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How to Microwave Corn on the Cob

Sweet boiled corn, food concept photo

How to Microwave Corn on the Cob

One of the easiest ways to cook corn on the cob is using the microwave. In just a few minutes, the whole family can savor delicious and juicy corn by following a few simple steps. All you need is a microwave-safe plate, a small amount of water, and, of course, a microwave. Once you perfect our method of steaming corn in the microwave, you can cook up to four ears of corn at a time, making it a quick and easy dish to prepare for small groups of people.

Young African-American woman putting plate with food into microwave oven in kitchen
Using the microwave to cook corn on the cob not only saves time but also yields corn that is just as delicious as if it were boiled on the stove.


Mastering the Microwave Method

Here are step-by-step instructions for microwaving delicious corn on the cob. Also, do not forget to save our recipe below.

  • Start by placing the corn cobs on a microwave-safe plate.
  • Add a small amount of water to the plate to create steam. Loosely cover the cobs with a microwave-safe cover or plastic wrap. You can also cover the corn loosely with paper towels.
  • Microwave the corn on high for about four to five minutes per corn cob. You do not need to remove the husk. In fact, leaving it on helps the corn to steam better.
  • Let the corn sit for a minute or two after microwaving to allow for even cooking.

Be cautious when you remove the corn from the microwave, as it will be hot. Once it cools, enjoy your steamed corn on the cob.

Fresh corn on cobs on rustic wooden table, closeup
Leaving the husk on the corn on the cob allows it to steam more evenly and enhances the overall taste of the corn.

©All for you friend/Shutterstock.com

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

Every cooking method has its pros and cons. Microwaving corn on the cob allows you to focus on the main dish if the corn is a side dish. It is also convenient for preparing up to four ears of corn without needing to boil a whole pot of water. However, boiling is the best option for cooking large batches of corn on the cob.

barbecue and grilled corn with cheese and lime on plate
When preparing corn for a small group of people, the microwave method works best, but it may not be suitable for a large group.


How Long Do You Microwave Corn on the Cob?

A full-sized ear of corn is approximately eight inches long and should be microwaved for about four minutes. If the corn is frozen, microwave it for at least five minutes. You do not need to pre-soak or husk the corn before microwaving. In fact, microwaving corn with the husk on allows the corn to steam within the husk itself.

It is important to mention that every microwave is different. Higher-wattage microwaves may cook corn faster, so you may need to experiment to find the perfect timing and prevent overcooking or undercooking the corn.

Grilled corn with butter
Typically, microwaving an ear of corn takes four to five minutes, depending on the microwave's wattage and whether the corn is frozen.


Does Microwaved Corn on the Cob Taste Good?

The short answer is yes. When you cook corn using this method, the corn steams in its own natural juices, preserving its natural flavor and not absorbing any additional flavors from its husk.

As a result, many people prefer microwaving corn on the cob because it produces tender and delicious kernels with very little effort. However, some may miss the charred or grilled flavor from other cooking methods, such as grilling or boiling. Nevertheless, microwaving is a convenient and quick way to cook corn on the cob, especially when your time is limited or when you are cooking for a small number of people.

Nevertheless, we should mention that the freshness of the corn and the microwave's wattage can significantly affect the outcome. Experiment with your microwave and adjust cooking times for the best corn on the cob. Moreover, always use fresh corn, and do not be afraid to experiment with butter and seasonings.

Two cute kids in the woods eating corn
Microwaved corn on the cob is just as delicious as corn prepared on the stove.

©Batkova Elena/Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

When cooking for a small group or in a time crunch, microwaving corn on the cob is one of the best and fastest methods. Cooking the corn in its husk allows it to steam more evenly, resulting in a delicious, pure corn flavor.

Cooking corn this way also allows you to focus on the main dish if corn is a side dish. Once you have perfected making corn on the cob in the microwave, it may become your go-to method because it is so quick and easy. No one has to know unless you want to share your cooking secret. We promise not to tell anyone.

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Sweet boiled corn, food concept photo

How to Microwave Corn on the Cob

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  • Author: Bobbie Morris
  • Total Time: 0 hours


Cooking corn on the cob in the microwave is quick and easy.


  • 4 ears of corn on the cob
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)
  • Butter (optional)


  1. Start by husking the corn, removing the outer leaves and silk strands. Rinse the corn under cold water to remove any remaining silk.

  2. Place the ears of corn in a microwave-safe dish or plate. You can either cook them individually or stack them, depending on the size of your microwave and dish. If stacking, make sure the corn is arranged in a single layer.

  3. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the dish. The water will create steam, which helps cook the corn evenly. If desired, you can also sprinkle a pinch of salt over the corn for flavor.

  4. Cover the dish loosely with microwave-safe plastic wrap or a microwave-safe lid. Leave a small vent to allow steam to escape.

  5. Microwave the corn on high power for 4-6 minutes per ear, depending on the wattage of your microwave and the desired level of doneness. Start with 4 minutes for crisp-tender corn and increase the cooking time if needed.

  6. Carefully remove the dish from the microwave using oven mitts or a towel to avoid burns. The dish and steam will be hot.

  7. Let the corn sit for a minute or two before removing the plastic wrap or lid. Be careful of any steam that may escape when you uncover the dish.

  8. Serve the corn on the cob hot, optionally with butter and additional salt to taste.


The total cooking time for four ears of corn is 16 to 24 minutes, with each ear requiring 4 to 6 minutes.

  • Prep Time: 5-7 minutes
  • Cook Time: Cooking time per ear: 4 to 6 minutes
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