How to Microwave Corn on the Cob

Butter-slathered corn on the cob is a summer must—and this cooking method is as fuss-free and speedy as it gets.

May 21, 2020
Photo by Food52

Corn on the cob was one of my favorite summer eats as a child—dripping in butter, with cute little skewers in the shape of farm animals. Not much has changed since those days: The second sweet corn is in season (roughly May through September), I start stocking up.

Growing up, my mom would boil corn on the cob in big batches, but I'm partial to a less fussy method—using the microwave.

Microwaving corn on the cob couldn't be any simpler, and it takes just a couple of minutes. All you need is, well, some corn and a microwave (see, I told you it was simple!).

How to Microwave Corn on the Cob

  • First things first: Don't shuck the corn! Leaving the husk on not only helps prevent the corn from drying out, but the process of microwaving it also makes removing the husk and silk much easier.
  • Set those un-shucked corn on the cobs (up to four at a time) on a microwave-safe dish, pop them in the microwave, and cook them for five minutes. If you're only doing one or two, you can start with three minutes.
  • After removing from the microwave, let those babies cool until the husk doesn't scorch your finger when you touch it, then shuck the corn. Now they're ready to eat. Slather 'em in butter, salt, pepper, it's up to you. Or slice off those sweet little yellow gems with a knife and toss into salads, pastas, soups, and more.

A Few Corny Recipes for Summer

How do you cook your corn on the cob? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • shelagh
  • Duke
  • OldGrayMare
  • Jim h
    Jim h
  • SCL
Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


shelagh June 18, 2023
Have been doing this for years when just a few cobs needed. The husk and silk come off so cleanly.
On a completely different note, at large gatherings for many folks, try “cooler corn”.
One well scrubbed cooler, fill with shucked corn, cover with boiling water and close lid. Wait 15 minutes and it is ready.
Keeps corn wam a very long time.
shelagh May 31, 2020
I have cooked this way for years if only 2 or 3 cobs needed. I don't wash, will trim the silk end and stray outer husk, if unruly, then microwave one at a time 3 minutes. Remove and let sit 5 minutes on counter. Perfect every time, so much easier to husk. Just be careful as the husk if very hot.
Duke May 31, 2020
I put the corn in the microwave, cook them for 3-4 mins. Take them out, cut off the thick end. Sqweese the small end and the corn comes out with no hairy mess.
OldGrayMare May 31, 2020
I just rinse the in-husk cobs, cut off the excess silk (the brown area at end), then stick em in the MW....5 mins for 4 ears. I use my ove-gloves to shuck as soon as they come out...the silk just comes right off...a quick twist at the end and voila! Easiest ever!
Jim H. May 31, 2020
I've been doing husk on corn for years. I cut off the ends and pull off the loose outside leaves and drop them the sink filled with a couple inches of water. I then put them in a glass 9x9, cover with plastic wrap and microwave six of them for six minutes.
I use a dish towel to hold and peel off the husk, which removes the silk an easy job. A little butter and yes, a little salt and you've got some great eating. And we get fresh corn twice a year here in Florida. I love it.
SCL May 31, 2020
I microwave, too. But I shuck first, then put the ears n a pie plate with a bit of water, covered by a microwave plastic top with vents. (I used to just use plastic wrap poked with a few holes to let steam escape). I found the husks too hot to shuck after microwaving and letting it cool to the point the husks are manageable cools down the corn, and we like to eat it hot. It stays hot in the drained pie plate covered by the microwave plastic top or plastic wrap.
Teri May 31, 2020
I microwave. If you cut off the stalk end thru the last row of kernels you can pull off the husks and silk from the top all in one piece. Easiest way to shuck corn ever!
jennifer M. May 31, 2020
Cut the last few inches off the hard end of the cob with a butcher knife prior to placing in the microwave. When the corn is done, simply slip the cob right out all in one piece.
Laura May 31, 2020
Does the silk come off easily when microwaved? We have been grilling our corn. Spray with olive oil and salt and pepper before grilling then it’s ready to eat.
Laura May 31, 2020
Thanks. Will try
W J. May 31, 2020
One of the biggest advantages of cooking corn in the shuck in the microwave is that when cooked, the silk comes right off with the shuck. It is quick, simple, and clean.

To store corn in the refrigerator, you can trim back some of the darker silk and remove any long stems and a few of the darker outer leaves. This will make for less mess in the frig, take up a bit less room, and still keep the corn tender and not dried out.

When cooking in a microwave this way, it helps when you know roughly how fast two or four ears cook in your appliance. Then at roughly half time, open the oven and turn the corn over, to even out the cooking.

In our microwave four ears takes about eight minutes at high power (known from experience), so I set the oven for four minutes, open it after that time, and rotate each ear 180° with tongs (hot!), close the door, and cook for another four minutes.

When cool enough to handle, simply grasp the shuck and the silks near the top and pull down in successive strips. The silks and shucks come off cleanly leaving an ear perfectly cooked in its own steam and at its peak of corniness.
Linda C. May 23, 2020
What power wattage on the Microwave? Mine is 700.
Linda May 23, 2020
I believe mine is 700. It’s a GE Advantium.
Jane May 23, 2020
I cook my corn like this too. It’s fast, easy, and clean. Question though, why do so many people shuck their corn at the grocery store? This is a horrible waste of great corn taste.
Linda May 22, 2020
I cook corn in the microwave also, but I shuck it, remove all the silk, and roll it diagonally in a square of waxed paper twisting the edges closed. I cook 2 ears for 6 minutes on high. Perfect!