Abner used to say.

  • Josie

    My dogs thoroughly enjoy chasing corn cobs all around the yard, so they rarely go to waste around here 🙂

  • luis

    It’s the no reservations from the infamous b…. butter.. every joint tells you otherwise but every kitchen is loaded with… butter.
    Bourdain used what? hundreths of lbs of butter every where he went… and so does everyone else. Hey it’s in tha book bro!.
    I know what you are proposing is gonna be delish… I can taste it without even making it. Corn is sugar, and now we have SUGAR,BUTTER(FAT) and salt and what pops into my mind?… David Kessler’s incredible book exposee on sugar fat and salt… and how folks high up in the food industry have been destroying our health since the 1960’s…
    Love you bro, but you pushed my buttons on this one.

  • lectric lady

    My up-until-now fav recipe for fresh corn:

    Fry up a slice of bacon for each cob. Drain and crumble, reserve fat. Cut “cheeks” off cobs (using shallow cuts) and then scrape cobs vigorously with the back of a knife, removing all the juice (cobs should be very dry). Add corn and juice, and the bacon bits to the bacon fat and saute for a few minutes. Season with S&P.

    Run out to the deck with the saute pan and a spoon and eat it all by yourself before your family realizes what happened.

    Repeat the process for the rest of your family.

    Now I am going to try this with your baking process. Can’t wait to try the results.

  • Sandy

    Gawd, I am all over that. I second Kate’s idea for a comprehensive stock chart.

  • Nicholas Hall

    Who else is in love with lentil stock? I now cook lentils in a bit too much water, just to make sure I have that flavorful brown stock left over. I’ve spent the better part of a year trying to eliminate as much “kitchen waste” as possible, through just such re-imaginings of “scraps” It’s amazing to think of what I used to just toss. I’ve got a couple of bags of asparagus trimmings in my freezer right now, waiting for asparagus season to roll around again. Then, they will be the base for asparagus stock used to adjust the consistency of asparagus soup.

  • Ted

    Best thing the ubiquitous and tasteless Silver Queen corn cultivar does is grow huitlacoche readily.. the Mexican corn fungus.. look for it during rainy years.

  • evening primrose oil

    Amazing recipe! Every one like corn. As it is good for health. Thanks for sharing such wonderful healthy recipe here. Its snap is looking so beautiful. I think it will be very delicious. I will try to make this by using these recipe tips. It is nice to post here. I like this site very much and I will visit this site in future too.

  • Walt


    Great dish!

    So simple, so fresh and so delicious. We made this for dinner last night and it was a huge hit. The large openings on my box grater worked to perfection.


    Love your idea. We’re having out of town friends in this weekend. They can expect much guilding!

  • El

    I’ve never seen a recipe for this before. I’m going to try it tomorrow night. It looks like great comfort food.

  • cleek

    i make something similar, but with some cream replacing a bit of the butter, and i make it in a well-greased cast iron skillet that’s been pre-heated (kindof like making cornbread). the outside fries, and the inside bakes and dires out a bit – you can cut it lie cornbread, too.

    total yum,

  • Lyn Reid

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. Made it last night, it was magnificent. I didn’t think it was possible to love corn, more than I did, until now. Try slathering mayo on a hot ear of corn, sprinkle it with cotija cheese (Mexican style cheese) & cayenne pepper. Yum

  • dawn

    I did not get much juice and therefore no custard effect, though everyone loved this dish anyway. Cut my corn from the cob, then scraped. Should I used a box grater instead?

  • Pat

    Are you familiar with a cookbook called Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville? They do a lot of interesting stocks: corn, leek, tomato-mushroom. Very good recipes; kinda time consuming, though, so I rarely make them anymore with a 3 year old to run after.

  • lb

    Stock from corn cobs (and Leeks) IS great, but – “Nasty Swanson’s Broth” – How about doing a double-blind tasting with Swanson’s, Pucks, Nature’s best, and a normal homemade stock (used as an ingredient, to see if you could actually taste the difference?

  • luis

    You know!!!!, this is a great pot luck dish!. One thing is cooking for a select few.. quite another when you need to whip something up to impress the home team (mac&cheese done poorly crowd). This dish will knock their socks off bro.
    Besides, I want to make corn cob stock to flavor my steel cut oats with a tad of butter and tarragon.
    Honey is such a cheap shot… anymore. Steel cut oats are so wonderful that it could be America’s answer to Japan’s steamed brown rice,miso and tofu.

  • Hal in Seattle

    Great recipe. As an experiment I stuffed a hollowed-out raw green pepper with one portion and put the pepper in a ramekin — It came out very well.

  • luis

    Got tha corn…now I am thinking of looking up corn casserole recipes tonite. Toss in some crispy bacon and/or chorizo. Some finely chopped pitted dates and toasted pine nuts, finelly chopped shallots and cilantro. But I am getting ahead of myself… first I need to research… Hell the way Michael suggests is probably the most delicious way… OBTW my order went in yesterday for the corn jig thing. Love trying kitchen gadgets…

  • Jeannie

    What a great idea! I have been spoiled this summer, I get it so fresh at my farmer’s mkt I have actually started eating it raw because it was so sweet and juicy. Thank you for simple recipes all based on technique and ingredients and of course with the wonderful pictures included!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Corn cutter goes on my gadget list now too…

  • luis

    Made it this morning just like Michael taught us. Even I could not mess this one up. Rich and flavorfull. Only thing I did diff was I pulsed the corn in tha cuisinart a bit to get that creamy texture Ruhlman achives with his widget. (Mine is on order so I improvised a bit). Also made corn cob stock. Most of the baked corn and the stock will go to making “Ajiaco” soup tonite cause I have lots of tubers and veggies laying around.

  • bedroom dresser

    It has been three days that the corns are staying at home and I don’t know what to do with them aside from making them into soups! DamN! Thanks for a pretty good suggestion of making them into baked and buttered!

  • luis

    Corn cob stock is very very sweet. Very different from any other stock I have made. Ajiaco turned out interesting using the corn cob stock.

  • Andreina

    In my country (Venezuela) we grind the corn and we use it to make something that looks and its pretty much cooked like a pancake. After is golden on both sides, we add some butter and fresh white cheese, then fold it over. It’s absolutely amazing. They are called cachapas.

  • Saffoula

    I’m holding you and this recipe personally responsible for my 2-pound weight gain in as many days. It was equally delicious reheated the next day. I even made the corn cob stock too!

  • rita

    Inspired by your post, last night I baked together: corn from 4 fresh cobs, 4 Tb butter, 4 oz. mascarpone, 1/2 vidalia onion and one large jalapeno. All I Can say is WOW! My husband almost passed out!

  • Roger

    Take the corn cob stock and use it for a base for the bechamel (from Ratio) add the left-over corn casserole and it’s the best corn soup ever! Especially if you add sauteed fresh mushrooms. . .

  • cable hdmi

    How wonderful to find I have a foodie friend in you! I would love this item. I am giving a party to my friends this weekend at my farmhouse. I was wondering about some new item to treat my friends with. I will surely try this and let you know.