The Easiest Way to Cook Corn on the Cob

Enjoy delicious virtually silk-free corn on the cob with no shucking in just four minutes. Really.
It’s sweet corn season!

Photo AdobeStock/New Africa

One of the glorious parts of summer is when delicious sweet corn on the cob makes its appearance at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Yum. My family and I have enjoyed a couple meals with corn so far this summer and hope to make many more, especially now that I have discovered the easiest no-shucking way to cook corn that results in virtually silk-free cobs. How had I not heard of this before? I have been so excited about this trick that I had to share it. If you know about this technique, I’m preaching to the choir and you may be nodding in agreement. if you haven’t, you too will be excited to share this tip with your corn-loving brethren.

You don’t have to shuck the cobs and work at trying to get the pesky silk off. You microwave in the husk, cut off the bottom and shake out the virtually silk-free ready-to-eat cob!

  1. Place 1 untrimmed (in the husk) cob in the microwave and cook 4 minutes on HIGH (you can cook two cobs at once for 8 minutes).
Place whole husk of corn in microwave.

Mary Subialka

2. Wearing an oven mitt, remove cob from microwave and place on cutting board.

Cut bottom of cob.

Mary Subialka

3. Cut off about 2 inches up from the bottom end of cob, making sure to cut through all layers of the husk.

Mary Subialka

4. Hold the top silks and husk and shake a few times and the cob comes out with the silk removed “clean as a whistle”* and ready to eat!

Mary Subialka

*I had looked up cooking corn in the husk and found this charming and helpful video by a man who demonstrates this technique.

Butter Makes it Better

Corn is so delicious with just a little plain butter. If you would like to mix it up this summer, you can also try seasoned butter. This recipe for Spicy Chipotle Honey Butter by cookbook author Marie Simmons, which appeared in Real Food, can jazz up corn with a sweet and savory kick. You can also slather the versatile seasoned butter on warm corn bread or add a dollop to a bowl of steaming black-bean soup, says Simmons. Leftover butter—if there is any—will keep wrapped and refrigerated at least a week.

Spicy Chipotle Honey Butter

Makes 4 to 8 Servings

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup full-flavored honey such as mesquite, wildflower or buckwheat
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped, or more to taste
2 teaspoons canned adobo sauce
½ teaspoon coarse salt

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mash together with a fork until well blended. To increase heat, add more chopped chipotle 1 teaspoon at a time to taste.

Looking for More Ways to Enjoy Corn?

Try these two variations on corn fritters:

Sweet Corn Fritters with Roasted Pepper Romesco Sauce
With a cornmeal batter and a handful of fresh basil, these fritters are heady with the flavors of summer.

Arepas (Corn Fritters)
Fritters add a crisp bite to your next get-together

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Mary Subialka
Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her school-age son, who used to eat beets and Indian food, will one day again think of real food as more than a means to a treat—and later share this with his younger brother.