Once you’ve tried grilled elotes, you won’t want to eat plain corn on the cob ever again! But with the help of your air fryer, there’s no need to fire up the grill the next time you’re craving some spicy corn. This air fryer street corn recipe is a quick and easy way to bring some Mexican flavor to your dinner tonight – no grill required!
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What Do I Need to Make Air Fryer Street Corn?
You can bring the flavors of Mexico to your kitchen with just a few simple ingredients! All you need to make Mexican street corn at home is:
- Corn on the cob
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic
- Kosher salt
- Parmesan cheese
Looking for more delicious air fryer recipes? Give these reader favorites a try!
How Do I Make Air Fryer Street Corn?
Thanks to your air fryer, you can enjoy this delicious side dish any time of year. That’s because you can cook your own street corn in your kitchen in just a few minutes with the help of this handy appliance. To cook Mexican street corn in your air fryer, just follow these four quick steps:
Step 1: Cook the Corn
To ensure your corn on the cobb is tender when you’re ready to eat it, start by microwaving the cobs in the husk. Set the timer on the microwave to 5 minutes and cook until the corn kernels are tender. When the corn is cooked, use a large knife to cut off the bottom of the corn and squeeze the cob out of the husk. Remove any remaining silk from the cob.
NOTE: If preferred you can also remove the husks and silk before microwaving. When using this method, place corn on a microwave safe plate and and add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of water on top of the corn. Then, cover with a paper towel and microwave for 5 to 6 minutes.
Step 2: Season the Corn Cobs
In a small bowl, combine olive oil and garlic. Brush each corn cob with olive oil mixture, then season all sides of the cob with salt.
Step 3: Air Fry the Corn
Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees, then place the corn cobs in the basket and cook them for 12 minutes. When the corn is finished cooking, it will brighten in color and start to look golden.
Step 4: Dress the Corn Cobs
After your corn cobs are finished cooking in the air fryer, remove them from the basket and brush each cob with mayonnaise. Roll the covered corn cobs in parmesan cheese, then sprinkle the corn with cayenne and chopped cilantro before serving.
Mexican Street Corn Recipe Ideas
This quick and easy side dish pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes. And that means you can adjust the recipe as needed to fit with whatever you’re serving. Try these street corn recipe ideas to spice up your dinner:
- Substitute sour cream for mayonnaise: While using mayonnaise to coat your street corn is the traditional method for preparing this side dish, there is one simple replacement you can make if you’re not a fan of mayo. Simply coat the corn cobs with sour cream instead of mayo before adding the cheese and cayenne.
- Try cotija cheese: Parmesan cheese is a great option for making this quick side dish because it’s easy to find. But if you want more traditional flavors for your street corn recipe, try cotija cheese instead. This Mexican cheese is often found on grilled street corn in place of parmesan cheese.
- Leave off the cayenne: The cayenne pepper on top of traditional elotes adds a little bit of spice to the creamy sauce on top. But if you’re not a fan of spicy food, the ground cayenne pepper can be left off for a milder flavor. Instead of cayenne, you could try sprinkling a small amount of smoked paprika over the top of the cheese to enhance the flavor of your corn on the cob.
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob Tips
Baking corn on the cob in your air fryer is a great way to get that grilled flavor! The best part is the flavor without having to fire up the grill. And with these tips, you’ll enjoy delicious, tender corn whenever you air fry it.
- Start the corn in the microwave: Fresh corn takes a long time to cook in your air fryer. That means you may end up with some burnt kernels before the entire cob is fully cooked. To help speed up the cooking process, start cooking the cob in the microwave to soften it. Then, you can finish cooking the corn and give it a slight char in the air fryer.
- Flip the corn for even cooking: Halfway through the cooking time, try checking on your corn cobs to make sure they aren’t overcooking on one side. If they are, simply flip the cobs and continue cooking.
- Always brush with fat before air frying: To ensure the corn on the cob is flavorful and tender, it’s always a good idea to brush your corn with oil or butter before air frying. If you are counting calories, you can also use nonstick cooking spray.
Air Fryer Street Corn
- Air Fryer
- 4 ears of corn on the cob
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese *traditional street corn is made with Cotija cheese, so it can be used here instead of the parmesan cheese. I use parm in this recipe as it is easier to find.
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 cup cilantro fresh, chopped
- Microwave the corn in the husks for 5 minutes or until the corn kernels are tender.
- Use a large knife to cut off the bottom of the corn and squeeze the cob out of the husk. Remove any remaining silk from the cob.NOTE: If preferred you can also remove the husks and silk before microwaving. When using this method, place corn on a microwave safe plate and and add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of water on top of the corn. Then, cover with a paper towel and microwave for 5 to 6 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil and garlic. Brush each corn cob with olive oil mixture, then season all sides of the cob with salt.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees on Air Fry mode, then place the corn cobs in the basket and cook them for 12 minutes. When the corn is finished cooking, it will brighten in color and start to look golden.
- Remove the corn from the air fryer basket and brush each cob with mayonnaise.
- Spread parmesan cheese on a rimmed cookie sheet or large plate.
- Roll the corn cobs in parmesan cheese, then sprinkle the corn with cayenne and chopped cilantro before serving.