You might be shocked at how easy it is to can sweet corn. The process is so simple that even the novice canner can master this recipe!
Corn kernels that are cut off the cob are placed in sterilized mason jars. Then boiling water is added to cover the top of the corn and then the canning lids and bands are put into place.
The jars are then carefully placed in the canner to be processed. That is it! No special recipe or formula, just sweet corn and water.
It is one of my favorite vegetables to can because I use corn so often in my recipes throughout the year. From my Corn Casserole that I serve at Thanksgiving and Christmas to Crock Pot Vegetable Soup, I seem to be opening a jar at least once a week.
It is a great way to store corn without it having to be placed in the freezer. Although I still freeze some packets of sweet corn (See: How To Freeze Sweet Corn), I also can several jars of it to be stored in my kitchen pantry.
This way I don’t have to worry about taking up valuable freezer space for items that I can’t process in a canner. Not to mention, I don’t have to worry about losing the entire batch if the power goes out.
However, in order to maintain great flavor and texture of the fresh picked sweet corn, there are some tips to follow when it comes to canning.
Tips For Canning Corn
1. Use Only Fresh Picked Corn on the Cob
There is nothing that screams summer more than the taste of fresh picked sweet corn! Whether boiling, roasting or grilling the sugary-sweet taste of a just-picked ear of corn is hard to beat.
Therefore, when it comes to how to can the best tasting sweet corn, it is best to use fresh picked corn. And by fresh picked, I am referring to the day that it was picked.
Luckily, because corn on the cob can be picked in bulk all at the same time, it isn’t hard to do. In fact, at most Farmer’s markets or road side stands, you can find corn that was picked the morning that it is being sold.
2. Blanch Sweet Corn Before Preserving
Just like when you freeze corn it is best to blanch it before canning. This is necessary because corn has active enzymes that can lead to a loss in color, nutrients, flavor and texture it they are not inactivated prior to storage.
This is where the blanching process is important. The hot, boiling water will stop the enzymes, keeping the corn fresh and crisp.
3. Use a Pressure Canner
In order to can sweet corn, a pressure canner is necessary. Because corn is a low-acid food it can not be canned using the hot water bath canning method.
The high temperature and pressure that happens in a pressure canner is the only way to destroy any bacteria from developing in the canned corn. It is the only way to keep you and your family safe.
However, pressure canners have come a long way in recent years. Unlike the horror stories of your mother or grandmother’s pressure canner exploding, it actually is a very safe and easy method of storing food.
As long as you follow the instructions of your specific canner, and a safe recipe for canning, it is a great way to preserve food. In fact, it is now my preferred method for canning tomato products such as pasta sauce and tomato juice as well!
How To Can Sweet Corn
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
As mentioned above, use only fresh picked sweet corn. Anything picked within 24 hours should be sufficient to use.
Start by shucking the corn and removing the silk. I prefer to do this outside to prevent little strands of silk from floating throughout my kitchen.
Discard the husks, placing them in your compost bin if you have one. While you husk the corn, bring a large stock pot of water that is 3/4 full to a boil.
When the corn is ready, and the water is at a rolling boil, place several ears of corn in the water. Boil for 3 minutes.
Then using tongs, immediately remove the corn from the water and place the cobs in an ice water bath for the same amount of time (3 minutes) to cool.
Repeat as necessary until all of the corn has gone through the blanching process. Next it is time to cut the kernels off the cob.
How To Cut Corn Kernels From The Cob
In order to can corn, you must first learn how to easily cut the kernels off of the cob. You can do this by using a bundt pan or a small dish placed upside down in a larger, shallow dish.
Place the stem end of the corn down on the center of the bundt pan or on top of the small, inverted dish. Then using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob.
However, be sure to cut only about 3/4th off of each kernel, staying away from the cob itself. The white section that is closest to the cob is somewhat bitter and can be unpleasant tasting.
Once all of the corn is cut, it is time to start the canning process. Start by filling a large stockpot full of water and place over medium-high heat until it boils.
While you are waiting for the pot to boil, prepare the canning jars by sterilizing them. Be sure to read the instructions on the package of your canning jar lids.
The older canning jar lids need to be warm prior to adding them on top of the mason jars. However, the newer lids recommend adding them on top of the jars without heating them.
Once the jars are ready and the water is boiling it is time to put the corn in the jars.
How To Can Sweet Corn Using The Cold Pack Method
Place the cold corn kernels inside pint size mason jars. Fill the jars, leaving 1 inch headspace at the top of each one.
Then fill the jars with boiling water, covering the top of the corn kernels. However be sure to leave 1 inch head space to allow for expansion during the canning process.
Next using a clean washcloth, wipe the rims clean, add the lids, and finger tighten the bands. Using jar lifters, place the jars in the pressure canner that has the recommended amount of water inside it.
Repeat the process until the pressure canner is full. Pressure can pint jars with 10 lbs of pressure for 55 minutes.
If you used quart jars, increase the processing time to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Be sure to adjust for increased altitude as necessary.
Once the processing time is up, follow your manufacturer’s guideline for removing the jars from the pressure canner. For my Presto Canner that involves me waiting for the pin to drop, then removing teh weight and waiting 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the lid and use jar lifters to remove the jars from the pressure canner. Place them on a thick towel and let them sit overnight in a cool place.
Before storing, check to make sure that each jar is sealed by pushing down the center of the jar. If it doesn’t move, it is sealed properly.
If the lid moves up and down this means that the jars didn’t seal and the corn needs to be placed in the refrigerator.
Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.
Mary and Jim
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- 32 Ears of Sweet Corn
- Using only fresh picked corn, husk and remove the silk of the each corn on the cob.
- While you husk the corn, get a large stock pot of water boiling.
- Working in batches, boil several ears of corn for 3 minutes.
- After boiling - place the corn in an ice water bath for the same amount of time (3 minutes) to cool.
- Cut the corn off the cob, removing 3/4th of each kernel, leaving the area closest to the cob intact. It is best to use a bundt pan or a small dish placed upside down in a larger dish or in a 9x13 roasting pan to catch the cut kernels.
- Fill a large stockpot full of clean water and put on medium-high heat until it boils.
- In the mean time sterilizing pint or quart size canning jars.
- Cold pack the jars by filling the hot jars with corn kernels, leaving 1 inch head space.
- Then fill the jars with the boiling water, continuing to leave 1 inch head space at the top of each jar.
- Wipe rims, add lids, and finger tighten bands. Then use jar lifters to place the jars in a pressure canner.
- Repeat until pressure canner is filled. My canner is able to hold 9 regular mouth pint jars or 7 quart jars.
- 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.
- Once the canning time expires, follow the manufacturer's guideline for removing the jars. Typically you wait for the pin to drop, remove the weight and wait 10 minutes before opening the lid. Using jar lifters, remove the canning jars from the pressure canner, place on a thick towel and let sit overnight 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 courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 11g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.