How to Microwave Corn on the Cob

No shucking and a cook time of 3 minutes. Win-win.

April 11, 2023

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Boiled corn vegetable served on the plate with salt on concrete background


Boiled corn vegetable served on the plate with salt on concrete background

Photo by: Cavan Images/Getty Images

Cavan Images/Getty Images

By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen

Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.

When there's corn at every farmers’ market and you’re buying it weekly, you’re probably spending a lot of time shucking it and wondering if there's a better way. Turns out, there is. When you steam corn in the microwave and then shake it out of its husk, it comes out beautifully cooked and completely clean: no silk. We love this method for so many reasons: it’s easy, there’s no mess to clean up and the corn is delicious and tender. And if you're looking for more ways to cook those gorgeous ears, check out our story How to Grill Corn on the Cob.

Fresh picked Peaches and Cream corn in rustic basket


Fresh picked Peaches and Cream corn in rustic basket

Photo by: fotogal/Getty Images

fotogal/Getty Images

How to Pick the Best Corn on the Cob

Whether you’re at the grocery store or a farm stand, choosing a good ear of corn can feel daunting, especially since it's considered rude to peel back the husk to check inside. Reach for ears that feel heavy for their size, and look for bright, fresh, tightly wrapped husks. Avoid husks that look dry. If the silk coming out the top is dry and really dark brown, or worse: slimy, you don’t want that one.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

This method for cooking corn on the cob works because the magnetron in the microwave agitates the water molecules inside the corn, creating heat, which eventually turns into steam. The steam coming from the kernels will force the silk and husk away from the cob, making them slip off easily. You end up with perfectly steamed corn, no husk or silk.



1. Gather Your Tools

All you need is a cutting board, serrated knife, towel or oven mitt and a microwave.

2. Microwave on High

Place the ear directly on the microwave's turntable and microwave it on high for 3 minutes.



3. Cut the Tip off the Cob

Place the whole ear of corn on a cutting board. Holding the ear steady in one hand with a side towel (remember, it's hot!), saw off the ear's pointed tip (about 1/2 inch from the end) with the serrated knife.



4. Remove the Husk and Silk

Grasp the hot corn in the towel or oven mitt and firmly shake it, pointed side down, until the corn slips out of its husk and silk. And just like that, you're left with perfectly cooked corn. Eat it right then and there or shave it off the cob and use it in one of our recipes for fresh corn.

Recipes for Corn on the Cob

Food stylist: Stephana Bottom 
Prop Stylist: Meghan Guthrie


Food stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stylist: Meghan Guthrie ,Food stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stylist: Meghan Guthrie

Photo by: Kang Kim

Kang Kim

Let’s be honest: this recipe is as close as you’ll get to the corn salsa you can get in a burrito bowl at Chipotle. We’re so glad we can make it at home.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

Kernels of sweet corn nestle into cornbread that's dressed up with scallions, pepper jack and chipotle pepper.

Not all hash has corned beef. Case in point: this vegetarian version with potatoes and corn, where the potatoes deliver the caramelized crispy bits.

Seafood and corn together is a natural partnership. You can skip the step where you cook the corn in a saucepan if you steam the corn in the microwave.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

This recipe calls for frozen corn, but fresh would will be amazing: 6 ears will give you just the right amount,

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