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Sweet corn also called sweetcorn, sugar corn, or simply corn, is a variety of maize with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel. Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and fully mature, sweet corn is picked when immature and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. Since the process of maturation involves converting sugar into starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten, canned, or frozen before the kernels become tough and starchy. Sweetcorn kernels are one of the traditional ingredients of succotash.

Baby corn spears

Baby corn, candle corn or baby corn spears are a cereal grain taken from corn (maize) harvested early while the ears are very small and immature. It typically is eaten whole cob includedβ€”in contrast to mature corn, whose cob is considered too tough for human consumption. Baby corn is eaten both raw and cooked. Baby corn is most common in Asian cuisine. In Thai cookbooks, it is referred to as candle corn.

Corn husks

Corn husks refer to the leafy outer covering of an ear of maize (corn) as it grows on the plant. Literally, a husk or hull includes the protective outer covering of a seed, fruit or vegetable. The husks can be used as a wrap to cook foods such as tamales.

How to cook sweetcorn

Never overcook sweetcorn as the longer you cook it, the tougher it gets.

How to cook sweetcorn in a microwave

  • Whole sweetcorn
    • Remove the husks and the silk (the hairs)
    • Soak in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes
    • Microwave while still wet for 2 to 3 minutes
    • Rub with butter, sprinkle with a little salt and enjoy
    • Optionally, toast with a blowtorch
  • Sweetcorn kernels or canned sweetcorn
    • Tip into a plastic bowl with 3 tablespoons of water>
    • Save the planet! Cover with a saucer not plastic wrap.
    • Microwave for 3 minutes
    • Drain and add a knob of butter, sprinkle with a little salt and enjoy

How to cook whole sweetcorn ears on a barbecue

    • Soak in cold water for 1 hour
    • Grill on a barbecue for 25 minutes, turning to prevent burning.
    • Rub with butter, sprinkle with a little salt and enjoy.

Sweetcorn, like other cereal grains, can be puffed (or popped) when dried.

How many ears / cobs of corn in a tin of sweetcorn

There are between 3 to 4 ears / cobs of corn to a large (350 g) can.

How much does one cup of sweetcorn weigh?

Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:

Ingredient US Cups Grams Ounces
Sweetcorn fresh
175 grams 6 ounces
Sweetcorn canned
250 grams 9 ounces

Conversion notes:
Every ingredient has a cups to ounces or grams conversion table. Search for the ingredient, cup to weight conversions are at the end of each ingredient page.

We also have a generic conversion table and a portions per person lookup.

Seasonal Information: Sweetcorn

This information is specifically for countries in the northern temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere; particularly the United Kingdom, however it should be applicable for northern USA, northern Europe, Canada, Russia, etc.

Sweetcorn is at its best and in season during the following months: August, September & October.

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