The Absolute Best Way To Use Leftover Corn Cobs

Nothing says summer like corn on the cob. Whether on a skewer and smothered in butter — eliciting fond memories of childhood — cut from the cob into a fresh corn salad, salsa, or succotash; or grilled and covered in mayo, chili powder, lime, and cotija cheese for delicious elotes (aka Mexican street corn), fresh corn is as versatile as it is flavorful. 

After we've devoured every kernel of goodness off the cob, with many remnants no doubt still stuck in our teeth, most of us don't think twice about simply throwing the remains of our feast away. But what if we told you there was a way to use those leftover cobs? What if you could make a small dent in the huge problem of food waste, as well as create something delicious that could infuse the taste of summer into your recipes all year long? It's a lot easier than you think.

Make a stock

Those leftover corn cobs can be used to create a flavorful corn stock, a golden broth that can be used in a wide range of recipes that go beyond just corn chowder. Perfect in sauces, stews, risottos, polenta, and more, corn stock is an easy substitute in any dish that calls for vegetable broth (via Saveur). It can also be used in place of meat-based broth to make a recipe vegetarian or vegan (via PBS). And as No Waste Nutrition notes, corn stock has a sweet flavor that's delicious enough to drink on its own.

Making the stock is easy. As Saveur explains, just place the cobs in a big pot of water, along with any spice and herbs you want to add, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer for an hour or two. This has the added benefit of filling your home with the sweet aroma of summertime. When it's done, just strain and then put the corn stock in the freezer to add to your recipes for months to come.