The Easiest Way to Microwave Corn on the Cob

How ToMicrowaveVeganCorn

Cooking corn couldn't be easier! In the microwave, husk on, four minutes. Cut off bottom. Slip off husk. It works!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 2-4 minutes for every additional ear of corn, depending on the power of your microwave and the size of your ears of corn. You may need to experiment to find the right time for your microwave.


  • 1 ear of corn, husk on


1 Place the corn in the microwave, do not remove the husk. Microwave the corn on the high setting for 4 minutes. Note that every microwave is different. If this timing over-cooks the corn in your microwave, reduce it to 2 to 3 minutes the next time.

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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the Founder and President of Simply Recipes. A blogging pioneer, Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. In 2012 Elise was named "one of America's 50 Most Powerful People in Food" by The Daily Meal. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University. She lives in Carmichael, California.

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77 Comments / Reviews

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  • [email protected]

    I have been making corn this way for years. This is the easiest way to make corn on the cob! An added plus is that the corn silk all just comes off with the husk!


  • Anne-Marie

    I did what Peg said – 4 1/2 min for 2 and was perfect as she said

  • 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 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.

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