How to Roast Corn in a Pan

by Irena Eaves

Give your corn kernels a crispy char with no added fat.

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Pan roasting is an excellent way to highlight corn's natural sweetness without the addition of unhealthy ingredients. The corn is cooked in a dry skillet -- without any oil or butter -- which creates a lightly charred, caramelized exterior. This dry roasting method helps the corn brown quickly and gives it a mouthwatering, nutty aroma. Fresh corn is best when it's in season, but you can use this same method to toast canned or frozen corn during the winter months. Try mixing the corn with tomatoes, leafy greens and charred poblano peppers for a smoky, Latin-inspired side dish.

Shuck the corn and strip the kernels from the cob with a knife, if you're using fresh corn. If you're using canned corn, drain, rinse and pat it dry. Frozen corn can be left as is.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes until the pan is very hot. Cast iron skillets are best, but stainless steel skillets will work fine as well. Do not use a nonstick skillet, which can be damaged with high-heat cooking.

Add the corn to the skillet and cook until it is browned and cooked through, about five minutes. Stir the corn once or twice during cooking, allowing it to remain undisturbed for most of the cooking time. Stirring the corn too frequently will prevent the corn from browning properly. Remove the corn from the pan immediately to prevent it from overcooking.


  • You can eat this corn immediately after cooking while it's still warm, or store it in the refrigerator for a few days to toss on top of soups, salads, pasta and other dishes.

Photo Credits

  • STUDIObgd/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Irena Eaves began writing professionally in 2005. She has been published on several websites including RedPlum, and Eaves holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University.