Can You Microwave Corn On The Cob?

Q. So we just got back from our first trip to a farmers market and we have a bunch of fresh cobs of corn and while we plan to barbecue them later, I’m curious, can you microwave corn on the cob and how would it turn out? I’m afraid to try it because couldn’t it explode? Would the kernels pop and give me popcorn on the cob? That would be funny, but not what I’m going for here.


Can you microwave corn on the cob? Or does it turn into popcorn?

A. There is not much so synonymous with summer as fresh corn on the cob.  Scientifically known as Zea mays, corn grows in ears, each containing kernels.  Ears of corn are often husked then steamed or boiled, or roasted with the husks. The husk leaves are removed before serving.

The most common methods for cooking corn on the cob are frying, boiling, roasting, and grilling but what about microwaving corn on the cob? If it came out as popcorn on the cob that would be something – but it doesn’t.

If you’re going to microwave corn on the cob try this:

  1. Put the cob, husk and all into the microwave and zap it on high for four or five minutes.
  2. Remove with an oven mit or other heat protection for your hands. It will be hot.
  3. Cut off the ends and slip off the husk and silk, preparing the cob for serving.
  4. Serve with butter and salt for a classic corn on the cob feast.

Or this:

  1. Remove the husk and silk first.
  2. Arrange the ears on a microwave safe dish in a layer with space between the cobs so they cook evenly.
  3. Microwave the corn on high. Allow about two minutes of microwaving time for each ear of corn.
  4. Remove with oven mitts and serve.

Native American tribes were eating corn before European settlers arrived in the Americas and for the Maya corn was a staple food, eaten off the cob. Today we can microwave corn on the cob for a few minutes and enjoy a healthy natural food that has sustained humanity for millennia.

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