How To Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

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As a Midwestern gal, born and raised, I do love my corn on the cob. What I don't love, however, is standing over a boiling pot of water waiting for the cobs to cook on a sweltering summer day. Boiling has also always felt to me like a lot of labor for what amounts to a few minutes of actual cook time.

Enter: the microwave. Ever since we first talked about this method, the microwave has become my favorite tool for quickly cooking a few ears of corn for a weeknight summer dinner.

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Fresh summer corn is nearly sweet enough to eat straight from the field — it really barely needs to be cooked. For this microwave method, leave the ears of corn in their husks. This helps trap heat and moisture, cooking the kernels evenly. It also, quite conveniently, makes the ears easier to shuck.

After microwaving, be sure to let the ears sit for a few minutes before you shuck off the husks. They might feel only warm to the touch on the outside, but are seriously hot on the inside. Wait until the silks and top leaves are cool enough to handle before peeling them back. Remember, the whole point of microwaving corn is to not break a sweat!

How To Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

What You Need

Ingredients
1 or more ears fresh, un-shucked sweet corn

Equipment
Microwave
Cooling rack or cutting board

Instructions

  1. Place 1 to 4 ears of corn in the microwave: Arrange 1 to 4 ears of corn, un-shucked, in the microwave. If you prefer, you can set them on a microwaveable plate or tray. If you need to cook more than 4 ears of corn, cook them in batches.
  2. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes: For just 1 or 2 ears of corn, microwave for 3 minutes. For 3 or 4 ears, microwave for 4 minutes. If you like softer corn or if your ears are particularly large, microwave for an additional minute.
  3. Allow to cool: Set the ears on a cooling rack or cutting board to cool. When the silks and top leaves are cool enough to handle, quickly shuck the husks off the cobs (for more info, see How to Shuck Corn Quickly & Cleanly). The corn will stay quite warm in their husks, so wait to shuck them until just before serving.

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(Image credits: Emma Christensen)

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