How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

Learn how to cook corn on the cob in the microwave so the only thing standing between you and those juicy kernels is the push of a button.

Few things compare to corn on the cob, especially when you know how to pick the best sweet corn. For those who want to get their corn fix without waiting for corn to boil in a big pot or putting it on the grill, there’s another clever method.

If you’re wondering how to cook corn on the cob in the microwave, we’ve got you covered. You’ll have juicy, plump corn on the cob ready in just a matter of minutes.

Is It Better to Microwave or Boil Corn on the Cob?

Each way to cook corn on the cob has its own pros and cons, and comparing microwaving to boiling is no different.

If you’re focused on preparing a main dish that needs most of your attention, you may want to microwave the corn so you can focus on prepping the rest of the meal. Microwaving is also a good bet when you’re crunched for time, or only need 1 or 2 ears of corn. If you ask me, it feels unnecessary to boil a whole pot of water for a single corn cob!

On the other hand, if you’re planning on making more than 4 ears of corn, boiling may be easier because you won’t have to swap plates of corn in and out of the microwave several times. (We recommend only microwaving 4 corn cobs at a time.) Instead, you can heat up 1 or 2 big pots of water and get it all cooked in one swoop. Of course, that means you have to wait for the water to boil first, and husk the corn as well—but it’s easy to husk while you’re waiting for the water to heat up.

No matter how you choose to do it, by following our methods you’ll end up with perfect corn on the cob every time.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave with the Husk

The beauty of corn on the cob is that it’s in its own self-contained vessel, and that comes in handy for cooking. Instead of shucking the corn ahead of time, go ahead and leave it on. This will help the corn retain moisture while it cooks.

Directions

Step 1: Cook in the microwave

Place the ear of corn in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes.  Add an additional 30 seconds if the corn needs more cooking time.

Step 2: Let cool and shuck

Once your corn has cooked, set the ears aside to cool. Once cooled, shuck the corn before diving in.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave Without the Husk

corn on the cob in the microwaveTMB Studio

If you prefer to shuck your corn when you get home from the store or right before cooking—or, you’re buying pre-shucked corn—you can still cook it in the microwave.

Directions

Step 1: Prep the corn

Wet a paper towel and wring it out. Wrap the ear in the damp paper towel (to mimic the husk) before placing it in the microwave. Repeat this step with all ears, as this will help retain plenty of moisture while cooking.

Step 2: Cook in the microwave

Microwave the corn on high for 3 minutes. Cook for 30 seconds more if it needs additional cooking time. Once the corn is cooked, it’s ready to be buttered and sprinkled with your favorite seasonings!

How Do You Cook Multiple Corn Cobs in the Microwave?

You can cook up to 4 corn cobs in the microwave at a time. If you’re cooking corn on the cob in the husk, increase the microwave time to 4 minutes (instead of 3), and if you’re cooking corn on the cob without the husk, microwave for 6 (instead of 3). If they’re still not done after 6 minutes, continue to microwave the corn in 30-second increments until it’s just right.

How to Store Cooked Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is best eaten right after cooking, so try your best to only cook what you and your family (or guests) will eat in one sitting. If you do have leftovers, you can store the ears of corn in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

How to Reheat Corn on the Cob

When you’re craving corn on the cob again, you can either reheat it in the microwave by wrapping it in a damp paper towel like you may have done the first time, or you can reheat it the air fryer if you want to switch it up. Check out our guide on how to make air-fryer corn on the cob for tips!

If you need to cut the corn off the cob to make any of these creative corn recipes, we’ve got the perfect sweet corn hack for you:

Pull out a Bundt pan and carefully stand up the ear of corn in the center, holding it with your non-dominant hand at the top. Take your knife and start cutting off rows of cooked corn. The kernels will fall right into the Bundt pan!

Note: One ear of corn will equal about 2/3 of a cup.

What to Serve with Cooked Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob pairs beautifully with other summery grilled recipes, like burgers, brats, skewers and other foods on a stick, as well as with any of these 30-minute grilled recipes. Either way, you’ll have dinner on the table in no time!

Kick This Summer Favorite Up a Notch!

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Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.
Lauren Pahmeier
Lauren is an associate editor at Taste of Home, focusing on search engine optimization. When she’s not making sure readers can find TOH’s recipes on Google, she’s practicing her food photography, consistently finding new recipes to try and hunting down the most indulgent treats in the Twin Cities.