Sous Vide Corn
J. Kenji López-Alt is the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, and a columnist for Cooking Light. He lives in San Francisco. A New York native, Kenji cut his cooking chops the old-fashioned way by wo ...
Corn has a great deal of pectin, the carbohydrate glue that holds vegetables together. Pectin doesn’t break down until around 183°F / 84°C, so you need to cook at a minimum of that temperature for corn to tenderize at all. At this temperature, it takes about 30 minutes for corn to tenderize while still retaining a bright, fresh crunch. Leaving your corn in the bath longer is OK, so long as you don’t go much longer than 2 hours, after which is begins to get too soft and mealy.
NOTE: If adding aromatics to the bag, add them sparingly. A few sprigs of herbs or half a split dried chili should do.
Pro-level cooking techniques made simple.
Ingredients for 4
4 ears of corn (optional - leave in husk, with both ends trimmed)
2 tbsp / 28.35 g butter, plus more for serving
Aromatics (optional - cilantro, scallions, garlic, dried chillies, etc., sparingly)
Preheat water bath to 183°F / 84°C using the Precision Cooker.
Place corn, butter, and aromatics inside 1 to 2 vacuum-seal bags and seal bags or 2-3 zipper locking bags. Add two extra seals on each end to ensure sticking.
Clip a heavy metal spoon or knife to the edge of each sous-vide bag with a heavy-duty binder clip to weigh the court down. Place in water bath and cook for 30 minutes.
Open bags, (if cooked in-husk, remove corn from husks and discard), discard aromatics and serve corn, passing extra butter at the table.