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You’re going to love this sweet and tender Air Fryer Corn on the Cob slathered with homemade herb butter. An easy recipe for whole corn that’s roasted to crispy perfection in minutes, perfect when the grill is occupied!
Quick & Easy Roasted Corn on the Cob
It’s officially corn season! I love the taste of fresh grilled corn on the cob. There’s something about the roasted flavor that can’t be rivalled by boiling! On the summer days and nights when I don’t feel like firing up the grill, though, this simple recipe for air fryer corn on the cob never fails.
It only takes minutes, and the corn comes out juicy and tender, perfectly roasted, and so full of flavor. Topped with a pat of homemade herbed butter? Bliss. Plus, an added bonus: air fryer corn is naturally gluten-free.
This roasted corn recipe is also great when we’re entertaining with a backyard BBQ. The grill fills up quickly! This air fryer recipe is perfect when the grill is otherwise occupied with favorites like Grilled Teriyaki Steak Skewers, Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken, and Peruvian Turkey Burgers.
What You’ll Need
Apart from corn, you only really need a few other ingredients to make the herb butter and seasoning. Here’s an overview of the ingredients, with the full recipe amounts included in the recipe card:
For the Corn
- Corn on the Cob: You’ll need 4 ears of fresh corn with the husks and silks removed. Pro tip: Try your local farmer’s market for the freshest selection of sweet corn while it’s in season!
- Oil: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or another high-heat cooking oil.
- Salt and Pepper
- Butter: For serving. I’ve also included the ingredients for the most delicious homemade herb butter below! Optional, but highly recommended.
For the Herb Butter
- Butter: Salted butter is a great shortcut to flavor here. You can also use unsalted though, with an extra pinch of salt. Don’t forget to soften the butter to room temperature! This makes it much easier to mash with the herbs.
- Fresh Herbs: You’ll want to mince your favorite fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme, sage, tarragon, or dill. Anything goes, really – you can even make your own blend!
- Optional Citrus: I love the freshness that comes with a spoonful of lemon, lime, or orange zest in my herb butter. However, this part is optional. Be sure to only zest the colored part of the rind, and not the white, bitter part. You can also use the juice in place of zest if you’d like.
Can I Use Frozen Corn?
Fresh is always best in my books, but frozen corn will also work in the air fryer. You’ll need to thaw the corn and pat it dry before following the recipe as directed. You can cook the corn from frozen in a pinch, however, you’ll need to increase the cooking time.
How to Make Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
This air fryer corn is perfect for your next backyard BBQ or potluck meal. Super quick and super tasty – what more could you want in a dish, honestly? Here’s my fast and easy method for roasting whole corn in the air fryer:
Prep the Corn: While your air fryer is preheating to 400ºF, shuck the corn and remove the silks. Trim off the ends, and you may need to cut the cobs in half depending on the size of your air fryer. Give the corn cobs a generous rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cook: Place the corn into the air fryer to cook for about 10 minutes or until lightly roasted, flipping halfway through. The corn is ready when it’s tender and golden.
Make the Herb Butter: Combine the butter with the herbs and zest, using a wooden spoon to work everything together. Roll your herb butter up in a sheet of plastic wrap so that it forms a log, then close the ends. Pop the log into the fridge to chill and firm up again.
Serve: Serve your air fryer corn on the cob with a pat of herb butter, or mix it up with your favorite variations and toppings! See the section later on for some suggestions.
Tips for Success
The main thing to remember with any air fryer recipe is that not all air fryers are the same! Cooking times and temperatures may vary depending on the model you are using. So keep a close eye while roasting your corn, and adjust the settings as needed. Here are some more helpful tips for this recipe:
- Choose the Right Corn: When it comes to selecting the freshest corn on the cob, you can get the hang of it pretty easily. Look for ears of corn that are firm, and husks (the leafy outer layer around the cob) that are green and tight, rather than yellow or loose. The cornsilk strands poking out should also feel fresh to the touch, and not blackened or dried out.
- Scale the Recipe: This recipe yields about 4 servings, depending on how hungry everyone is! You can easily scale the recipe up or down as needed, and work in batches when air frying.
- Avoid Aerosol Sprays: The cardinal sin of air frying is using a non-stick aerosol spray like PAM on the basket! The agents in these sprays can damage the finish over time. For best results, use a non-aerosol oil mister or drizzle the oil over the food instead.
- Cook In Batches: Rather than overcrowding the air fryer, cook the corn on the cob in batches. Leaving enough space for the hot air to circulate is important for the perfect roast, every time.
There are plenty of ways to make this air fryer recipe your own. Think different spices, extra add-ins, and inspiration from other cuisines! Here are some of my favorite corn variations:
- Garlic Butter: Add fresh minced garlic or a sprinkle of garlic powder into the herb butter for extra flavor.
- Cheese: Add crumbled goat cheese, cotija cheese, and parmesan cheese over top.
- Citrus: Finish your corn with an extra squeeze of lemon or lime juice for an extra burst of citrus flavor and freshness.
- Spicy Corn on the Cob: Season with cayenne pepper or chili powder for a nice bit of kick. Or make Peruvian-Style Grilled Street Corn smothered in spicy green Aji sauce.
- Cajun Style: Season your air fryer corn on the cob with Homemade Blackened Seasoning.
- Mexican-Style Elote: Make your air fryer corn into Mexican street food-inspired elote. Smother the corn in mayo, season it with chili powder and lime juice, and then sprinkle on cotija cheese and cilantro.
Make It a Meal
Corn on the cob is one of my favorite sides to serve all summer long. It pairs perfectly with everything from Grilled Orange Saffron Chicken Legs, to Gluten Free Hot Dogs, to Vegetarian Nachos and more. Here are more ways to make crispy air fryer corn on the cob into a meal:
- Trim off the corn kernels to make an easy side dish of Chili Lime Corn. Or add the corn kernels into Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad or Grilled Steak Salad.
- Stir the kernels into Gluten Free Cornbread before baking for a toasty flavor.
- Serve your air fried corn on the cob cookout-style with Easy Honey BBQ Instant Pot Ribs and a side of Air Fryer French Fries.
- Corn on the cob is the best summer side next to other favorites like Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad, Healthy Blue Cheese Bacon Potato Salad, and Easy Three Bean Salad.
- Make an easy seafood dinner with 10-Minute Skillet Chili Lime Shrimp and a side of juicy roasted corn.
- Use your roasted corn kernels in other recipes like Creamy Instant Pot White Chicken Chili or this Mexican Ground Beef Taco Skillet.
How to Store Air Fryer Corn
Leftover corn on the cob can be stored whole, or you can remove the kernels to use in other recipes. Whichever way you choose, store the corn airtight in a bag or container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheating your corn on the cob is as easy as popping it back into the air fryer for a few minutes at 400ºF, until heated through. Alternatively, you can warm it in the microwave, too.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, air fried corn can be frozen, but the kernels need to be removed first. Trim the kernels off the cob (you can place the corn in the hole of a bundt pan to keep it steady while you cut, and the pan will catch the kernels!).
Next, store your corn kernels in a freezer bag or airtight, freezer-safe container. I prefer a freezer bag with the air pressed out to save precious space in my freezer! Corn can be kept frozen for up to 3 months, and reheated from frozen or thawed in the fridge before using.
What Air Fryer Do I Recommend?
I use the Cosori XL 5.8 Qt air fryer. It has a nice, large and deep basket. It’s big enough that you can easily fit four full-size ears of corn with minimal trimming. This has a regular spot on my countertop because I use it several times a week.
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
For the Corn
- 4 ears of corn on the cob
- 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Butter or optional herb butter for serving
For the Herb Butter
- 4 tbsp salted butter (or use unsalted and add ⅛ teaspoon salt), softened to room temperature
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro or other fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, sage, tarragon, dill, etc.
- 1 tsp lemon zest or lime or orange zest, optional
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Shuck the corn and remove the silk. Trim the ends so it fits in the air fryer, cutting it in half if needed.
- Drizzle the corn with olive oil and rub it in to coat it thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook in the air fryer at 400°F for 8-10 minutes, flipping the corn over after 5 minutes, or until tender, golden, and lightly roasted.
- Serve with butter or herb butter.
Making the Herb Butter
- Add the butter, herbs, and zest, if using, to a bowl. With a wooden spoon or spatula, work the herbs into the butter.
- Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on your work surface and place the herb butter on it. Roll it up to form a log and seal the ends. Place the log in the refrigerator until it firms up again.