Mexican-style street corn recipe is easy to make in the air fryer. And tasty, too.

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The best Mexican-style street corn you’ll ever have will not be cooked in an air fryer. In all likelihood, it’ll be corn cooked over charcoal, or fire, or some other heat source that imparts that delicious grilled flavor. But I’m here to tell you that this summer you can use your air fryer to make perfectly tasty elote without much work.

I cooked up this recipe for folks who might not have a grill and have been charged with cooking a side for a cookout. Or maybe your grill is all filled up with burgers and you need to cook indoors. Or maybe all you have is an air fryer. Whatever your situation, this street corn recipe involves just a few minutes of cook time and very little prep, which should have a delicious result. Here’s what you need to know.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, left on the cob

  • Canola oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp cayenne

  • 1/2 cup finely grated cotija cheese

  • Juice of one lime

Directions

  1. Brush the corn with oil then season generously with salt and pepper.

  2. Set your air fryer to 400 degrees and 10 minutes. Toss the seasoned corn in the air fryer and let it cook during both the preheating process and the entire ten minutes. Shake the basket every once in a while.

  3. While the corn cooks, make the elote sauce. In a long, shallow bowl or rimmed plate, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, cheese, paprika, cayenne, and lime juice. If you like it spicy, like I do, add extra cayenne and smoked paprika.

  4. After 10 minutes the corn should be ready. Some of the kernels should be blackened. If not, cook for a bit longer.

  5. Using tongs, dip and roll the cooked corn in the cheese mixture. Make sure all sides are coated. At this point you can enjoy it as is — that’s what I did for simplicity’s sake. But if you want more cheese and spices on top of the mixture, feel free.

The Details

There’s really nothing too complicated about this dish. It’s designed to be simple, quick, and easily customizable for your preferences. Cooking the corn is straightforward. Ten minutes worked for me when I tested the recipe a few times, but basically, just let it go until some kernels blacken. Shake the basket around and you’ll be good.

The only complication you may run into is finding cotija cheese. If you can find queso fresco, that would work as well, though it is milder than cotija. When you roll the corn in the mixture, just do you best to get things totally covered.

elote mix with spices, hands squeezing lime juice in it

The mixture being made.
Credit: Mashable

corn being turned with tongs in elote mixture

Make sure you coat your corn well.
Credit: Mashable

A note: This isn’t the most authentic recipe in the world. The goal is to make an easy version of elote in the air fryer and that’s what you’ll get. In fact, if you wanted to go even a bit more inauthentic, you could cut the corn off the cob once it’s air fried. Then you could stir together the corn and the cheese mixture and create a spoonable side dish, instead of the messier cobs. It’ll taste good, however you decide to serve it.

Here’s how my final product looked.

elote corn on the cob on plate

Corn! Messy delicious corn.
Credit: Mashable

The final verdict for air fryer elote? It’s tasty. And messy. Very messy. But summertime corn is amazing and sweet. Pairing that with the creamy, salty cheese mixture really works. This will be a hit at any cookout and will take you no more than 15 minutes of total work. You can’t beat that.



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