If you love the taste of sweet corn in the middle of summer and you are looking for the best way to enjoy it all year long than freezing it is your answer!
Whether you grow your own, or you purchase it locally from one of the many home-grown stands that dot the landscape, preserving corn is a great way to enjoy summer’s bounty any day of the year.
You can pull it out of the freezer and serve it as a quick and easy side dish recipe. Or it can be used in a variety of other recipes including Chicken Pot Pie, Corn Casserole, Ham and Corn Chowder, and even White Chicken Chili.
And as much as I love to use my pressure canner to preserve fresh vegetables out of the garden, there are times when freezing not only makes more sense, but it also tastes better as well.
This is especially true when you don’t have the equipment or time for canning. And this year, that seems to be the case for many.
On the contrary, there are times when canning corn makes more sense. It is a great way to preserve produce when freezer space is at a minimum.
This is also true when you don’t want to take the risk at losing a bunch of frozen food during a power outage. Therefore, if you are looking only to preserve by canning rather than freezing, you can find instructions on how to do that here: How To Freeze and Can Corn.
How To Freeze Sweet Corn
The first step in freezing corn is to pick out the best corn on the cob that you can find. In our experience the first picking doesn’t result in the sweetest or best corn.
However, by the third picking the corn is nice and sweet and cooks up perfectly. So before you decide to freeze a large batch of corn, be sure to cook up a few ears and give them a taste test.
Then you will know if you want to preserve that batch or not.
Once you have picked out the corn that you want to freeze, it is time to remove the husk. Start at the tip of the corn and pull one section of the husk and silk downward toward the stem.
Repeat this process until corn is completely shucked and the silk has been removed from the kernels. Then break or cut the stem off each cob.
This process can be messy so I prefer to do this step outside whenever possible. Discard the husks or place them in your compost pile.
The next step to freezing sweet corn is to blanch the corn. Do this by filling a large stock pot 75% full of cold water. Then place the pot over medium-high heat until it comes to a full rolling boil.
Working in batches, place several ears of the shucked corn on the cob in the water and set the timer for 3 minutes.
While the corn is boiling, prepare an ice water bath. Do this by filling a large bowl 1/2 full of cold water. Then add 2-3 cups of ice to the water.
Once the cook time is up, carefully remove the cobs from the boiling water. Then immediately submerge them in the ice water bath. Let them sit in there for 3 minutes and then remove them to a large serving platter.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all the sweet corn has been blanched and cooled down in an ice water bath before proceeding to the next step for freezing.
Now is the time to decide if you will be freezing the corn whole (still on the cob) or if you want to freeze only the kernels. In order to save space in my freezer I always cut the corn off the cob before freezing.
However, you can also simply place whole cobs in an air tight container, remove any excess air, and place them directly in the freezer.
Although I would suggest storing some off the cob as well. This way the corn is ready to use in a variety of recipes and not just ready to serve as a side dish.
The Best Way To Cut Corn Off The Cob
The best method to cutting corn off the cob is to gather both a large shallow bowl and a small bowl. Then flip the smaller bowl upside down and place it in the center of the large shallow bowl.
You are going to use the small bowl as a stand for the corn. Place the stem end of the corn on top of the center of the small bowl.
Then, using a sharp knife, cut the corn off the cob. The corn will fall into the larger bowl and you will have less clean up to do later.
However, when you are cutting the sweet corn in preparation for your freezing, be sure to cut only 3/4th of the depth of the kernels off the cob.
The solid white part nearest the center can be bitter and it is best not to eat or freeze this section of the corn.
Repeat this step until all of the corn has been removed from the cobs. Again, you can compost the cobs. However it is best to do so in smaller cut up sections.
And if you have chickens, they will be more than happy to help you clean off the remaining corn off the cob!
Now it is time for the final step – freezing the sweet corn!
Divide the corn and place in freezer containers or bags. Remove any excess air and seal the container.
This is the step where I love to use my Food Saver. Not only does it vacuum the air out of the container, but there is also a spot where I can easily label the amount and date directly on the bags/containers.
I prefer to store sweet corn in 1 1/2 cup containers. I use this as a guideline because a standard can of corn is approximately 15 ounces.
Therefore, when a recipe calls for 1 can of corn, I can pull out one bag of frozen corn from my freezer and know the measurement is the same.
However, you can freeze in whatever volume that you prefer.
Mary and Jim
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- Fresh Picked Sweet Corn
- Pick and use Fresh Sweet Corn
- Shuck the corn to remove the husk, silk and stem.
- Fill a large stockpot 75% full of water and place on stove over medium-high heat until it boils.
- Working in batches place the corn in the boiling water for exactly 3 minutes.
- While the corn is boiling Prepare a large bowl with an ice water bath by filling the bowl half full and adding 2 cups of ice.
- After the corn has boiled for 3 minutes, use tongs to remove the corn from the boiling water and into the ice water bath. Let the corn cool for 3 minutes and then remove to a large platter.
- Using a sharp knife cut the corn off the cob, leaving the bright white section of the kernels still on the cob. You want to cut 75% of the depth of the kernels, as the white section of the cob is bitter.
- Place 1 1/2 cups of corn in freezer safe bags or containers. Remove the air and seal. Label and use within 12 months.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g