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Easy Cooler Corn for a Crowd

Want to know the easiest way to serve corn on the cob to 50 or 100 or even 300 plus?
Just cook it in a cooler.
Cooler Corn is the simplest method I’ve found to cook corn for a crowd.  I’ve used it at Girls Camp, serving over 250, Youth Conference, serving 230 and anytime I need corn on the cob for a large group – this is my ‘go to’ recipe of choice.   It will become yours too!

It’s Incredibly Easy.

Here’s Everything you need to Know:


The Corn

You can use this approach with any amount of corn up to 400 half ears or 200 full ears.  Just make sure you don’t fill the cooler more than 3/4 full with corn – otherwise there isn’t enough room left over to add sufficient water to effectively cook it.   I generally break or cut the corn in half after shucking it so that 1 ear serves 2 guests (actually, I generally have someone ELSE break or cut the corn in half after THEY get done shucking it).   You’ll find a half ear is more than enough with your additional menu items.


The Coolers

You can fit up to 350 half ears of corn or 175 full ears in two 150 quart coolers.  400 half ears or 200 full ears will easily fit into two 165 quart coolers.


The Process

  • Husk the corn, then if desired, break the ears in half.    NOTE: This is a great job for the youth in the group.  (Just sayin’)   Alternatively if you’re working with smaller batches, America’s Test Kitchen published a suggestion that works beautifully.  Simply cut off the stalk end of the corn a couple inches from the bottom, leaving the husk intact.  Microwave 1 ear for 2-3 minutes (2 ears for 4-5 minutes).  Remove the corn from the microwave, all you need to do is hold the top of the husk (the un-cut end) and shake.  The corn will slide right out.  (If not, give it another 30 seconds.
  • Up to 3 hours before serving, and at least 1 hour, start water boiling.
  • You’ll need about 100 quarts of water (50 quarts per cooler) for two 150 quart coolers.
  • Divide the cobs evenly between your coolers.
  • Pour the boiling water into coolers with corn.
  • Close cooler lid and don’t open it for at least 30 minutes, or until time to serve.
Your corn will take about 30 minutes to cook.  It will stay warm in cooler for up to 3 hours as long as you don’t open the lid.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve directly out of the cooler(s) or place the corn in a large disposable aluminum pan, covered with aluminum foil.   Ether plan to have bowls of melted butter with brushes on the serving table, or pick up individual butter pats and serve with the corn.

Pin for Later

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Or Make Now

Here’s another delicious Corn Dish you’ll enjoy:

Mexican Street Corn Casserole

This fabulous casserole combines all the flavor of Mexican Street Corn without all the mess.  It’s a real treat around our home.

1 Comment

  1. Shawn

    What a great idea! Tried this from our youth camping trip and it worked.


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