If you’re a fan of corn on the cob, then you know that it’s one of the summer’s greatest pleasures. It has an unrivalled sweet buttery flavour that pairs well with practically any dish. Whether it’s served as an appetizer or alongside your favourite grilled meat, this is one side dish that’s sure to please.
But sometimes, you just don’t have time to light your grill and wait for the charcoal to heat up, or slave over a pot of boiling water. If that sounds like you, you might want to cook your corn in a microwave. It’s faster, easier, and still produces great results. Here’s how.
How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave. Choose a fresh ear of corn and place it in a microwave-safe bowl unhusked. Next, cook for 3 minutes per ear on high power. Remove from microwave and let stand for a few minutes, then cut off the stem end and remove the husk. Serve with butter, salt, pepper, or other seasonings as desired.
In today’s post, we’ll walk you through each of these steps and share some tips for getting perfect corn every time. We’ll also answer a few common questions about microwaving corn.
Let’s get started.
Can You Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave
Yes, you can cook corn on the cob in the microwave. However, there are a few important things to consider before proceeding.
Corn is a popular vegetable that is often served as an accompaniment to many meals. It’s also one of those vegetables that you can prepare in various ways, such as boiling or steaming. Initially cultivated by Native Americans, it has been used by humans for thousands of years and is now grown worldwide.
Due to its popularity, it’s not surprising that there are many different ways of cooking it. However, one of the most popular methods is by microwaving. It’s quick and easy, and no special equipment is required. In fact, all you need is a microwave-safe dish and a few minutes of your time.
So, why are there reservations about cooking corn in a microwave?
- First, microwaves have a reputation for cooking food unevenly. This is especially true for vegetables and other foods that are not dense enough to absorb microwaves efficiently. As such, there’s always a risk of undercooking or overcooking your corn when using a microwave.
- Second, many people believe that microwaving changes food structure and makes it less nutritious. However, studies have shown that in most cases, microwaving does not affect nutrient content. In fact, microwaving foods may retain more nutrients than other preparation methods.
So, does that mean you should stop worrying about microwaving your corn?
Well, yes and no. Yes, because as long as you follow a few simple guidelines mentioned below, there’s nothing wrong with microwaving corn on the cob. No, because while it’s perfectly safe to cook corn in a microwave, it’s not better than other methods.
How Long Should You Put an Ear of Corn in the Microwave?
It will take between 1 and 4 minutes for an ear of corn to cook in a microwave on high. If you want it extra-crispy, you can try cooking it for longer, but don’t overcook it.
This, however, is only a rough estimate. The time it takes to cook an ear of corn in a microwave depends on its size and weight and your microwave’s wattage. For example, if you have a high-wattage microwave, you might need to set it for less time than someone with a lower-wattage one.
Burnt corn is no fun and will leave you with an unpleasant aftertaste. Your best bet is to add two minutes for every ear of corn you’re cooking. This way, you’re sure not to overcook it. If your microwave has a turntable, rotate it halfway through cooking time. There is also a possibility of reheating corn on cob.
So, how do you tell when an ear of corn is done?
You can tell when an ear of corn is done by squeezing its thickest part between your thumb and forefinger. The kernels should be soft but firm enough not to fall off easily. If it’s still uncooked, give it a few more minutes in the microwave.
Tips for Cooking Corn on the Cob in the Microwave
Cooking corn can be a pain at times. But if want a juicy, tender ear of corn, you’ll need to understand a few basics. So here are some tips for cooking corn in your microwave.
- Choose fresh ears that are heavy for their size and have husks that are tight and green (not dried out or brown). The kernels should be plump and full, not shrivelled or dull in colour. If you’re using frozen corn, make sure it’s completely thawed before cooking.
- Do not remove husks from your corn. The husk traps steam, which helps cook and tenderize your corn. If you have already shucked ears of corn from the store, wrap them in a damp paper towel. This will keep them moist while microwaving.
- Remove the silk from your corn before cooking. You don’t want any strands getting stuck in your teeth. Simply pull it gently off with your fingers or a pair of kitchen shears, taking care not to tear any kernels.
- Make sure to use a microwave-safe dish when cooking your corn. Avoid plastic, as it can melt or warp in high heat. Glass and ceramic are best for microwaving since they won’t leach chemicals into your corn.
- Microwaving more than two ears of corn at once can result in uneven cooking and steam burns. Instead, cook in batches or use multiple dishes for your corn. Nevertheless, if you microwave several ears of corn at once, arrange them in a single layer with space between them.
- You’ll want to cook your corn for about three minutes per ear or until tender when pierced with a fork or knife. The kernels should be soft and juicy, not crunchy or stiff.
- Use potholder or oven mitts when removing your corn from a microwave, as it will be hot and steamy. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving to allow any residual heat to dissipate.
- Leftover cooked corn can be refrigerated in an airtight container for three days.
How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave
The method for cooking corn in a microwave depends on its state. If you’re using already shucked ears of corn, the process will differ from that of fresh, unshucked corn on the cob.
We’ll show you how to cook it both ways to get consistent results.
The following instructions detail how to cook corn cobs in a microwave without removing their husks.
- Place an unshucked ear of corn vertically (or horizontally) on a microwave-safe plate. If you’re cooking several ears, space them out, so they aren’t touching one another.
- Leave it uncovered and cook for about 3 minutes on high, rotating once halfway through cooking time. The corn is done when you can easily pierce a kernel with a fork or knife. If not, continue cooking in 30-second increments until done.
- Using potholder or oven mitts, remove your corn from the microwave and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Slide off the corn from the husk and cut off the stem end. If there are any traces of silk, remove them with a stiff brush or your fingers.
- Serve with butter, salt, pepper, or any other seasonings.
If you’re using fresh, unshucked ears of corn, follow these steps:
- Wrap your ear of corn in a damp paper towel and place it on a microwave-safe plate. This will keep your corn from drying out while cooking.
- Place the plate in your microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. Cooking in a high setting will ensure that all sides of your corn are cooked evenly.
- Rotate once halfway through cooking time, then check for doneness by piercing a kernel with a fork or knife. It’s done when it’s easily pierced. If not, continue cooking in 30-second increments until done.
- Using potholders or oven mitts, remove your corn from the microwave as it will be hot.
- Allow it to cool for a few minutes so the heat can dissipate and you can handle it safely.
- Slice off each end of each ear with a sharp knife. This will make it easier to remove all kernels from your ears if you want to use them in another recipe.
- Rub your corn down with butter and seasonings and enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does it take to microwave corn on the cob without husk?
It will take between 3 and 5 minutes on high. However, the time can vary depending on your microwave wattage, size of the cob, and the number of cobs you are microwaving at once. So, it may require some trial and error before you get it just right.
Alternatively, you can test for doneness by piercing a kernel with a knife or fork. It should be tender but not mushy when done.
- How long does it take to microwave Green Giant sweetcorn?
Since Green Giant sweetcorn is already pre-cooked, you don’t need to cook it for very long. It’s recommended that you microwave between 1 and 2 minutes for a single ear of corn. However, this is subject to change depending on your microwave wattage and the size of your ears of corn.
3. Is it better to boil or microwave corn on the cob?
Both boiling and microwaving are popular methods for cooking corn on the cob. Boiling, however, takes a lot longer than it does cooking corn in a microwave. So if you’re short on time, consider using your microwave. For large and multiple batches of corn, boiling is your best bet.
4. How long should corn on the cob boil?
It will take between 4 and 5 minutes for your corn to boil. However, this time is based on how many ears of corn you are cooking at once and your microwave wattage.
The best way to tell if your corn is cooked is to pierce it with a knife or fork; it’s done if it slides out easily. It’s also done when it turns golden brown.
- Is corn good for your body?
Corn contains vitamin C and antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer. Research has also linked yellow corn to preventing cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that can lead to blindness. Moreover, resistant starch, which is found in corn, helps prevent constipation by increasing fibre in your diet.
6. How do you know when corn on the cob is cooked?
There are two ways you can test for your cone doneness. First, pierce the kernels gently with a knife or fork. If they’re tender and easily pierced, they’re done. Second, cooked corn has a brighter and more intense yellow colour than uncooked corn.
7. How do you remove the silk from corn in the microwave?
The easiest way is to use a stiff brush and work your way around. For example, if you’re holding it vertically, start at one end and go clockwise until you’ve removed all of it. Make sure your brush is clean to avoid contaminating your food.
8. How do you fix corn on the cob?
The easiest way to fix corn on the cob is by steaming it. Steaming retains most of a vegetable’s water content, preventing it from drying out and becoming rubbery.
However, if you don’t have access to a steamer or you are pressed for time, a microwave can do just as good a job. It will require some prudence, but it will still result in tasty, tender corn.
9. How do I steam corn?
Fill a large pot halfway with water to cover your ears of corn and bring to a boil over high heat. Next, place your husked ear of corn into a steamer basket or colander that fits inside your pot.
Cover it with a lid and set it over boiling water. Steam for 7-10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat using a pair of tongs and serve with butter, salt and pepper.
Corn on the cob is undisputedly a summertime favourite. It’s sweet, juicy, and makes for a great side dish or snack. However, there are times when you don’t have access to an outdoor grill. Or maybe you want to save some time by avoiding all of that messy cleanup.
In these cases, a microwave provides a convenient solution. Cooking will take about three minutes per ear of corn. The good news is that, if done correctly, microwaving retains all of the nutrients.
So, don’t wait until summer to enjoy a tasty ear of corn. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy it anytime.
Check out this video for more