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If you need delicious corn on the cob in a hurry, the microwave is the easiest way to get freshly cooked corn that keeps its taste and texture. So here is my quick and easy method for microwave corn on the cob.
Microwaves are a vastly underrated kitchen tool. But if you know how to use them, you can get tasty dishes in a fraction of the time it would take to boil, grill or pressure cook them. For so long, I only used mine for reheating food or for making popcorn, but discovering how good corn in microwave can be, I gained a whole new appreciation for this little gadget.
Cooking corn on the cob in the microwave needs no shucking and (the best part) has no washing up to do afterward! So, I’ve put together this easy guide on how to cook corn on the cob in the microwave – saving you time and effort in the kitchen.
Why Microwave Corn on the Cob in the Hus
This microwaved corn in the cob keeps the husk (the outer leaves of the cob) on. This makes things a lot less messy! If that doesn’t convince you, there are a few other great reasons why this cooking method is one of my go-to’s:
- Easy: All you need to do is put the husk in the microwave and wait! There’s no prep – all you need is fresh corn.
- Quick: Corn in the husk in the microwave only takes a few minutes – it’s even faster than boiling.
- Juicy: The microwave and the husk create the perfect environment for corn on the cob – the steam locks in moisture and retains the corn’s natural juiciness.
- Good For You: We all know steaming veggies is one of the healthiest ways to enjoy them – and with corn on the cob in the microwave, you keep all the essential goodness of the corn during cooking.
How to Microwave Corn on the Cob
Place the corn on the cob husks in the microwave, either on a microwave-safe plate or just on the built-in dish. You don’t need to do anything to it at this stage, but you should adjust the timing based on how many ears of corn you’re cooking.
- For 1 cob: Microwave for 3 minutes on full power. If it’s a larger cob, it may take up to 4 minutes.
- For 2 cobs: Microwave for 5½ – 6 minutes on full power.
- For 3 or 4 cobs: The general rule of thumb is to add 2 minutes of cooking time per additional ear of corn. For example, always on full power and 8 minutes for 3 pieces, 10 minutes for 4, etc.
Please keep in mind that the specific cooking time can vary based on the powder level of your microwave (the wattage), the size/thickness/freshness of the corn, and your desired level of softness. It’s best to start with the lower cooking time, check for doneness, and then continue cooking in 30-second increments as needed, especially if you want the corn softer.
Chef’s Tip: To ensure that the corn is fully cooked, you can check the internal temperature is around 160-170ºF/71-77Cº, or peel back the husk slightly to test.
Once cooked, using tongs or oven gloves, remove the corn on the cob from the microwave. Then cut off the stem end (about 1/2 inch). Finally, slide the corn out of the husk – it will come out easily.
Can I Microwave Corn Without the Husk
I find it easier (and less messy) to cook the corn with the husks on, but there is a way to do it if you have “undressed” corn on the cob. All it needs is an extra step to recreate the “steamable” environment that the husk usually provides.
Wrap your shucked corn in a couple of layers of damp paper towel and cook as per the instructions above. The corn will steam within the paper towels and keep its wonderfully juicy texture. Take care when removing it from the appliance – the corn will be very hot!
Microwaved corn is a great snack. You can easily jazz it up with butter, salt, and black pepper. I like to add flavor with herb or garlic butter, using fresh herbs and spices (paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and tajin are all great complements to corn), or sprinkling it with cheese.
Alternatively, you can remove the kernels from the cob and:
- Sprinkle over pasta salads, make a refreshing corn salad, or use for Texas Caviar.
- Add them to burrito bowls, tacos, and your favorite Mexican-inspired dishes.
- Add to corn chowder or cornbread.
Make ahead/Store: Allow to cool completely, then store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It’ll keep for 3-5 days.
Freeze: Once cooled, flash freeze the cobs on a tray (not touching) until solid. Then, transfer to a freezer-safe bag. It should keep for 4-6 months.
Reheat: Cover the corn on the cob with a wet paper towel and microwave in 20-second increments until warm. You can also put the corn in hot water with the lid on for 2-3 minutes to easily reheat.
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- Oven Roasted Corn with Garlic Butter
- How to Boil Corn
- Perfect Grilled Corn on the Cob
If you try this method for cooking corn, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Microwave Corn on the Cob in Husk
- 1 corn on the cob or up to 4 (not more for best results)
- Place the ears of corn (with the husks on!) in the microwave.• For 1 cob: Microwave for 3 minutes on full power. If it’s a larger cob, it may take 4 minutes.• For 2 cobs: Microwave for 5 ½- 6 minutes on full power.• For 3 or 4 cobs: The general rule of thumb is to add 2 minutes for each additional ear of corn – 8 minutes for 3 microwaved on high, 10 minutes for 4 cobs. Check for doneness, and then continue cooking in 30-second increments as needed, especially if you want the corn softer.To ensure that the corn is fully cooked, you can check the internal temperature is around 160-170ºF/71-77Cº, or peel back the husk slightly to visibly check. Note that the power level of your microwave can affect how much time it takes.
- Use a kitchen towel, oven mitt, or tongs to remove them from the microwave. Slice off the bottom 1/2 inch from the cob and slide the corn from the husk and silk. It should come out easily.
- Use fresh corn: The fresher the corn, the sweeter and juicier it will be. Use organic where possible, too, for the most flavor.
- Microwaving time varies: Please keep in mind that the specific cooking time can vary based on the powder level of your microwave (the wattage), the size/thickness/freshness of the corn, and your desired level of softness. It’s best to start with the lower cooking time, check for doneness, and then continue cooking in 30-second increments as needed, especially if you want the corn softer.
- This is best for up to 4 ears of corn: As you can only really cook 3-4 ears maximum in one go, this method works best for smaller amounts. Only ever cook a single layer of corn in your microwave.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.