There's nothing like sweet corn on the cob to go alongside a summer cookout. Whether you like to eat off the corn kernels with your teeth or slice them off the cob, it really makes the perfect side dish. I personally love grilled corn slathered in butter, but the corn kernels do make a nice crunchy component in a salad.
I've mentioned this before and I'm going to say it again- I really hate wasting food! I always try to make the most out of every ingredient I buy and when it comes to corn on the cob, it's such a shame to throw the bare corn cob in the garbage. Next time you have an abundance of naked cobs, think again before you toss them. Here are the interesting ways you can use corn cobs.
1. Make corn stock.
If you don't know what to do with your sweet corn cobs, try making corn stock. Throw in the naked cobs to a large pot of water with some salt and a few bay leaves and let it simmer.
The bare corn cobs still have a lot of flavor and can infuse the water beautifully. Use the corn stock right away or freeze until you need it. Corn stock is the perfect ingredient to use if you want to add even more corn flavor to a dish. Try using the liquid in corn chowder, creamed corn, corn pudding, and more.
2. Make corn cob jelly.
This corn cob jelly is a great idea if you have a ton of naked corn cobs leftover. It's sweet with a pretty golden color and is perfect for spreading on fluffy biscuits or toast.
All you do is cook the naked cobs in some water, strain the liquid and add in some pectin, sugar, and a few drops of yellow food coloring. They also make great gifts for friends. Here's the recipe.
3. Give flavor to poaching liquid.
Instead of poaching chicken or fish in just water, try throwing in a corn cob to the poaching liquid to give the meat more flavor. The flavor from the sweet corn will sink right into the meat or fish. It makes poaching a little more exciting, right?
4. Make a corn cob bird feeder.
If you're not planning on cooking with the naked cob, a fun way to use it is to make a corncob bird feeder. Once the corn kernels are removed, spread some peanut butter over the entire thing and sprinkle bird food on top. This is easy enough for kids to help with and you'll love watching the birds munch away!
5. Scrape off the corn milk.
If you want a starchy, sweet liquid, try milking the corn cobs. Yes, it sounds kind of strange but this milky liquid is ideal when making corn pudding, creamed corn, cornbread, and more.
It's a pretty easy process too. Take the naked cob and place it on a flat surface. You can also place the corn cob in the center of a bundt pan so it's stable. Using a knife, gently scrape up the cob and gather the corn milk on your knife. Set it aside in a small bowl and use it to flavor any dish.
Kind of cool, hidden ingredient just waiting to be used.
6. Scrub a pot.
Yes, you read that right! You can use bare corn cobs as a scrubber for any pots or pans that need a good cleaning. Just dry out the naked cobs in a low oven until they harden and scrub away. It's safe on cookware and is so much better than a smelly sponge!
7. Smoke meat.
WoMeathips aren't the only things needed to smoke meat. Use leftover corn cobs to replace woods chips by placing them on top of the charcoal. The cobs give off a sweet, smoky flavor to whatever you're cooking.