Remove husks from corn just before cooking. Remove as much of the fine silky thread as you can by running your hands over the cobs and pulling them out. A wet paper towel will remove the rest.
To boil: The trick to cooking fresh corn is to not overcook it. Bring a large pot (a 6-quart stock pot will hold 4 to 5 large ears) full of water to a boil. Add the corn. When the water boils again, which will take a few minutes, the corn will be cooked but still crisp. If you want the kernels softer, let it boil another 3 minutes or so. Some people add sugar to the water but you should not add salt. It will make the corn tough.
To grill: Heat grill to medium. Grill corn, turning occasionally until all sides are charred and kernels are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. If you want to grill in the husks, you'll need to peel the papery layers back, remove silks and then return husks to original position. Soak corn in water for about 15 minutes to prevent the husks from burning on the grill and to allow corn to steam a bit.
To roast: Corn on the cob can be roasted in the oven — 30 minutes at 375 degrees — in or out of the husk. When the corn is in the husk, use the same technique for roasting as you do for grilling, placing the ears directly on the oven rack grate. If you remove the husk, place the ears on a baking sheet and turn them a couple of times during cooking. Corn without the husks can also be wrapped in foil before roasting. This is an especially good technique if you spread with flavored butter first.
Janet K. Keeler