Microwave Corn On the Cob in the Husk is super easy. No husking, just short microwaving, and you will have perfect sweet corn every time with no mess.
Perfect for those "cooking for two" or "cooking for one" households. This should be the go-to method for up to 4 ears of corn.
We all look for shortcuts. We want great results but faster and easier. No husking the corn. Only briefly toss them in the microwave and set the timer.
And learn the secret to how to pick the best corn on the cob, and it is not peaking—see the discussion below. What is there not to love about sweet corn, an All-American classic?
Check out some other great summer side dishes, like Spinach Salad, Simple Splenda Lemonade, Caprese Pasta Salad, Broccoli Salad with Bacon, or Macaroni Salad. And finish the meal with Fresh Strawberry Pie or Grilled Pineapple.
👨🍳How to Cook Corn on the Cob with Husks in the Microwave
- Trim the corn on the cob by cutting back the stalk a bit, and trim some of the loss leaves.
- Place the corn in a microwave on high for 4 minutes per ear.
- Remove from oven with a hot pad. With a SHARP chef knife, cut off the bottom of the ear of corn. Then slide the knife between the ear of corn and the husk and cut a couple of slits through the husk about 2-3 inches up two sides.
- Squeeze at the silk end, and the corn will come out of the husk. The silk will stay with the husk.
- Serve hot with salt, pepper, and butter to taste.
⏲️How Long to Cook
The simple answer is 4 minutes per ear.
- For one ear of corn with husk, cook for 4 minutes.
- For two ears of corn with husk, cook for 8 minutes.
- For three ears of corn with husk, cook for 12 minutes.
- For four ears of corn with husk, cook for 16 minutes.
- For five or more ears of corn, start cooking in batches.
🌽How to Pick the Best Corn on the Cob
Let's see how to choose our corn wisely.
First, the big DON'T is to pull back some of the husks and look. It will cause the ear to deteriorate rapidly. If you buy it, your corn is getting worse faster. If you don't buy that ear, you have damaged a product for the owner and the next buyer—do not do that.
So, How Should I Pick?
- Get your corn in the best places. In order: your garden, neighbor's vegetable stand, farmers market, supermarket.
- The tassel needs to be brown and silky, not black and dry, which is a sign of older corn.
- The husk should be bright green and tight against the corn. It should have good moisture and not turn yellow or brown on the edges.
- Look for little brown holes in the husk, usually near the top. Those are wormholes. Just say no.
- Feel the kernels through the husk to be sure that they are even and plump.
- Done. Buy that ear.
👨🍳Other Methods to cook corn on the cob
How to Boil Corn on the Cob
- Prep the corn by removing the husk and silks.
- Place corn in boiling water (no salt in water.) Cover the pan and let the water return to a boil.
- Boil for 3-5 minutes until tender. This can vary some.
Corn on the Cob in the Oven
- Prep corn like the microwave
- Place in a 350° oven. Do not stack. Leave a little space.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
Please see my Naked Grilled Corn.
Plus, many, many more ways that work well.
Get the freshest corn you can get. There are several hundred types of sweet corn. Some have enhanced the sweetness, and unless you planted the corn, you wouldn’t know the variety.
What you can control is the freshness since the sugar in the corn starts to deteriorate rapidly as soon as picked and, in 3-4 days, will be mostly starch. The easiest route for most of us to the sweetest corn is getting the freshest corn.
NO. The most common way to choose an ear of corn is to peek at the ear by pulling back the husk a little, looking for bright full kennels. My mother did it, and your mother did it. Don't be like your mother.
In addition to being questionable from an etiquette point of view, it also allows that ear you didn’t buy to deteriorate faster. Also, it is probably not very effective. See my tips on picking the best ear of corn above.
The microwave is great for up to 4 ears of corn at a time. But the corn needs to fit in a single layer, preferably on a carousel.
You can cook in batches and wrap in several towels while cooking more corn. But there is a limit to how long they will stay hot, and there are other ways to cook large amounts of corn on the cob quickly—the oven or boiling water comes to mind.
Yes, they are the same thing.
The term sweet corn refers to the difference between it and field feed corn for livestock. Sweet corn has a higher sugar content and is picked before the sugar becomes starch.
Corn on the cob refers to the way it is cooked and served.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Start with 1 to 4 ears of corn. Prep the corn by first trimming back the stalk. Not too much; you want to keep the husk intact.
Next, trim off most of the silk and loose husk at the top of the ear.
Place the corn you want in a microwave on high for 4 minutes per ear (2 ears = 8 minutes).
Remove from the microwave with a hot pad. With a SHARP chef knife, cut off the bottom of the ear of corn. I take out the bottom row of kernels usually. But you can always cut again if you don't get enough. The husk must not have any attachment left to the bottom of the ear of corn.
Slide the knife between the ear of corn and the husk and cut two slits opposite each other through the husk 2-3 inches long.
Squeeze the corn out of the husk. The silk will stay with the husk.
Serve hot with salt, pepper, and butter to taste.
Microwave Corn on the Cob in the Husk
- 1-4 ears corn on the cob - unhusked
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start with 1 to 4 ears of corn. Prep the corn by first trimming back the stalk. Not too much; you want to keep the husk intact.
- Next, trim off most of the silk and loose husk at the top of the ear.
- Place the corn you want in a microwave on high for 4 minutes per ear (2 ears = 8 minutes).
- Remove from the microwave with a hot pad. With a SHARP chef knife, cut off the bottom of the ear of corn. I take out the bottom row of kernels usually. But you can always cut again if you don't get enough. The husk must not have any attachment left to the bottom of the ear of corn.
- Slide the knife between the ear of corn and the husk and cut two slits opposite each other through the husk 2-3 inches long.
- Squeeze the corn out of the husk. The silk will stay with the husk.
- Serve hot with salt, pepper, and butter to taste.
Your Own Private Notes
- This technique is good for 1-4 ears of corn. If you need more, you can batch-cook them or use the oven.
- Be sure to calculate the time at 4 minutes per ear. So one ear is 4 minutes, and 3 ears would be 12 minutes.
- Use a microwave with a turntable.
- Use hot pads to handle the hot corn, or you may get burnt.
- Fresh corn can be stored at room temperature for a day, or several days in the refrigerator.
- The keys to getting the corn out of the husks are cutting the stalk off far enough into the corn to release all the husk. And the slits up the sides, both being several inches long and through the husk.
- The silk will come off with the husk.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally published July 19, 2012. A guide to picking the best corn has been added and updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.