Fresh, wholesome, and loaded with roasted-corn flavor, this Air Fryer Corn on the Cob is perfect for summer. Plus, it’s versatile, fast, and easy to make!
Buttery Corn on the Cob, Made in the Air Fryer!
What could be more perfect than fresh corn on the cob, especially when it’s in season? Exactly! Very few things compare to corn on the cob during the hot summer days. Buttery, crunchy, sweet, yet salty, this wonderful summer treat makes for a perfect side dish or even a snack.
Typically, corn on the cob is cooked briefly in boiling water before serving with melted butter and a sprinkling of salt. It’s truly great that way!
But! This easy roasting method for air fryer corn on the cob is quite special, too. So is the fabulous lime-butter sauce that we’ll brush on top! And! Thanks to the incredible convection power of air-frying, this dish is incredibly quick and so, so simple to make. 🌽
Not a fan of eating corn off the cob? No worries! It can be a little messy, but air-fried corn doesn’t have to stay on the cob. You can also just cut off the kernels and serve them as a side dish or in recipes – think Zucchini Corn Fritters, Fiesta Rice, or Shrimp Corn Chowder. Tender, caramelized corn will add an extra depth of flavor to any dish.
What You’ll Need
You can choose to make just the air fryer corn on the cob, or make the corn and the meltingly scrumptious butter sauce, as well. Either way, this recipe is a mouthwatering favorite!
For the Corn
- Corn: Prep your fresh corn by removing the husks and silks.
- Oil: Any high-heat cooking oil is fine.
- Salt: Half a teaspoon, or to taste.
For the Butter Sauce
- Butter: Melt the butter before using it.
- Garlic: Mince the garlic cloves, or press them with a garlic press.
- Lime Zest and Juice: Make sure not to get any of the bitter white pith in the lime zest – just the green part of the rind. If you prefer, you can just use juice and leave out the zest, but the flavor will be slightly less intense.
- Seasonings: Chili powder, salt, and pepper add the perfect trio of flavors to the sauce.
- Cilantro: Chopped cilantro is the perfect garnish – unless you don’t like cilantro! In that case, feel free to leave it out, or substitute fresh parsley or chives.
- Lime Wedges: For serving.
How Do You Pick the Best Corn at the Store?
Choosing fresh corn is very easy, once you understand what to look for. If buying fresh corn is new to you, check out these helpful tips for finding the best ears available.
- The Husk: Also known as the “shuck,” this is the outer, leafy “wrapping” around each ear of corn. The freshest corn will still have green husks tight against the ear itself. If the husk is yellowing, faded, spotted, or loosened, it’s not as fresh.
- The Tassel: The strands of cornsilk poking out of the tip of the corn should feel fresh and range in color from yellow to brown. Dry, black tassels are a signal that the corn is not very fresh. If the tassel seems spoiled (has a bad smell or squishy texture), avoid that ear of corn.
- The Feel: A good ear of corn is firm, with no soft spots or vacant areas with missing kernels.
Can You Air Fry Frozen Corn on the Cob?
Definitely! Fresh corn will give the best result, but frozen is also good if you thaw the corn, pat it dry, and follow the recipe as written. If you cook it from frozen, you’ll need to increase the cooking time.
So, just how do you air-fry whole ears of corn? Here is my easy cooking method. I guarantee that if you give it a shot, you’ll find yourself making this again and again!
- Prep the Air Fryer and the Corn. To begin, preheat your air fryer to 400˚F. Some cooks skip the preheating step, but I think it really helps with most air-fryer recipes. While it preheats, rub each husked and de-silked ear of corn with oil, and sprinkle all over with salt.
- Air-Fry the Corn. Line up the corn in your air fryer basket. Depending on the size of the corn and the air fryer, you may be able to fit 2 to 4 ears at a time. Mine fits 3. Just don’t crowd the corn, and be ready to cook in batches if needed. Cook the corn for about 14 minutes total, stopping halfway through to flip the corn over.
- Make the Sauce. While the corn is cooking, make the butter sauce (if you’re using it). Melt the butter and add the remaining sauce ingredients to the bowl. Whisk well to combine.
- Serve. When the corn and sauce are ready, take the corn out of the air fryer and put it on a serving plate. Brush with the butter sauce, garnish with cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.
Tips for the Best Air-Fried Corn
Are you excited to try this easy side dish? It’s a fantastic way to use fresh, in-season corn, and get the most out of your air fryer. These handy tips will ensure that it turns out tip-top, every time.
- Non-Aerosol Oil: When you choose oil for your air-fryer recipes, some manufacturers recommend using non-aerosol options. Aerosol sprays can damage the air fryer basket over time.
- Cook in Batches, as Needed: A good rule of thumb is to make sure the pieces of food in your air fryer aren’t touching when they cook. They need a little space between them for even, crispy cooking. If you can’t get everything into the basket without crowding, it’s best to cook in two (or more) separate batches.
- Check the Time: Since every air fryer is a little different, make sure to keep an eye on your corn (and anything else you cook in the air fryer). It may need a little extra time, or it may get done faster than the recipe suggests.
Corn is always welcome at my house, and it goes with just about anything: pork chops, chicken, vegetarian dishes, even pasta. However, I truly love to serve corn with easy, summery, barbecue classics like these:
- Ribs: Nothing beats a plate of sticky ribs, unless it’s a plate of sticky ribs with fresh roasted sweet corn! Try these Easy Baby Back BBQ Ribs and watch your family devour them.
- Pasta Salad: A colorful pasta salad is filling, healthy, and easy to put together. This Potluck Pasta Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette is a light, veggie-forward favorite.
- Baked Beans: Love baked beans? Me too! Their sweet, syrupy sauce is just about irresistible. This Quick Baked Beans with Smoked Sausage recipe delivers a perfectly balanced version of classic baked beans in less time.
Storing and Reheating
- To Store: Leftover corn can be stored on or off the cob. Either way, place it in an airtight container or food storage bag, and keep it in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
- To Reheat: Preheat your air fryer to 400˚F. Add in the corn, and cook it for three minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave, if desired.
Can I Freeze the Leftovers?
Typically, blanched corn is frozen, but you can also freeze air-fried corn. Here’s an easy method to do just that:
- Remove the Kernels: First, you’ll need to cut the kernels off the cob. Pro tip: place the corn on top of the hole of a Bundt pan, and cut all around with a sharp knife. The Bundt pan will catch the kernels as they fall.
- Pack the Corn into a Freezer Bag. Label and date your freezer bag, and then place the corn kernels inside. Press out as much air as you can before sealing.
- Freeze. Lay the corn flat to freeze to save space, and freeze the corn for up to 3 months. You can reheat from frozen, or thaw it in the refrigerator first.
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
For the Corn:
- Preheat air fryer to 400˚F.
- Rub the ears of corn with oil and season with salt.
- Place 2 to 4 ears of corn in the air fryer basket and cook for 14 minutes, rotating them halfway through cooking. Do not crowd the basket; cook in batches if your air fryer isn’t big enough.
- In the meantime, melt the butter; to the melted butter, add the garlic, lime zest, lime juice, chili powder, and black pepper; whisk to combine.
- Remove corn from air fryer basket and transfer to a serving plate.
- Brush with the butter sauce.
- Add more salt, if needed.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.