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How to Make Cooler Corn: Step-by-Step Guide

Audrey is a cook who loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients.

Cooler corn is a delicious treat your guests will love!

Cooler corn is a delicious treat your guests will love!

What Is Cooler Corn?

It's corn cooked inside a cooler! This is the best way to make corn for a crowd. And you save grill, oven, and stove-top space! Here's my recipe.

Corn on the cob cooked in an ice chest.

Corn on the cob cooked in an ice chest.

What'd You Think?

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

30 min

50 min

8 - 12 ears of corn (depending on size of cooler)

What You'll Need

  • Clean cooler, any size works but don't use styrofoam
  • 8 - 12 (or more) fresh ears of corn, (depending on how big your cooler is)
  • Boiling water, (about 2 quarts per 12 ears of corn)

Instructions

  1. Shuck all the corn and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Place the shucked corn inside the clean cooler. It doesn't matter how you put it in, as long as the water can cover it.
  3. Boil the water. You'll need about two quarts per 12 ears. Make sure the water is at a full boil before you pour it in.
  4. Add water to cover all pieces of corn. Snap down the lid and let stand for 30 minutes, undisturbed.
  5. Drain the water, either by dumping it out, or through the drain spout.
  6. Enjoy! With the lid on, the corn should stay hot for about two hours. Make sure people put the lid back after they take a piece.
Use whatever size cooler works for how many pieces of corn you want to cook.  I cooked 8 in this small one.

Use whatever size cooler works for how many pieces of corn you want to cook. I cooked 8 in this small one.

Step 1: Locate Your Supplies

Start with a cooler. I used a small Igloo that would hold anywhere from 8-12 ears of shucked corn.

Clean the interior with soap and water. If desired, wipe with bleach and rinse thoroughly.

Clean the interior with soap and water. If desired, wipe with bleach and rinse thoroughly.

Step Two: Prep Your Cooler

Fill it with hot sudsy water and scrub. Some say that you should also apply a bleach solution and rinse repeatedly. Either way, scrub with soapy hot water and then rinse completely.

Use fresh and shucked corn.

Use fresh and shucked corn.

Step 3: Prep Your Corn

Select fresh corn in the husk. The freshest corn on the cob is always the corn that's tastiest! Fresh corn silks are still pretty intact on the top and not super limp. Shuck all the corn and rinse thoroughly.

Place lengthwise.

Place lengthwise.

Step 4: Put Corn in the Cooler

Place the shucked corn inside. Using a smaller cooler, there is only one way the corn can fit but in a larger one, put the ears in any way you'd like.

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how-to-make-cooler-corn-step-by-step-guide

Step 5: Boil Water

Put on a big kettle or pot of water to boil. You'll need about 2 quarts of boiling water per 12 ears of corn. Make sure the water is at a full boil.

Step 6: Pour the Water Over the Corn

Add water to cover all pieces of corn. Snap down the lid and let stand for 30 minutes, undisturbed.

Voila--cooked corn in the cooler. It will stay perfectly warm for up to 2 hours with the lid on!

Voila--cooked corn in the cooler. It will stay perfectly warm for up to 2 hours with the lid on!

Step 7: Drain the Corn and Enjoy!

Remove lid and drain the water. The corn should stay deliciously moist and warm for at least two hours in the cooler with the lid on. Just replace the lid each time someone takes out a mouthwatering piece of corn on the cob. Season and flavor with butter while it's hot! Enjoy.

My Video

Why Cook in a Cooler?

To be honest with you, when I first saw this recipe in a cooking magazine, my first thought was "How bizarre! Who the heck wants to cook in a cooler?"

Being the kind of person who likes to try every cooking technique there is, I couldn't resist looking at the little blurb and thinking to myself it might be a kind of unique thing to try.

My first thought was, "Would it work?" My second thought was, "Wouldn't it just be the neatest presentation?"because I'm a cook and like to cook everything as many ways as possible. I thought how cool it would be for a barbecue, a picnic at the park, or just for the heck of it.

The instructions called for several dozen ears of corn but since I wasn't having a party or a get-together, I decided to improvise and use a small Igloo that we use for day trips to carry our lunch. The small size I used was just about perfect for 8 ears but would probably hold up to at least 12 ears of corn. Gauge what size cooler you need by how many shucked ears of corn will fit loosely inside, allowing room for the boiling water.

Don't forget to make sure it's insulated and made of hard plastic. Styrofoam coolers won't work for this recipe because the boiling water will warp them.

Questions & Answers

Question: Does making cooler corn ruin the cooler?

Answer: Not at all - it is easily washed out - add just a smidge of dishwashing soap and clean out thoroughly but it's good to go. It does not retain any odor either!

Question: Could I do this with hot dogs?

Answer: I'm not really sure. I would imagine if you did, it would leave a permanent hot dog smell in your cooler, and I'm not sure that would be enjoyable!

Question: Are coolers BPA free?

Answer: If you look for ones that are - yes.

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