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

Updated on September 7, 2016
Corn on the cob cooked in an ice chest.
Corn on the cob cooked in an ice chest. | Source

Q: What Is Cooler Corn?

A: 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.

What'd You Think?

3.1 stars from 125 ratings of Cooler Corn

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: 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.

Instructions (With Pictures)

Step 1: Locate Your Supplies

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.

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

Step Two: Prep Your Cooler

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.

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.

Step 3: Prep Your Corn

Use fresh and shucked corn.
Use fresh and shucked 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. For a great idea on how to get all those silks off, see the video below.

Step 4: Put Corn in the Cooler

Place lengthwise.
Place lengthwise.

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.

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.

Step 7: Drain the Corn and Enjoy!

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!

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.

Best Way to Shuck Corn

Have you ever tried Cooler Corn?

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Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Stephanie Walden 9 days ago

        Works every time for large bbq. I add sugar and salt for added flavor.

      • profile image

        Matt Bibo 10 months ago

        We've done this for years, and the corn always comes out perfect. It is impossible to over cook this way. And no, it has never damaged our coolers.

      • profile image

        Jeanette Seale 11 months ago

        Haven't tried cooler corn yet, but someone suggested that the cooler would be ruined after doing this. Is that so or not?

      • akirchner profile image
        Author

        Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

        Indeed - or that trip down to the park for a BBQ and you want corn but don't want to heat water, etc....just get it ready and take off in the car~

      • Maddie Ruud profile image

        Maddie Ruud 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

        I can see this recipe being a great end to a camping trip, when the cooler's all emptied out!

      • akirchner profile image
        Author

        Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

        Ha ha BJ - can't take credit for it but I just HAD to try it out to see if it was really something that would work....surprised that it did and I think I'm going to be using it in the future for get togethers....just because it's too "cool" - ha ha~

      • drbj profile image

        drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

        What a really cool idea, Audrey, never would have thought of it. Thanks for this newsflash. Should we change the name of this container to a "heater?" Naw - too confusing!

      • akirchner profile image
        Author

        Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

        Hey Lela - I don't think it's cooked when you microwave it - I think you just slip the husks off - but I like the no silks! Then you still have to cook it~ I think the picnic cooler idea would be fun though...put it in the car and drive off into the sunset with your corn~

      • Austinstar profile image

        Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

        Wow, I'm going to microwave some corn like in the video! It's a lot easier than cooking it in a cooler. But I can see the advantage of using the cooler if you are going out to a picnic.

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