A picnic should be a no-fuss affair. That means easy finger foods, minimal stickiness, and as little time manning the grill as possible. And while grilled corn is a splendid picnic side dish, it can be fussy—unless you prep the ears in your slow cooker. Slow cooker steamed corn is crisp, juicy, and easy to pre-season so you don’t have to mess with butter on the go. Here’s how we do it.
This is a great opportunity to force children, partners, or roommates to earn their keep. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you can probably fit up to eight ears at once.
A huge benefit of steaming your corn in the slow cooker is that you can throw in butter, oil, and spices as the corn cooks. That way you (and your fellow picnic-goers) don’t have to worry about buttering your corn on the go. Just lightly brush each ear with butter or olive oil and add your seasoning of choice. Once the corn is thoroughly seasoned, split each ear into two for easy slow cooker configuration.
Add about 2/3 cup of water to the bottom of the slow cooker, then throw the corn on top. Cover and cook on high for about three hours, or until the corn is bright yellow. Once the corn is steamed, you can add more butter and additional spices to taste.
And just like that, you’ve got a buttload of splendid, picnic-ready corn. Gone are the days of dropping your slippery, partially buttered ear of corn into the dirt. Gone are the days of hovering over a grill, sweating off your deodorant. Ultimately, less time messing with corn means more time to enjoy your bucolic surroundings—and you don’t have to sacrifice flavor or texture in the process.