This simple tip comes from Dave Arnold, one of the founding partners of Adventures on the Gorge, near Fayetteville, W.Va. The adventure-sports outfitter runs thousands of people down the New and Gauley Rivers each year, many of whom need to be fed during or after their trip. In his years as a rafter and river guide, Arnold came across this quick and easy tip for cooking a pile of sweet corn with just a beer cooler and hot water.
1. Shuck enough sweet corn to feed your friends and family. Plan on two ears for every guest. Place the ears in a large, insulated cooler.
2. Fill a large pot with water and place it over a hot burner. Bring the water just to the boiling pot, then pour it over the corn. Make sure the water level covers the corn. Tightly close the cooler lid.
3. Crack open a beer and entertain your guests with stories of epic rafting adventures. In 25 to 30 minutes, open the cooler and enjoy perfectly cooked fresh sweet corn.
While Arnold uses plain fresh water, you can spice up your sweet corn by adding any manner of spices to the water. For Mexican-style street corn-the-cob, throw a stick or two of butter and a cup of sugar in with it. After 20 minutes, drain the water and grill each cob over a hot fire to caramelize the sugar.