Now that the corn season is underway, someone in the house is steaming corn almost on a daily basis. Is it safe to leave the pot on the stove(covered) with the water in it and reuse it 2 or 3 times before discarding and starting fresh? Sugar has been added to the water.

  • 3
    It's a cup or two... right? Is there any reason to keep it? It's one thing to save a gallon of oil for deep frying. A cup or two of water seems odd to save.
    – Catija
    Aug 4, 2015 at 2:51
  • Re-used for what purpose? Cooking other vegetables?
    – GdD
    Aug 4, 2015 at 7:25

1 Answer 1


No, it is not safe; what you would have left in the pot would have the same <2-4 hours worth of safety at room temperature as anything else. What you would have in the pot after steaming corn is sweetened corn broth; it will mold and it will grow bacteria. You would probably be fine 9999 times out of 10,000, but considering the expense of starting fresh every time, there is no good way to justify the risk of saving the water.

  • I agree on the food safety comment, but I think it is reasonable to want to conserve water. If you want to reuse the water safely, you should either immediately use it for cooking something else or freeze it between uses. If you go straight from steamer to freezer, I think you should be able to keep it within the safety time range.
    – NadjaCS
    Aug 4, 2015 at 21:26

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