Microwave Corn on the Cob

updated Jul 5, 2024

The easiest, fastest way to cook (and husk!) corn on the cob. (It only takes 3 minutes!)

Cook3 minutes to 4 minutes

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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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Why You’ll Love It

  • You can cook as many or as few ears as you want at a time.
  • There’s minimal prep.
  • It’s exponentially easier to husk. That’s right — no more sticky silk!
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Key Tips for Cooking Corn in the Microwave

  • Leave it in the husk. 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.
  • Rest the ears after cooking before husking. 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!

More Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

How to Serve Microwave Corn on the Cob

After remove the husk, you can serve this corn straight up with butter, salt, and black pepper. You can also throw it on the grill (or under the broiler) if you’d prefer a little color. Need topping ideas? Here are 13 surprising one-ingredient toppings for corn on the cob.

Microwave Corn on the Cob Recipe

The easiest, fastest way to cook (and husk!) corn on the cob. (It only takes 3 minutes!)

Cook time 3 minutes to 4 minutes

Nutritional Info


  • 1 to 4 ears

    fresh, un-shucked sweet corn


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  1. Place 1 to 4 ears of corn, un-shucked, in the microwave in a single layer. If you prefer, you can set them on a microwaveable plate. If you need to cook more than 4 ears of corn, cook them in batches.

  2. For just 1 or 2 ears of corn, microwave on high 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. 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.