The Absolute Best Ways To Reheat Corn On The Cob

Of the many totems of summer, few are more iconic than a summer barbecue. Whether slow-smoking meat or just grilling out, there is little better than gathering with friends and family outside over a live-fire meal. Burgers sizzle, hot dogs plump, and fresh, sweet corn on the cob caramelizes over the flame.

If you're like most people, you stock up heavy before a grill out, never sure if appetites will be just large or immense. It's always better to err on the side of caution, right? Inevitably, though, the event winds down and you find yourself with loads of leftovers, which is never bad. But how do you do right by these foods a second time around? The meat can be forgiving reheated in the oven or on the stovetop, but the magic of the corn straight from the grill is fleeting.

If you've got gobs of cobs that you need to breathe new life into, these tips for reheating corn will have you shucking all summer.

Hot from the oven

The critical thing is recapturing some of that sweet, summery crunch without rendering the kernels chewy or, even worse, fully dried-out and tough. This starts at the point of storage, says Southern Living. In order to keep important moisture in place, make sure you seal your extra corn in plastic wrap — a plastic bag would work, too — before you put it in the fridge.

When it's time to revive your corn on the cob, fire up your oven to 350°F. Place each ear of corn — or segment, if you've already split them up — on a piece of aluminum or tin foil large enough to completely envelope it. Add in a pat of butter and some water or milk to get things steamy and tightly seal each packet. Place them all on a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. To check the doneness, take out a single corn packet and carefully unwrap — steam can cause serious burns. You're looking for plump, juicy kernels bathed in buttery goodness.

Microwave convenience

Another fabulous way to get your corn going again is the microwave, explains Pure Wow. The reason being is that the microwave works with, not against, the moisture in the corn. How so? According to the FDA, the magnetron in a microwave sends out powerful, but harmless waves of radiation that are contained within the device's metal interior. This directs them towards the food — more specifically, the water molecules in the food. The microwaves cause those water molecules to vibrate excitedly, which, in turn, produces heat. As the heat is being generated by the movement of molecules already present in the food, this is why some say microwaves heat from the inside out.

The technique is not dissimilar to using the oven. It is still important to wrap the corn with a pat or two of butter, but remember to make that wrap plastic as metal foil is a no-go inside a microwave. Two added benefits to the microwave method are not heating up your oven, and thus your whole kitchen in the midst of summer, and the cooking time is reduced as there is no need to preheat the oven.

Boil away

Of course, possibly the most straight-forward way to reheat corn on the cob and keep it moist is to cook it directly in hot water. All you have to do is heat a pot of water, preferably salted, on the stovetop until it comes to a boil and gently slip your ears of corn in. The water doesn't even have to come to a boil, per say, as all you're trying to do is heat the corn; a simmer or even steaming temp will suffice, but may take slightly longer. Once done, pluck your corn from its bath and season to suit.

Now that you know how to perk up leftover corn, here's a handy hint for making ears that are both smoky and succulent, courtesy of the Metro Moore County (Lynchburg, Tennessee) Volunteer Fire Department (via The New York Times). Instead of peeling off the husk and silk, the firefighters soak the entire ear in ice-cold brine to season and plump the kernels before grilling the whole thing over ripping hot coals. The husk and silk char and can be easily scraped off to reveal corn that bursts with flavor. Just remember to save a few ears for later.