Super Easy. Learn how to pick the best corn and microwave with the husk on in just a few minutes. Perfect for the smaller households. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions.
Editor's Note: Originally published July 19, 2012. Republished with additional details to the instructions. A guide to picking the best corn added and updated photos.
DON'T SHUCK THAT CORN. There is no easier method, just toss them in a microwave. No husking the corn, just toss them in. It's just a matter of setting the timer.
We all look for shortcuts. We want great results but faster and easier. This is it.
It turns out that you can just toss the ears, husks and all, into the microwave. Cook them and then shuck them.
The easiest way to shuck is to cut the bottom of the ear off and squeeze the ear out. The corn silk will stay with the husks.
What is not to love about fresh sweet corn.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes on Microwave Corn on the Cob
One of the keys to cooking in a smaller household is great quick side dishes. This is it.
I suggest microwave for cooking up to 4 ears of sweet corn. If you are doing more, an alternative method like the oven or boiling would be more time effective. I will discuss both below.
How to Pick the Best Sweet Corn?
Notes on Sweetness of Sweet Corn.
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 by getting the freshest corn.
Should You Take a peak?
The most common way to choose an ear of corn is to take a peek. My mother always did. Peel down the husk a bit and check for bright, plump kernels.
But in addition to being questionable from an etiquette point of view, it also allows that ear you didn’t buy to deteriorate faster. But also, it is probably not very effective.
So, How Should I Pick?
- Get your corn in the best places. In order: your garden, neighbor vegetable stand, farmers market, supermarket.
- Exam the tassel, it 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 has good moisture and not turning 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.
Limits of this technique.
I feel the microwave is great for 1 to 4 ears of corn. It takes 4 minutes per ear, and you can probably only fit four ears in the microwave (note: you can not stack it).
You could wrap the first batch while a second batch cooks, but there are so many great ways to cook sweet corn.
Other Ways to Cook Sweet Corn on the Cob.
How to Boil Sweet Corn.
- Prep the corn by removing husk and silk.
- 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 in the Oven.
- Prep corn like the microwave
- Place in a 350-degree oven. Do not stack. Leave a little space.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
Corn On the Grill.
- Please see my Naked Grilled Corn.
Plus many many more ways that work well.
Other Summer Favorites
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.
Remove from oven 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.
Slide the knife between the ear of corn and the husk and cut a couple of slits through the husk about 2 inches up two sides.
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
- 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 amount of corn in a microwave on high for 4 minutes per ear (2 ears = 8 minutes).
- Remove from oven 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.
- Slide the knife between the ear of corn and the husk and cut a couple of slits through the husk about 2 inches up two sides.
- Squeeze the corn out of the husk. The silk will stay with the husk.
- Serve hot with salt, pepper, and butter to taste.
- This technique is good for 1-4 ears of corn. If you need more see discussion above.
- 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.
- 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 the 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 all the way through the husk.
- The silk will come off with the husk.
Originally published July 19, 2012.