The Easiest Way to Microwave Corn on the Cob

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.

  • Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ear of corn, husk on

Method

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

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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.

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That's it!

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Comments

  • Byron Vaughan

    Hi Elise,
    I’ve used the ‘bake in the husk’ method (hot oven, c.400 deg F, 40 min or so) to great success, but this method creates corn just as tasty without the fuss. Thank you.

  • W Butterfield

    You want perfect corn?????
    Several things you all need to know as I’ve been doing this for years:
    1) additional ears don’t require four minutes apiece you’re going to wind up burning corn if you put eight ears in there for 32 minutes…. oven room dictates you couldn’t do that anyway maybe four at a time.
    2)Leave them alone don’t wash anything…. cooked properly the steam and the heat and the temperature generated will kill anything except flavor which it’ll do just the opposite it will boost flavor.
    3) I don’t recommend opening the corn and trying to slather stuff on it and then putting the husk back on it’s a waste of time, effort, it’s sloppy and defeats the whole purpose of this corn heating up in its own shell. It’ll stay good and hot when you open it up to put butter, adobo or any other seasoning/cheese you want on it.
    4) Each microwave is different I would not suggest doing this under 1000 W… A 1200 W microwave will cook more husks on a much shorter timeframe. Just like cooking potatoes in the microwave you don’t double the minutes for each potato.in other words it takes me about six minutes to cook one potato and I do turn it over even though I have a turntable just in case top to bottom radiation is different. But I can cook four potatoes in about eight minutes ( note: potatoes or jagged numerous times all over with a fork to add pressure and steam out before cooking you do not have to do this with corn…potatoes are a far more dense starch by their very composition and nature) So you see as the number goes up the cooking time does not have to go through the roof. Remember you absolutely must experiment with your cooking device is just like your outdoor grill everybody’s is a little bit different. You can have $1 billion grill with a restricted propane feed and it’ll take forever to cook stuff.
    5) this is important… Trim the excess leaves or silk at the top I never cut the corn open up there….this is a thermal process, trap as much heat/moisture as you can so the darn thing cooks. Then leave a little bit of a stub or a tail on the other end. This way when you take the corn out you strip it from the tip and pull everything down toward the bottom one of the beauties of the microwave is it sheds the silk like my cat sheds hair. If you can handle the heat with your fingertips for a little bit pull those sleeves off down to the bottom they will immediately cool in the air and you can make a little handle for the corn on the bottom with or without much of a stem.
    Remember the key here strip top to bottom this will give you something to hold at the bottom so your fingertips don’t lose their prints LOL. If you’re in the witness protection program you might want to skip the step and bring the fire.
    6) One last thing ….do NOT and I repeat do not rinse the husk in Coldwater after cooking it’s unnecessary and defeats the whole purpose of this method of superheating the corn. If you’re going to do that just throw it in a pot and boil the flavor away…An experienced person in the kitchen should be able to handle a little bit of heat till they get that husk down where they can grab it as I said above or stick those in plastic corn forks in. If you’re moving fast enough you won’t even notice the heat I can strip these things in seconds.

    7) Now Get about your Culinary biznit!!!! Your maize awaits….

  • Becky Allison

    The corn, when cooked like this, does get extremely hot, but just shuck it under cool water. No problem with it staying hot. Also, OXO makes a great gadget to slice the corn off into a little cup device which can then be emptied into a freezer baggie.

  • Peg

    I cooked 2 ears for 4 1/2 minutes and came out perfect.

  • Myra

    Is it possible to freeze the corn after cooking and shucking?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Myra, I guess, though it would probably work better to cut the kernels off the cobs first, before freezing. Easier to defrost.

  • Carol Murray

    Just tried this and we had to take a knife and strip the corn off ’cause they were too hot to eat off the cob. Will try less time when we do this again. It certainly is much easier when you are doing just a few.

  • Paul Artis

    Love it and perfect moist and tasteful husk damp!! Thank you for sharing of the video and YES it was less messy and fast!!

  • Elektra Thompson

    Do you mind sharing the wattage of your microwave?

  • Candy

    4 minutes per ear is correct. I’ve cooked 6 ears/24 minutes and all were perfect!

  • Nina Capaccio

    Oops! forget questions about additional ears of corn! I read ENTIRE steps! DUH!!!! :-) 4 minutes per additional corn. Easy peezy…..

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Nina! It really all depends on your individual microwave. Sometimes you have to experiment to get the timing just right.

  • Nina Capaccio

    Overheard a woman at Sprouts Market in Las Vegas talking about this. A friend of hers found directions but didn’t say where. We were all shucking our corn when she said she was gonna try this new way. Googled microwave corn on cob and low and behold Simply Recipes comes up! Been loving this site for ages.
    Just made our corn and it came out perfect. Elise this is genius. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Any ideas on time for more than one ear of corn. Hubby and I did one at a time, shared and popped next one in micro. Talk about great fast food. FYI our micro is GE Profile Microwave/Convection. Did full power. Also….our corn/husks were wet/damp. Maybe that had something to do with some people saying there’s came out brown or mushy. Corn needs the damp/moistened husks around to help steam in microwave.

  • Jerry L Kerns

    You must have a low powered microwave. 4 minutes per ear turns them into mush.

  • Brad

    Four minutes per ear

  • Marja

    Help!! How long for 4 ears of corn. Ive tried 4,5,6,7,8 min but cant seem to find the best time . Corn is undercooked, not evenly cooked. Maybe I need to try more time. Try to keep ears same size..

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Marja, every microwave is different. I do think this method works best for 1 or 2 ears of corn at a time. Otherwise it may just be easier to steam the corn on the stovetop (in the husks).

    • John Doak

      …as Elise says, microwaves are different, You have one of the two basic types : either the glass turntable rotates or the flat fixed plate type in which the microwave sourced is “stirred” to evenly distribute it. If cooking is not even, reposition the corn by turning and/or moving it a few inches from its previous position, so the microwave generation pattern covers the entire surface.

  • Corn Daddy

    This corn is so good it could bring harambe back. Corn daddy approves

  • Mary

    I bought corn today at the Farmer’s market and came home and prepared it in the microwave as I have done for years now. When I removed the husks, the corn was mostly brown? I have been preparing my corn like this for the past five years and have never seen it do this. The corn is fresh, I ate an ear and it was sweet but the discoloring is odd. Have you ever had this happen and do you feel it’s ok to eat it? I thought maybe I’d just use it in recipes after cutting it off the cob and freezing it as that’s what I do with it anyway. thanks for your thoughts.

  • Paty

    how many cobs can you microwave for 4 minutes?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Paty, it all depends on the power of your microwave. I would test it and see.

    • Sandra Chafin

      I have done three but increased time to 8 minutes

  • Elizabeth

    I have tried this, and the corn is WONderful! I just feel a little weird eating the corn without washing it first. I mean, couldn’t it have bugs or a worm or something under the husk that you wouldn’t see…or pestisides? What do you think?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Elizabeth, sometimes there are corn worms that you find right at the tip of the corn husk. You can open up the corn just a little to see if there is a worm there. Typically people do that before buying the corn. Pesticides are sprayed on the outside of a plant, so you don’t have to worry about them getting to the inside of the corn. You can rinse off the corn husks first if you want.

  • Patty

    I’ve done it this way for years. Helpful tidbits: 1) cut the bottom of the corn off b4 microwaving it being sure to get a few kernels for easier and quicker removal. And 3) I remove just the first 1-2 husks/leaves and then wrap the entire corn with husk in one damp papertowel. Holds the moisture in well.
    Yum

    • Shirlee

      I like the idea of cutting the bottom off b4 microwaving. Am going to try it with the first local corn of the season this evening :-)

    • Diane_D

      I think that defeats the purpose of using the husk as a steamer case.
      — but I just discovered this husk-on M/W method, and haven’t tried it yet myself.

  • Loretta Bell

    You’ll need more than that thin cloth to grab hold of the HOT ear of corn – Use heavy gloves the heat won’t go through. Otherwise, double delicious!!

  • Sally

    This is awesome

    • Jim Flynn

      It’s also a bit “corny” :-)

  • Bev

    Just an FYI…. Be sure to dry out the microwave in every corner because it does cause alot of condensation and I must have missed a corner and it started to rust out. Got a new microwave and I am very careful to dry completely. All is well…

  • Susan

    Just tried this tonight. It worked like a charm! Thank you for sharing this.

  • JR

    I like this method because I don’t have to wait for water to boil plus their isn’t tons of steam in the kitchen adding extra heat on hot summer days. Also the added bonus of the silk slipping off with the husks can’t be beat. I hate eating corn full of silk strands. I haven’t tied doing this with the bottom end still on the cob. So far have just cut it off before cooking. When the corn is done I grab the top end with a thick pot holder and squeeze and usually the corn slides out minus the husk and silk.

  • Kathy

    I just love this microwave method. First tried it last summer (2014) and it’s a winner. My personal mod is to cut near the bottom of the ear, score it all the way through the husk up to the corn itself, but not cut through. Then microwave. When it’s done, you will have an entire ear of corn without losing even a little end piece. You can either snap the husk off at that end or just peel back the little bit covering the ear of corn, and slide off the big upper part along with the silk.

  • jeff

    peel back husk, fold over, wrap with paper towel instant handle.

  • Denise

    I tried this today and it worked perfectly! I love the fact that it was so easy. The husk and silk came off with no mess what so ever. Eating the corn was a lot less messy too. Love it! Thank you Elise for this great tip. I will be using this method from now on.

  • Sue

    I loved this method. I saved one ear for work tomorrow. I can have a nice fresh ear for lunch.

  • 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! :)

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Connie Miles

      If you leave the husk on every bit of the silks come off with the husk after its cooked. It’s like magic.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ibet

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

  • 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)?

    • Bev

      Yes! It works perfectly!

  • 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.

  • Pamela Firebaugh

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

    • George

      Good God– so simple and yet so perfect- yes folks- it works as advertised. Love this method for the ease etc but even more because it gives that “done in the husk” flavor without having to suffer through the long waits and the cleaning up after! Have used this method for four years now and will NEVER go back to boiling- NOT EVER!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • Scott B. Reichmann

      Agreed. 2 minutes per ear has always worked for me.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

      • Derek the Zen Chef

        Fair enough – I will try deleting the dousing step, next time. It may just be one of my superstitious rituals after all ^.^

      • Cindy

        This worked perfectly the first time I did it.after that, I just couldn’t get the corn to slide out…what gives???

    • cyndy

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