Microwaving Corn-On-The-Cob

Ah, summertime! Corn-on-the-cob time!  I have it almost everyday because microwaving a single ear for one is so much easier than bringing a big pot of water to the boil (my wife will not try it, but she will come around someday).

It is important to leave the husk on to supply moisture. Simply lay an unhusked ear, just as it comes from the supermarket, in a microwave oven, and heat for 3–4 minutes on high.  Not even a plate is necessary.  Take it out of the oven, completely cut off the the bottom end that was attached to the stalk (where the strands of silk all originate), and squeeze the top end (where the strands of silk emerge) while it is still hot.  The cob will slip out of the bottom  like toothpaste from a tube, leaving the husk and silk in your hand.

Be careful when doing all of this:  the ear is extremely hot!  The cob has to be hot to slip out easily.  Let it cool at the table, add little butter and salt, and it is ready to eat.

YouTube.com has many postings with videos of the procedure.  There are too many to list, so just search for them.  They are all about the same.  Search for “microwaving corn on the cob.”

The only difference from boiling is that the cob is slightly soft and rubbery.  This is probably because the microwave heat flows from inside-out of the cob, rather than outside-in.

I suspect improved varieties of corn are now standard.  Just a few years ago, corn-on-the-cob season did not start until near the Fourth of July.  Now it starts by the beginning of May. We used to drive several miles to get unshucked corn from a local stand as soon as it arrived in the morning, and we kept the ears cool in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Almost everyone had their secret source of summer corn, a special produce stand, usually along a New Jersey highway to the shore, a stand operated by the farmer who grew the corn himself.

The refrigeration was to keep the sweet sugar from turning into bland starch, but that is no longer necessary.  I get my corn anytime of the day from an unrefridgerated bin at my local supermarket, and the finished ears are as sweet and flavorful as any I have ever had.

Microwaved corn of the new varieties. Cheap and easy, just like me. What more could you ask?



About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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