As summer approaches, you should consider brushing up on how to reheat corn on the cob and the other foods that may be left over after the backyard barbecue. There’s no reason for it to go to waste since you can easily reheat foods like corn on the cob for a second — or even third — time and they will still taste fresh.
Of course, that assumes you use the right techniques. Here is how to do it correctly.
Best Way to Reheat Corn On the Cob
Because corn on the cob is a hardy food that doesn’t require babying like steaks or ribs, reheating it is easy and fairly straightforward.
Most cooks agree that reheating it in the microwave is the best and quickest way to go. We often recommend against using a microwave to reheat food since it has a reputation for sucking moisture from whatever’s inside. However, because corn on the cob doesn’t have a very high water content in the first place, this shouldn’t affect the end quality very much.
Despite this, you should still exercise caution while using a microwave. Spending too long inside the microwave can cause the corn cob to overheat and burst.
Besides the microwave, there exist many other alternative methods that you can use. You can bake or broil in the oven, grill it a second time, or just boil it in a pot of hot water.
1. In the Microwave
Place your corn on a microwave-safe dish and cover it up with either saran wrap or a dampened paper towel. Then, with your microwave at a 50% power setting, heat the corn in bursts of 10 or 20 seconds to ensure that it won’t overheat.
In-between each burst, we recommend brushing a thin layer of butter on top to extract some more flavor. This step is optional, of course, so if you want your corn to taste natural, it’s okay to go without it.
The reason why you want to heat in bursts instead of in a single heating session is because it gives you more control and accuracy. Like mentioned earlier, corn is very vulnerable to drying. So, by heating in bursts, you can make sure that it receives just enough warmth to be reheated; not so much so that it’s dried out.
Burst-heating is also used to rewarm other food in the microwave, too, especially for food that dries out quickly. As an example, the way to reheat rice is virtually the same as the above. You can also adequately reheat prime rib, which is a very heat-sensitive type of meat, this way.
Anyway, heat up the ear of corn until it is warm, extract it from out of the microwave, and enjoy!
2. In the Oven
There are two ways that you can use an oven to reheat corn on the cob: either by baking or broiling.
Baking is the more time-consuming method of the two. That’s a relative term, though — it only takes about five minutes, so it’s still a very popular method (especially among BBQ enthusiasts.)
To bake corn on the cob, take out a large oven plate and put your ears of corn on it. The plate should be large enough that all of the ears can be snugly fit right on it. Once the corn is arranged, cover up the plate with aluminum foil.
Power the oven on and set the temperature at around 400°F. Bake for five minutes.
Baking in the oven is a pretty versatile reheating method. Plenty of other dishes out there can be reheated in the same manner. If you want to reheat fries in the oven, the way to do it isn’t so different. This is how you can reheat lasagna, too.
Compared to baking, broiling is far quicker, although it requires the cook to be more hands-on with the process. Broiling is also the preferred method if you like your corn toasted rather than baked.
In this method, the corn is placed on top of a cooling tray placed on a baking sheet. Put the sheet into the oven and make sure that it is about six inches away from the heating element.
Power the oven on and set the temperature at 400°F.
After one minute has elapsed, stop the oven and rotate the ears of corn 45 degrees. Keep repeating the process until all of the ears on your baking sheet are heated evenly and are warm all the way through.
Normally, it takes about two full rotations for the corn to reach a warm enough temperature. But since actual broiling time can be affected by many different factors, you should oversee and judge the process by yourself. For most people, it takes only between two to three minutes. Sometimes, you don’t even need two full rotations for the corn to start steaming.
3. How to Grill Corn on the Cob for the Second Time
If you have previously grilled your corn on the cob, grilling a second time is the best way to reheat it. Using any other method will affect the taste profile of your corn and not for the better.
Before grilling, use a brush to slather some butter and oil onto the corn.
Start your grill and wait until the flame has stabilized. Then, place all of the ears onto the grill and cook each side for about 30 seconds. Rotating them until they have become warm.
Most often, corn on the cob only needs about two full rotations on the grill before they are ready to be served. Going any further could potentially overheat them.
4. By Boiling on the Stovetop
If you initially prepared your corn on the cob by boiling, it’s a good idea to use that method the second time around as well.
Add water to a large pot, place it on the stovetop, and heat until the water starts to boil. Put in the ears of corn one by one and let them soak in the hot bath for no more than two minutes.
Some people like their boiled corn on the cob a little salty and put a pinch of salt into the water. We don’t recommend this because salt can suck out a bit of the corn’s internal water along with some of its natural sweetness. Instead, try boiling the ears in ordinary water first and you can salt them later once you get them onto a plate.
Aside from salt, you can opt for a brushing or two of butter or oil for extra flavors.
Among the veggies found in a backyard barbecue, corn on the cob is a true mainstay. It is not rare, either, for a few ears left over once the party is done. We hope this guide on how to reheat corn on the cob has given you a better idea of what to do with the leftovers.
In the meantime, if you’re up for some more reading, you can check out our other articles on food reheating. After all, it’s unlikely that all of your leftovers will consist purely of unfinished corn on the cob:
- How to Reheat Fried Chicken: while you may not taste corn on the cob for months at a time, the same can’t be said for fried chicken. It is truly a hit recipe everywhere. So, there’s a fair chance that you will eventually have a few loose pieces in your fridge. This guide can teach you how to take care of them and give them back their tasty, crispy goodness.
- How to Reheat Steak in an Air Fryer: using the air fryer is one of the many different ways you can reheat a piece of steak. An expensive cut like a T-bone is most definitely something you don’t want to waste. Plus, if you have one sitting in the fridge right now, steak can be paired with corn on the cob to make for a complete meal.
- How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes: mashed potatoes are also a dish that makes regular appearances in afternoon BBQs. The buttery flavor of the mash can complement the natural sweetness of the corn very well. If you season your corn on the cob, the flavors are further amplified for the better.
- How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken: wholesome, but simple, rotisserie chicken is a favored recipe for many. For leftover rotisserie chicken, this guide can teach you how to reheat it.
- How to Reheat Crab Legs: you simply cannot mistake crab legs’ flavor for anything else. It is truly unique (in a good way). If you’re wondering whether it’s safe to reheat crab legs and how to do it properly, this guide can help. Small good news before you start: it’s entirely possible to reheat crab legs.
- How to Reheat Chicken Wings in the Oven: chicken wings are another classic family recipe. It can even be served together with corn on the cob during BBQ parties. In order to reheat leftover chicken wings, you can use the oven. There won’t be any discernible loss in quality if you follow the exact instructions found here.
- How to Reheat Salmon: similar to crab legs, you’re probably unsure about whether it’s safe to reheat salmon. We don’t blame you, seafood is very finicky when it comes to reheating. Fortunately, salmon can be safely reheated as long as you store it right and have proper techniques. This article here has all the details that you need to know.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.