How To Microwave Fresh Corn on the Cob (+ More Methods)

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Fresh corn from your garden or the local farmers market is a traditional favorite for summer meals and barbecues, here are several ways you can cook it (some surprisingly easy).

Topped With Butter & HerbsFirst, here are the directions for making them in the microwave…keep in mind times will vary due size, amount heated at the same time, oven type and personal taste/preference. Experiment a bit to see what works best for you.

Tip: Try adding salad herbs or chopped chives when preparing, or make a separate dish with melted butter and chives to brush on after it’s done.

Directions:

Careful: When removing from the wrappings, husks or bags, they will be hot and steaming. Take care not to get burned.

#1:

  • Husk and remove all the silk. Wash well with cool water, don’t dry–you want water left on the cobs.
  • Place on a piece of waxed paper (one piece of waxed for each). Rub with a bit of butter and sprinkle with salt. Roll up in the paper and twist closed each end.
  • Cook on high 2 minutes per (ie. It will take 8 minutes if making 4 at a time).

#2:

  • With husks left on, cut off 1 to 1 1/2″ on each end. Soak ears for about 30 minutes in cold water, then rinse. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes per ear. Remove then peel off the husks and the silks (will come off very cleanly and easily).

#3:

  • Remove husks and silks then soak in cold water for 1 hour. Wrap each in plastic wrap or paper towel (loosely). Heat on high for 2 minutes per cob.

#4:

  • Keeping husks attached, peel them back and remove all silk. Soak for 20 minutes in cold water (ends down in a pail works fine), then recover ears with the husks. Heat 2 to 3 minutes for each cob.

#5:

  • Remove the husks and all the silk, wash well with water then wrap each in paper towel, then run under the tap–wet the paper towel well. Squeeze the excess water out then heat on high for 2 minutes per ear (wet paper towel still on).

#6:

  • Wash and clean, removing the husks and silk. Place each in a large ziploc freezer bag (the microwavable kind), a pat of butter and a dash of salt.
  • Seal each bag, but leave an inch or so open so the steam can escape.
  • Place each in the microwave with the vented seam side up. Zap for 1 minute.
  • Roll each in butter (still keeping it in the bag). Put back in and zap them for another minute or so.

Other Ways To Cook Them

CaramelizedTo Grill:

  • Wash then rub the ears all over with a stick of butter.
  • Place on a sheet of aluminum foil, season with salt and pepper.
  • Roll each in a sheet of foil, twisting each end closed.
  • Preheat the grill on high.
  • Place prepared corn on the top shelf.
  • Close the grill and check in 10 minutes.
  • When you hear them start to sizzle, turn and cook for another 5 minutes (turn them over one time).
  • Close lid.
  • When you hear a sizzling, popping noise (about 15 to 20 minutes), it’s ready and can be removed.
  • Keep them wrapped in the foil and they will stay warm for about 20 to 30 minutes, giving you time to prepare the rest of the meal.

Source: Chef Tips host Jason Hill (video)

On The BBQ:

  • Husk by pulling down the leaves in two halves (keeping leaves attached at the bottom).
  • Remove silk.
  • Soak the ears in water for about an hour.
  • Place them directly on the grill, make sure the leaves are covering the corn completely so they protect the kernels from direct heat.
  • The water soak keeps the husks from catching fire as well as steams the kernels a bit.
  • Cook on medium.
  • After about 7 or 8 minutes, turn over and cook until done.
  • The outer husks will be burned a bit and the inside kernels will be caramelized in places.

Source: BBQMyWay (video)

Quick & Easy Ways:

The times can vary depending on how fresh it is and how tender or soft you prefer the kernels.

Oven Roasted: Preheat oven to 350° F. Place husks directly on the oven rack and roast for 30 minutes or until the kernels are soft. Peel down the husks and use as a handle when eating. Seriously easy! Source: Food Network.

Steaming: Couldn’t be simpler! Just husk and wash well under running water then place them in the steamer basket after water has been brought to a boil, cover with lid. Let steam for about 10 minutes until done.

Boiling: First clean & shuck then place in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Top with a lid and bring to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat and sit for 1 or 2 minutes–it should be done. Another method is to first bring the pot of water to a boil, add about 1/4 cup sugar then add prepared corn. Top with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes (until done). You can also boil in milk for delicious results, details at Mom Advice.

Interested in trying some tasty recipes? Here are a bunch for you to check out, some sound so delicious and have some interesting ingredient twists (such as lime, molasses, bacon, parmesan cheese and more)…yum!

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Published: January 2, 2007
Updated: August 17, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
8 Comments to “How To Microwave Fresh Corn on the Cob (+ More Methods)”
  1. Joette says:

    How about this: Husk corn, remove silk. wrap each cob in some clear plastic wrap (saran, glad…) Place in microwave with tips facing the center. Microwave 2 minutes per cob, flip cobs and microwave 2 minutes more per cob. No need to wash, scrub, put in butter, salt… cook and season after its cooked

  2. Lynn Webber says:

    Don’t use plastic wrap; as it melts it’s toxic.

  3. jewell says:

    try leaving the shuck and silk on the cob, microwave 3 minutes per ear. the silk come off the corn clean and easy. corn is hot so be careful. nice and crispy. tip by jewell.

    • Sean says:

      I completely agree with Jewell, this method is very easy and silk comes off easily! I usually peel the husk back wet the ear then replace it and wrap with the wet paper towel as above. Perfect corn every time!

  4. Marilyn says:

    As a widow getting used to cooking for one, I decided to see if I could microwave a couple of ears of fresh corn on the cob. I usually do the boiling water thing, turning the heat off, and letting the corn sit in the pan with the lid on for 20 minutes. Your instructions will let me enjoy fresh corn often. Thanks!

  5. nana says:

    I do mine just as Jewell writes. I do wet the outside husk by a quick rinse under the water tap. It is aamzing how the silk doesn’t require tedious picking. Comes right off.

  6. Marge Dabikk says:

    The best luck I’ve ever had with corn on the cob is the easiest.
    Peel back some of the husk from the tip, just to check for any little wriggly things. If you see any, this will not work. When you’ve checked, and the corn is free of unwanted protein, put it in the microwave, husk and all, for 2-3 minutes per ear. I’ve forgotten how to time this, so experiment the first time.
    When the corn is don, grab a couple of paper towels and remove the husks. The silk comes off EASILY, unlike when it’s uncooked, and it’s the best corn you’ve ever eaten.

  7. Michon says:

    I leave the first layer or two of husk on the cob, leave the silk and everything, and just microwave one ear for two minutes. No water added or anything, just pop it in…husks and silk come off easily and corn is delish.


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