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Homemade Corn Stock

Looking for a way to use leftover sweet corn cobs? Turn them into a delicious corn stock with this simple recipe! Homemade corn stock is easy to make and adds an incredible burst of fresh flavor to all of your favorite chowders, stews and risottos!

Let’s make corn stock! With sweet corn season upon us, we’re already thinking about all the ways to use our favorite summer crop. And after kicking off this year’s harvest with a batch of mexican street corn fritters, we decided it would be great if we could cut down on food waste by finding a way to use the mountains of bare cobs we go through each summer. Enter this easy and super versatile corn stock!

pot with corn cobs, onion and thyme


Corn stock is very easy to customize. Here’s my basic list of ingredients, along with substitution suggestions and a few ideas to add even more flavor.

  • Bare corn cobs: If you only go through a few pieces of corn at a time, you can always keep the bare cobs in the freezer until you have enough to make a broth. And no need to thaw them — just add them right into the water!
  • Garlic: The garlic adds a savory element that helps balance the sweetness of the corn.
  • Onion: Onion adds depth and creates a well-rounded corn stock. Carrots and celery can also be added for even more vegetable flavor. We like to save our vegetable scraps just to make stocks!
  • Thyme: Depending on how you plan to use the corn stock, you could definitely switch out the thyme for parsley, rosemary or even sage. 
  • Bay leaves: A few bay leaves give the corn stock an herby flavor boost. You can also leave out the bay leaves and add other herbs, such as oregano or parsley.

While I chose not to add any additional spices to this version, whole black peppercorns or a few allspice berries wouldn’t be amiss here.

Preparing the Corn

As a kid we would actually take big buckets of leftover corn cobs to feed the cows! Since that option isn’t as viable now that we live in a city, we’ve started to hoard bare cobs in the freezer until we have enough to whip up a batch of homemade corn stock. Here’s how to prepare the cobs for corn stock:

  1. Shuck the corn: Remove the husk and silk from the corn cobs.
  2. Cut the corn off the cob: Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cobs. Hold the corn cob upright on a cutting board and carefully slice downwards, removing the kernels. Set the kernels aside and use for your favorite recipes.
  3. Break the cobs (optional): If you have large cobs, you can break them into smaller pieces. Either snap them in half with your hands or use a knife.

And if you’re new to working with sweet corn, here are some tips on how to pick the best corn!

pot with corn cobs, onion and thyme

Making Corn Stock

To make the corn stock, add all ingredients to a pot of water. You’ll need about 12 cups or 3 liters of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until it reaches your desired flavor intensity.

Because the corn cobs are so flavorful, this stock doesn’t need to simmer on the stove for as long as other vegetable broths and it’s done in about an hour and a half. Then just discard the vegetables and herbs and store the stock in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze for later!

How to Use Corn Stock

Now onto all of the delicious ways you can use this corn stock:

  • Risotto: The corn stock adds deliciously sweet undertones when paired with nutty rice dishes! And don’t stop at risotto, you could try a sweet corn paella or jambalaya too!
  • Seafood stew: Our absolute favorite way to use this corn stock is to make a summer seafood stew with mussels, scallops and shrimp. It’s both savory and spicy, which pairs so well with the sweet corn stock. 
  • Polenta or grits: Use it in place of water to add even more corn flavor!
  • Corn chowder: Or really any type of chowder!

While these are some of our favorite ideas, you can really use this corn stock as a substitute for vegetable broth in any recipe!

Corn Stock: FAQs

How long will corn stock keep in the fridge?

Corn stock will keep in the fridge for up to four days in a sealed container.

How do you freeze corn stock?

I prefer to freeze corn stock by letting it cool completely and then transferring it to a ziplock bag. Here are some other ways to freeze stock.

Can I substitute chicken or vegetable broth for corn stock in recipes?

Yes! This will work in a lot of recipes where corn would be a desired complementary flavor, such as our Greek Farro Salad. It won’t work as well in most recipes that call for the heartier flavor of beef broth.

How much salt should I add?

The amount of salt you add will depend on what you’re using the stock for. If you’re unsure, I recommend adding just a pinch or leaving it unsalted. You can add salt to taste when you’re ready to cook.

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pot with corn cobs, onion and thyme

Homemade Corn Stock

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  • Author: Victor
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Category: dinner
    • Method: stovetop
    • Cuisine: american


  • 8 bare corn cobs, husked and without kernels
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 cups (3 L) water


  1. Smash the garlic cloves and halve the onion (no need to remove the peel).
  2. Add all ingredients to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 1.5 hours.
  3. Strain the corn stock, discarding the vegetables and herbs.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to four days in a sealed container. Or freeze for later use.


Salt: I don’t add salt during the cooking process as the amount of salt needed depends more on what dish I’ll be making with the stock. That’s all to say don’t be afraid to add a bit more salt to your final dish than if you were to use store-bought broth.

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Loving this corn stock? Here are some more of our favorite recipes featuring summer produce: 

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