The Easiest Way To Reheat Corn On The Cob

Just because a summer party has come to an end doesn't mean you can't bring back the cookout vibes with your leftovers. The simplest and fastest process to reheat a classic side dish, corn on the cob, requires little more than the press of a button. The microwave is the way to go when you want your leftover corn ready in a flash.

Rather than unceremoniously nuking the corn in a container, take an extra second to treat your leftovers right, so that kernels come out just as juicy and tender as the first time around. Place a couple of cobs in a microwave-safe dish with about two tablespoons of water in the bottom, and then cover the container with a damp paper towel. These steps are essential for introducing steam, so that the corn does not dry out. Skip them, and you'll likely end up with a sad, shriveled situation, even if you keep a close eye on the veggie. Corn can overcook quite quickly in the microwave.

Turn over the cobs halfway through, and they should only take a minute or so to heat fully. Just be careful when you pull back the towel to turn them; steam burns are definitely a buzz kill. The one caveat with this method is that you're limited by whatever size container will comfortably fit in your microwave, but don't worry — there are other viable options for heating up corn on the cob for a crowd.

More ways to reheat corn on the cob

There are about as many ways to reheat corn as there are to make it, and the oven provides another good option. While you wait for the oven to preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, wrap each ear of corn in aluminum foil. Pour about a teaspoon of water (plus optional butter and seasonings) over the corn, and make sure to wrap the foil tightly so the water doesn't leak out. Put the cobs on a tray and heat in the oven for about five to seven minutes. You can use this exact same preparation to reheat corn on the cob in the air fryer, but it will only take about three to four minutes to finish.

Dropping cobs into a big pot of boiling salted water will also get the job done. Avoid the simple mistake you're probably making when boiling corn on the cob by ensuring the pot is not overcrowded. Mushy, waterlogged corn is sad corn, so keep in mind that the cobs will just need about two to five minutes to reheat.

Notably, the oven or air fryer is better for grilled corn, or any preparations that are already covered in a glaze or seasonings. Reheating corn prepared this way in boiling water will cause the flavors to dilute or wash away entirely, so save the stovetop steamed or boiled cobs.

How to eat leftover corn on the cob

You can keep leftover corn simple with just a bit of butter and salt, or use reheated cobs as a blank canvas for a more exciting dish. Load it up with the flavorful butter Ina Garten always keeps stocked in her fridge, or try a topping of finely-diced fresh chilies, lime zest, and Thai basil. Go for a combination of roasted garlic, fresh thyme, and a splash of sherry vinegar for delectable tang; take it elotes-style with a smear of mayo, a squeeze of lime, a dusting of chili powder, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese; or slather on plenty of hot honey. You can also cut the cobs into discs for a hearty addition to chicken tortilla soup or vegetarian chili.

Cooked corn will stay fresh in the refrigerator for three to five days, but if you don't think you can eat your leftovers in time, you can always freeze them. For ease of use later, cut the kernels off the cob using a serrated knife, though you can also keep the cobs intact if you prefer. Store the corn in a zip-top bag or freezer-safe container, and it will keep for up to a year. You can reheat frozen corn using any of the above methods, sauté kernels directly from the freezer, or use your air fryer for unspeakably delicious frozen corn.