How to Microwave Corn on the Cob (The Easy Way)

How to Microwave Corn on the Cob (The Easy Way)

Is there any vegetable more delicious than a freshly cooked corn on the hob that’s lathered in butter? We can’t think of one! In this article, we’ll be showing you how to cook corn on the hob in the microwave without needing to boil water.

Corn on the cob is a (relatively) healthy dish that goes great with a variety of foods – including a barbecue. The problem with boiling corn is that it takes a long time though. There are several methods for cooking in a microwave that take considerably less time, and we’re going to show you our favourite in this post.

The good news is that this method is very simple, yet produces corn that tastes just as good as if it had been boiled. As we wrote in our blog post about microwave nutrients, microwaving is unlikely to destroy nutrition either.

Note: Not every step in this guide is essential, but we recommend following the method exactly for best results.

Step 1: Choose Fresh Corn That Still Has The Husk

The best ears for corn on the cob are fresh and still have the husk. They should also be ripe.

The easiest way to tell whether corn is ripe is to look at the tassels. If they look sticky, then the corn is ripe. If they are turning yellow and dry, look for another.

Ideally, you should eat corn within a few days of buying it. Any longer and it probably won’t taste as fresh, as the sugar within the corn becomes too starchy.

Step 2: Prepare the Corn for Cooking

The next step is to prepare the corn so it fits in the microwave. Get rid of loose leaves that can easily be removed. You may also need to trim the corn if you have a small microwave.

While it’s not necessary to clean the leaves, as they will be removed before eating, you can do this if you wish.

Step 3: Microwave the Corn

If you’re microwaving a single ear of corn, place it on a microwavable plate and ensure it’s rotating around the centre of the oven. This allows for more even cooking.

In many cases, you’ll want to microwave more than one ear though. The amount you can cook depends on the size of your microwave, however, as the ears should not be touching each other when cooking. Doing so can mean the ears don’t cook evenly.

Microwave Timing: Cook the corn on full power. The time varies depending on the quantity of ears you’re cooking and the power of your microwave. As a general rule, one ear should take between 2-4 minutes, while four ears may take up to five minutes. You’ll need to adjust this to suit your microwave’s cooking speed though.

It’s a good idea to turn the ears approximately halfway through the cooking period. This increases the chance that the corn will cook evenly.

Step 4: Allow the Corn to Rest

When you remove the corn from the microwave, allow it to sit for a minute or two until it’s cool enough to touch. Don’t skip this step, as the corn will continue to gently cook due to its internal heat.

Once you think the corn has cooled enough, peel back the husk and touch the corn kernels. If they aren’t cooked, cook for longer in the microwave. If the corn feels too soft or looks burned, remember to use a shorter time in the future.

Warning: Microwave ovens heat water rather than the food itself. An ear of corn’s husk doesn’t contain much water, so it won’t feel hot to touch. The corn kernels will be steaming hot though, so make sure you handle it with care.

Step 5: Prepare the Corn for Eating

It’s worth repeating that the kernels of corn could be extremely hot, so be very careful when you first peel back the husk. The stalk is also water, so it’ll remain hot for longer. Once you’re sure it’s safe to peel back the husk, remove the entire husk and get rid of silk too.

You can then dress the cooked corn on the cob with some butter, salt and pepper. For an even coating, we recommend using a soft brush to spread melted butter across the corn. You can also add cheese, sour cream or chopped vegetables – or try something exotic like Mexican corn on the cob.

Now all that’s left to do is allow the corn to cool, and enjoy!


Corn on the cob is one of the simplest vegetables to cook, yet it can be very tasty and a great side dish. The method in this article is a quick way to cook ears of corn using your microwave. It’s a simple method that doesn’t require boiling water, meaning less washing up and a faster result.

The most important thing to remember is that the kernels of corn and stalk can get extremely hot during cooking, even though the outer husk remains cool. Be careful when handling cooked corn, as it’s likely to be hot enough to scold.

Also, keep in mind that the quality of your microwave can affect cooking speeds, so you’ll need adjust the timings through trial and error. And if you’re looking for a new appliance, check out our microwave reviews.

Have you tried this method for cooking corn on the cob in the microwave? Or do you have a method you would like to share? Feel free to talk about it in the comments section.

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