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I prefer barbecued corn on the cob, but don't always have the chance to cook it quickly after buying it. I know that fresh corn loses its sweetness fairly quickly if you don't lock it in by cooking it, so I want to blanch it in the microwave enough to retain the flavour but not so much that it will be overcooked if I barbecue it.

Is this possible, and if so, for how long should I microwave the cobs?

  • Honestly, I don't expect any good would come from par-cooking corn whether by microwave or any other method, but I certainly could be wrong and I'll be interested to see the answers to this. – Carey Gregory Aug 26 '14 at 3:55
  • I miss corn season in Iowa. Buying corn in Alaska is like buying salmon in Iowa. I wonder if the best thing to do isn't putting it in the freezer. That's exactly the kind of experiment I'd like to do, but I can't get good corn :( – Jolenealaska Aug 26 '14 at 5:06
  • Not quite Iowa, but right next door in Illinois, from the farm to your door in 2 days! twingardenfarms.com/shipped-fresh-to-your-door – ElendilTheTall Aug 26 '14 at 15:22
  • Growing up, the rule was, "Get your water boiling, THEN pick the corn!" – Jolenealaska Aug 27 '14 at 1:30
  • @ElendilTheTall 2 Dozen ears, $16 for the corn, $113 for the shipping. :( – Jolenealaska Aug 27 '14 at 1:37
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The microwave is a fantastic place to cook vegetables, especially corn. You can fully cook an ear in around 3 minutes, in the husk. Leaving the corn in the husk seems to trap a great deal of steam as it cooks, speeding up cook time. If you're looking to get some nice color from the grill while avoiding the wait, I would try 2 - 2:30 in the microwave, depending on how done (or fresh) you like your corn.

  • Bonus tip: chop the stem end off the ear before you microwave it. When it has finished cooking, pinch the tip and squeeze the ear out of the husk. No more hairs to worry about :) – buttlord Aug 26 '14 at 23:47
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    +1 Yes, the microwave is fast and efficient. But the caramelization that comes from the grill can't be beat! – James McLeod Aug 27 '14 at 3:29

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