The Easiest Way to Microwave Corn on the Cob

A video came my way on Facebook the other day for a drop dead easy way of cooking corn on the cob. Like my favorite grilling method for cooking corn, you don’t shuck the corn first, but leave it in its husk. After a few minutes on high, you remove the corn from the microwave, cut off the bottom, and cleanly slip off the husk and silk. Perfectly cooked corn with no mess!

This I had to see for myself.

You know what? It works! It is probably not the most efficient way to cook corn if you are cooking more than a couple ears. In that case it’s faster and easier to steam or boil. But since I’m often cooking for one, and I have the patience of a hummingbird, I like the idea of quickly cooking one ear of corn in the microwave.

I also like cooking the corn in its husk. Cooked this way, the corn steams in its own juices and absorbs flavor from the husks, resulting in a wonderful, undiluted corn taste. If your corn if farm fresh, you don’t even need butter. (But don’t let me stop you!)

The YouTube video that inspired this experiment can be found here. (It’s charming.)

I made my own video (only 22 seconds long). Take a look!

 

The Easiest Way to Microwave Corn on the Cob

  • Cook time: 5 minutes

These instructions are for one ear of corn. If you want to microwave more than one ear at a time, increase the cooking time by 4 minutes for every ear of corn.

Ingredients

  • 1 ear of corn, husk on

Method

corn in microwave cut off bottom of corn slip of husk and silks ready to eat!

1 Place the corn in the microwave, do not remove the husk. Microwave the corn on the high setting for 4 minutes.

2 Use a kitchen towel or pot holder to remove corn from the microwave (it's hot!) Cut off the bottom of the corn, stem end, about one row of corn in from the stem

3 Slip off the husk and silk.

That's it!

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41 Comments

  1. Derek The Zen Chef

    There is a lot to be said for convenience! I also like to cook a variety of things this way, since is think it is not only easy but probably directs the energy more precisely and efficiently, thereby using less electrical power. I usually open the husks slightly at the tip and place them under the faucet to let water trickle in between the kernels and the husk, creating a steaming process when I microwave them. Do you not do this step?
    Best,
    D

    • Elise

      Hi Derek, I haven’t found a need to do that. There is enough moisture in the fresh corn that it steams in its own juices. No need for added water!

    • cyndy

      this is the way I do them. I sometimes even wrap them in wax paper and let it steam in there.

  2. Bronwyn

    So easy, soooooo tender-crisp & yummy. Been doing it that way for years. I usually cook for 3-4 mins per cob, depending on size then leave to sit for similar time before de-husking.

    I’ve never thought about cutting the stalk end off like you show though. Slipping the cob out of the husk seems rather easier than peeling the husk back then cutting it. Thanks for the tip. Will remember that when corn hits the shelves again in New Zealand.

    • L.D. Meyer

      What’s unique about this method is all the silk comes off with the husk, I saw this about a year ago and when I tried it one ear slid out pretty easy the next was kind of a struggle so next time I’m going to use one of my plastic corn cob holders that screw into the cob and take a pair of pliers and pull on it and it should come out more easily. Bon Appetite! Your shifty western plains makeshift chef, Adios n’ Hasta La Bye Bye! L.D.

      • marilyn

        After cutting off the stem end, grab onto the silk and shake upside down a few times and the corn slides right out.

  3. callen

    If there is a worm inside, it will be a nasty surprise !

    • Elise

      Especially for the worm.

    • sharon

      This is a great comment… Love it and made me laugh … and also love the
      “But since I’m often cooking for one, and I have the patience of a hummingbird”
      part

  4. John LeGloahec

    I’ve been cooking my corn this way for years. My mother saw an article somewhere years ago. It’s so easy and the corn comes out perfectly almost every single time.

  5. Sandy S

    Cannot wait to try this method of cooking corn on the cob! It looks so fast and easy! And as you say, perfect for when cooking for only one or two people. (I wonder how many of us singles ignore corn on the cob because it seems too much bother for one person.) I find that I am using the microwave for more and more veggies. Why not when things turn out great with less clean up and so quickly! Hitting our farmers market today with corn at the top of the list.

    • L.D. Meyer

      Before this method of microwaving in the husk, I’d buy the frozen on the cob packs that come about four in a pack, and they’re short enough, I would stand one on end on a paper towel and microwave a minute at a time until thoroughly heated, when finished eating I chop the cob into 1 inch pieces and toss them in the yard, I do the same with egg shells, I saw a squirrel gleaning a cob and they munch on the egg shells too, but then again what don’t those pesky lil’ varmints munch on? Your wacky makeshift chef.

      • lilbitandme

        This sounds absolutely wonderful!! I’m with you….cooking for 2 I’ve got the patience of a 3 year old!! Same as a hummingbird, LOL LOL!
        I’ve heard that horses love the leftover cob….not sure. Mine will eat anything, but was wondering if anyone knew.
        Thanks for the recipe and advice!!

        • Sandy S

          We had horses when I was a kid. They certainly liked corn cobs. But then, ours were like yours when it comes to ‘Will eat anything!’ They were included in our pancake breakfasts, when we make grape Kool-Ade ice cubes, and they absolutely loved pecans, which we received by the gunny sack full from my relatives in Louisiana. I learned to crack pecans without a nutcracker for my sweet mare Brownie, while playing Monopoly on a card table by her fence. Thanks for sparking the memory!

  6. Patsey Manning

    This is terrific. I cook for myself, love fresh fruits and veggies. But I avoid fresh corn because I don’t want to boil a pot of water for one or two cobs. Now, I’ll be eating corn on the cob again! Thanks, as usual.

  7. Arden - Real-Food-Real-Life.com

    I hardly ever use the microwave but decided to try this after I saw someone comment on your “grilling corn” post that this is how they did it. It works like a charm, truly! I’m normally cooking 2 ears and I find that just 2 minutes per ear (4 total for the 2 ears, or 6 for 3) seems to work just fine. Corn is totally tender and yummy. I have yet to get my ears to just *slide* out of the husks that way (although I’m inspired to try again after seeing your video!) but even so, they peel back in one quick motion and all the silk usually comes off as well, so it’s MUCH easier than traditional shucking and then steaming or boiling. Thanks for all your great posts!

  8. David Orr

    This has to be one of the best shares I’ve seen all day. Definitely a must try.

  9. Jane H

    I have recently discovered this method, too! It works great, and the thing I like best is that I don’t have to heat up my kitchen with a big pot of boiling water. The last few times we had corn, (which is frequently as it is high corn season here in eastern MA!), I did run water over the ears first, and it came out great but I’m not sure it is necessary.

    A few times, the ear didn’t slip right out, so I had to kind of “undress it” which is certainly another way of doing it!

    YUM, corn!

  10. Godfrey Buquet

    Justwonderin. Has anyone ever tried wrapping the ear of corn in saran wrap. That would absolutely steamthe crn inside. Then, what about wraping a piece, or two, of already fried bacon aound the corn, after husking, and rewraping it in Saran again and reheating for about two more minuts??????

    • Seva Irvine

      No need for Saran Wrap, just use what God gave you, the husks. You can either soak the ears with husks or run the corn with husks under the faucet for a few minutes. Then place 2 ears in the micro and cook for 4 minutes, they will be thoroughly steamed. Try not to use any plastic of any kind in the micro.

  11. Kate @ Babaganosh

    I never even thought about cooking it in the microwave! Most of the time we want one or two ears of corn, so microwaving it seems like the way to go! I might have to add corn to my healthy snacks rotation since I can have it ready in less than 5 minutes with your method. Boiling a huge pot of water or waiting for the oven to preheat and the roasting it for 25 minutes is just too long!

  12. Pamela Firebaugh

    I have tried this method several times and it is great. I cooked 3 ears of corn for 6 minutes.

  13. Seva Irvine

    I have cooked my corn like this forever! It always comes out terrific.
    So tender and tasty! You can’t go wrong when you cook it this way.
    Also, if you have any left over from your meal, you can cook it the next day in the micro again, just need to warm it up. I put it in water and then drain and then put it in the Micro for a few minutes.

  14. Dave M

    I love corn on the cob, but never cooked it in the microwave. Has anybody tried this husk-removal method after grilling corn (with husk still on)?

  15. Ibet

    Ingenious! So simple! Loved your demo- big thanks!

  16. Earl

    Cooking made easier!

  17. Denise

    I also saw this on Facebook and had to try it. I put my corn on the grill, still in the husks, so they essentially steam. The trick to getting it to slide out is cutting off at least a row of kernels at the stalk end. If you cut off too little it won’t come out easily. All the mess was outside, which was even better. And, you can cook more than just a couple of ears at one time.

  18. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    I saw that same video but I rarely just cook 1-2 ears of corn, so it seemed kind of ridiculous to nuke them for 16-20 minutes! Now that it has your stamp of approval, Ill have to give it a go

    • Chris

      The time saved by not having to shuck multiple ears easily makes up for the longer cook time.

  19. Bob

    Thanks for sharing this tip, Elise! Can’t wait to try it once corn hits the Utah farmer’s markets! Also a big thanks for your Leek and artichoke heart Frittata recipe. Made this and it was quick, easy and delicious!

  20. Shelby

    Fresh corn is great cooked in the microwave-been doing it forever! However, since I prefer not to nuke bugs and worms, I always shuck, rinse, then wrap in wax paper. Same cooking time as your method- 2/3 min. Per side for 2 ears, depending if you have narrow or thick ears.

  21. Evie Lieb

    I have used this method for years–ever since I bought Barbara Kafka’s MICROWAVE GOURMET with its alphabetical section containing directions for microwaving many items, especially vegetables. In the summer corn is always a part of our nightly green salad, and I often do just an ear to use the kernels as part of stuffing for other veggies. Your video reveals a super new way to remove the ear from the husk! So glad you shared this.

  22. Dena Brown

    I have been wrapping a shucked ear of corn in a wet paper towel and microwaving for 1 minute for perfect corn. Perhaps I’ll try your method for 1 minute to see how that works. I’d love the added flavor you speak of.

  23. Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    Thank you for reminding me. I use to do this all the time. Then I went for years without doing. The other day when I had just an ear, I tried to remember exactly how I had done it. I ended up boiling it. Too good to ruin and it was my first ear of the season.

  24. Carmen

    Hubby bought corn from the local farmer…sometimes he has a yen for this.I told him about your method & we decided to try it.Worked perfectly! This is great because often he just wants to satisfy the urge with 1 ear of corn.Great for me because there is no mess for me to clean up.Thanks!

  25. Verena

    I’ve been microwaving my corn for a few years now. I prefer to lop off the top and bottom of the corn first. That way, once it comes out the microwave I can immediately put my awesome OXO corn skewers in each end and then remove the rest of the husk.

  26. George

    Elise love ya i am currently working now in the summer abroad and i CANT cook because i don’t have a kitchen :[ :[ :[ i am crying but when i come back home the first thing ill do is get back with the cooking that i am now missing alot and i will cook all of your recipes that you have been posting lately !!!

  27. Meg

    I have been microwaving my corn for several years, but I take it out of the husk first than place it in a plastic bag and nuke. One to two ears 3-4 minutes, always good BUT VERY HOT!!

  28. Karen

    This is fantastic! The flavor is superb! No heating up your kitchen in the summer with a pot of boiling water! Clean cobs when they’re pulled out of the husks! No clean up! What’s not to love, love, LOVE about this!!!

    Absolute perfection for an all American summertime favorite.

    Thanks, Elise! :)

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