How To Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

How To Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

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Emma Christensen
Jun 10, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

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.

How to Cook Corn in the Microwave: Watch the Video

Our Favorite Method for Cooking Corn

Here are just a few things to love about cooking corn in the microwave: You can cook as many or as few ears as you want at a time, there's minimal prep, and it's exponentially easier to husk. That's right — no more sticky silk!

Key Steps for 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!

Serving Microwaved Corn

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 12 surprising one-ingredient toppings for corn on the cob.

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 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. 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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