Every Midwest town will claim that they have the best sweet corn around.  And yes, I will also claim that we have the best sweet corn in the country – as will my parents, who now reside in the south, but still talk and love their “Ohio” sweet corn.

Midwest sweet corn ready to be cooked, or preserved for future use.
Midwest sweet corn ready to be cooked, or preserved for future use.

Every year, my parents arrive to visit for a few weeks in late July / early August. When I ask them what they want to eat – the only thing they request is Ohio sweet corn and home-grown tomatoes.  However, this year, for various reasons, they were unable to make the 18 hour jaunt to visit.  Therefore, I had to find a way to send a little bit of ‘home’ to them.

This is where the preserving of sweet corn came into play.  I usually freeze our sweet corn to enjoy throughout the year, but this year, it was a necessity to also can a little to send down south.

Many people will tell you that freezing sweet corn is the best way to preserve the true flavor to enjoy throughout the winter months.  I have also been a firm believer in that as well –  but I have to say that tasting the canned version has opened my eyes to a great flavor as well.

Canning is also a great way to save on freezer space! I often don’t have enough room to freeze several dozen bags of sweet corn, nor did I want to, in fear of a power outage and the danger of losing it all at once.

Canned corn ready to be placed on our canning pantry shelf.
Canned corn ready to be placed on our canning pantry shelf.

So every year, we now use both preservation methods, and end up with 9-14 cans of canned corn, and the same amount of pints of freezer packs for use throughout the year.

Whatever way you choose to preserve – it is a great feeling to know you can hold on to some of that great taste beyond just the few short weeks of fresh picked corn in the middle of summer.

And yes, Mom and Dad — since you couldn’t come up this year, I will be sending you canned sweet corn in the mail!

How to Preserve Sweet Corn

Place husked corn in boiling water for 3 minutes.
Place husked corn in boiling water for 3 minutes.

1. Pick and use Fresh Sweet Corn

2. Husk the Corn – yes, this will take a long time unless you bribe others to help you. Timed games used to work when my kids where younger, but now that they are teenagers, bribery is the only solution.

After placing the cob in ice water, cut off kernels 3/4 of the way from the cob.
After placing the cob in ice water, cut off kernels 3/4 of the way from the cob.

3. While you husk the corn, get a large stock pot of water boiling.

4. Once all the corn is husked, boil several ears of corn for 3 minutes.

5. Place the corn in an ice water bath for the same amount of time (3 minutes) to cool.

Because it is a messy process, I cut the kernels off in a 9x13 pan, with the cob placed on a 2 cup square bowl
Because it is a messy process, I cut the kernels off in a 9×13 pan, with the cob placed on a 2 cup square bowl
Cold pack corn in hot mason jars, leaving 1 inch head space
Cold pack corn in hot mason jars, leaving 1 inch head space

6. Cut the corn 3/4 off the kernel.  Many people use a bunt pan to do this on, however, I find this a little awkward for me. I use a 9×13 roasting pan, with a 2 cup square dish in the middle of the pan to place the ears of corn on while I cut.  This allows most (you will still have escaped corn from the pan) of the kernels to fall inside the dish.   **If freezing corn – skip to number 13

7. Fill a large stockpot full of water and put on medium-high heat until it boils.

8. In the mean time, prepare canning jars – by sterilizing and keeping jars and lids hot.

Pour boiling water over kernels - continue to leave 1 inch head space
Pour boiling water over kernels – continue to leave 1 inch head space

9. Cold Pack – Fill hot jars with corn kernels leaving 1 inch head space. Fill jars with boiling water, continuing to leave 1 inch head space.

10. Wipe rims, add hot lids, and finger tighten rings – place in pressure canner.

11. Repeat until pressure canner is filled. (ours holds 8-9 pint jars, or 7 quart jars).

Wipe the rim of the jar before adding the hot lid
Wipe the rim of the jar before adding the hot lid

12. Pressure can with 10 lbs of pressure for 55 minutes (quart jars take 1 hour, 20 minutes) – increasing for altitude above sea level as necessary.

13. If freezing – place 2 cups of corn in freezer safe bags – remove air and seal. Label and use within 12 months. **We use Food Saver bags.

Add the hot lid and finger tighten the ring before placing in the pressure canner.
Add the hot lid and finger tighten the ring before placing in the pressure canner.

14. If canning – remove cans from pressure canner and let sit overnight on a towel, in a cool area.  Check to make sure that each jar sealed by pushing down the center of the jar – if it doesn’t move, it is sealed properly. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.

If you have the room, you can freeze sweet corn - much quicker!
If you have the room, you can freeze sweet corn – much quicker!

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim

How To Preserve Sweet Corn

Ingredients

  • Fresh Picked Sweet Corn

Instructions

  1. Pick and use Fresh Sweet Corn
  2. Husk the Corn - yes, this will take a long time unless you bribe others to help you. Timed games used to work when my kids where younger, but now that they are teenagers, bribery is the only solution.
  3. While you husk the corn, get a large stock pot of water boiling.
  4. Once all the corn is husked, boil several ears of corn for 3 minutes.
  5. Place the corn in an ice water bath for the same amount of time (3 minutes) to cool.
  6. Cut the corn 3/4 off the kernel. Many people use a bunt pan to do this on, however, I find this a little awkward for me. I use a 9x13 roasting pan, with a 2 cup square dish in the middle of the pan to place the ears of corn on while I cut. This allows most (you will still have escaped corn from the pan) of the kernels to fall inside the dish. **If freezing corn - skip to number 13
  7. Fill a large stockpot full of water and put on medium-high heat until it boils.
  8. In the mean time, prepare canning jars - by sterilizing and keeping jars and lids hot.
  9. Cold Pack - Fill hot jars with corn kernels leaving 1 inch head space. Fill jars with boiling water, continuing to leave 1 inch head space.
  10. Wipe rims, add hot lids, and finger tighten rings - place in pressure canner.
  11. Repeat until pressure canner is filled. (ours holds 8-9 pint jars, or 7 quart jars).
  12. Pressure can with 10 lbs of pressure for 55 minutes (quart jars take 1 hour, 20 minutes) - increasing for altitude above sea level as necessary.
  13. If freezing - place 2 cups of corn in freezer safe bags - remove air and seal. Label and use within 12 months. **We use Food Saver bags.
  14. If canning - remove cans from pressure canner and let sit overnight on a towel, in a cool area. Check to make sure that each jar sealed by pushing down the center of the jar - if it doesn't move, it is sealed properly. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

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