If you’re craving delicious corn on the cob but don’t have much time to spare, the microwave is your best friend. Not only does it offer a quick and easy way to cook corn, but it also preserves its taste and texture. In this article, I’ll share my simple and efficient method for microwave corn on the cob.
Microwaves are often underestimated in the kitchen, but if you know how to use them, you can whip up tasty dishes in a fraction of the time it takes to boil, grill, or pressure cook. While I used to only rely on my microwave for reheating food or making popcorn, discovering how amazing corn can turn out in the microwave has given me a newfound appreciation for this little gadget.
Cooking corn on the cob in the microwave requires no shucking and, best of all, no cleanup afterward! So, if you’re looking to save time and effort in the kitchen, follow along as I guide you through the process.
Why Microwave Corn on the Cob in the Husk
When microwaving corn on the cob, keeping the husk (the outer leaves of the cob) intact is the way to go. Not only does this method minimize mess, but it also offers additional benefits:
- Easy: All you need is fresh corn; there’s no need for any prepping.
- Quick: Microwaving corn in the husk takes just a few minutes, making it even faster than boiling.
- Juicy: The combination of the microwave and the husk creates the perfect environment for corn on the cob. The steam effectively locks in moisture and retains the corn’s natural juiciness.
- Good For You: By microwaving corn on the cob, you’re steaming it, which is one of the healthiest ways to enjoy veggies. This cooking method ensures that you retain all the essential goodness of the corn.
How to Microwave Corn on the Cob
To start, place the corn on the cob with its husk in the microwave. You can use a microwave-safe plate or simply place it on the built-in dish. At this stage, there’s no need to do anything else, but remember to adjust the cooking time based on the number of ears you’re preparing.
- 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 for each additional ear of corn. For example, if you’re cooking 3 pieces, microwave on full power for 8 minutes, and for 4 cobs, go for 10 minutes, and so on.
Keep in mind that specific cooking times may vary depending on your microwave’s wattage, the size, thickness, and freshness of the corn, as well as your desired level of softness. It’s best to start with the lower range of cooking time, check for doneness, and continue cooking in 30-second increments as needed, especially if you prefer softer corn.
Chef’s Tip: To ensure that the corn is fully cooked, you can either check the internal temperature (around 160-170ºF/71-77Cº) or peel back the husk slightly to test.
Once cooked, use tongs or oven gloves to remove the corn on the cob from the microwave. Then, cut off about half an inch from the stem end. Lastly, slide the corn out of the husk, and it will come out effortlessly.
Can I Microwave Corn Without the Husk
While I find it easier and less messy to cook corn with the husks on, it is possible to microwave “undressed” corn on the cob. However, this method requires an extra step to recreate the “steamable” environment that the husk usually provides.
Simply wrap your shucked corn in a couple of layers of damp paper towel and follow the instructions mentioned above. The corn will steam within the paper towels, preserving its wonderfully juicy texture. Be cautious when removing it from the microwave as it will be hot!
Microwaved corn on the cob makes a delightful snack on its own, but you can easily elevate it with some butter, salt, and black pepper. Get creative by adding flavor with herb or garlic butter, incorporating fresh herbs and spices like paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, or tajin. You can even sprinkle some cheese for an extra kick.
When it comes to serving corn on the cob as a side dish, it pairs perfectly with cookout favorites such as burgers, grilled chicken, steak, or even crispy tofu.
Alternatively, if you prefer to remove the kernels from the cob, here are a few ideas:
- Sprinkle them over pasta salads, make a refreshing corn salad, or use them in a Texas Caviar recipe.
- Add them to burrito bowls, tacos, and your favorite Mexican-inspired dishes.
- Incorporate them into corn chowder or cornbread recipes.
If you want to make corn on the cob ahead of time or have leftovers, here are some storage options:
- Make ahead/Store: Allow the corn to cool completely and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will remain fresh for 3-5 days.
- Freeze: Once cooled, flash freeze the cobs on a tray until solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. This method will keep them fresh for 4-6 months.
- Reheat: To reheat corn on the cob, cover it with a wet paper towel and microwave in 20-second increments until warm. Alternatively, you can put the corn in hot water with the lid on for 2-3 minutes for easy reheating.
If you enjoyed this microwave corn on the cob recipe, try these other exciting corn recipes:
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- Oven Roasted Corn with Garlic Butter
- How to Boil Corn
- Perfect Grilled Corn on the Cob
If you decide to give this corn-cooking method a try, please let me know how it turns out in the comments below. Feel free to give it a rating on the recipe card, and if you recreate it, tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie—I’d love to see your creations!