Freezing corn on the cob is an easy way to preserve your corn harvest. Here’s some ideas for you on easy methods to freeze your corn.
freezing corn on the cob can be done several different ways. There are some very lazy ways to get your corn into the freezer! Recently I shared how to make Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes and Freezing Blueberries Easily. Today, Let’s tackle Freezing corn
Join us Once again for Our Tuesday in the Garden Blog Hop!
This week’s Blog Hop theme is Preserving The Harvest. Please click on each of our gardener links at the bottom of this post for an incredible wealth of ideas and information on how to use and preserve your garden produce. This is the harvest season!
Fresh Corn is a seasonal luxury to be savored. We love Baked Corn on the Cob. It is so easy to fix, makes a fantastic side dish and the flavor is outstanding. The corn harvest starts out with an ear or two, then Dave’s bringing it in in five gallon buckets.
When Dave goes foraging in our garden, I never know what he’ll bring in. He arrives in the kitchen, after a really long time, with all sorts of perfectly ripe produce that I have to invent uses for. Baskets, trays and buckets full of ripe garden treasures begin to stack up around my over crowded counters.
I’m immersed in kitchen work at least a month when harvest is on! Drying peppers and herbs, freezing Zucchini, Roasted Peppers, Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes, blueberries, zucchini bread and making homemade grape juice and apple chips, green juice from our kale and greens…
I used to freeze much more and can lots of yummy garden goods too. No freezer would have held it all. Back in the day when there were seven mouths to feed. We lived off the garden and our farm raised meats all year. Now we are continually trying to downsize to feed just us two.
Even our small corn patch produces about 100 ears of corn every season. No matter how much we gorge on fresh corn ( and we do). We can’t eat it all in two weeks.
If you grow a garden like we do or buy your corn from a good local source, freezing some for later is pretty easy and worth the work. Freezing retains the flavor of the corn best and the nutrients too. Canning corn is a very hot, messy, labor intensive preserving method for corn. I’m a die hard fan of freezing over canning corn.
What is the best freezing method for Corn?
Choosing a method for freezing corn:
There are several different ways to put corn in the freezer. They are ALL easier than canning. But the results also differ. I’ve listed the methods below and given instructions. I suggest you read all the methods and decide which meets your needs best. They all have value.
Consider these points before you pick a freezing method:
- Freezing on the cob takes WAY more space than cut corn.
- Blanch your corn on the cob for long term storage (More than a month) to protect the flavor of your corn.
- Your particular results with frozen corn may be due to your climate and growing conditions and even the variety, maturity and freshness of the corn you are freezing. The method itself (if properly followed) should produce reliable results.
Pro tip for all the freezing methods
I freeze Food in my ziplock bags this way:
- Seal the bags by first filling them (leave some headroom for sealing).
- After the bags are filled close the seal ALMOST full.
- Extract the remaining air by inserting a straw into the bag through the hole and suck out the air left in the bag with your fingers on the seal.
- Once the air is all out remove the straw while quickly completing the seal.
- The bag should looked sucked in around the food.
If you have one, avacuum sealeris another way to ensure there is no air left in your freezer bag to cause freezer burn. Unfortunately, once you break the seal on a vacuum sealed bag it cannot be reclosed without dragging out the vacuum sealer again (Or transfer the contents to a ziplock bag) if there is still food left you want to keep frozen.
Freezing corn on the cob in the husks
The garden web discusses freezing corn on the cob in the husk with NO blanching. You will find Lots of great kitchen experience in that thread. No one really agrees on the outcome. They seem to have different results. But they all agree on this. Freezing corn on the cob saves time, mess, and KEEPS IT COOL IN THE KITCHEN!
You can’t get any easier than this.
- Pick your corn in the husks.
- Cut off the stem end of the corn.
- Remove the tassel and outer husk layer.
- Lay the corn with remaining husks directly into gallon zip lock freezer bags.
- Seal the bags and freeze
- Extract only the number of ears needed at a time and reseal the bag (as noted above) to refreeze the unused ears.
This method works great and requires no tinfoil around the cobs. Without blanching and leaving Kernels on the cob the flavor may be cobby and the cob itself can go spongy in long term freezing. Consider this method most reliable for short term freezing (2 months or less) and don’t expect to eat the cobs and get garden fresh results.
Some people do get great results from this method but Our corn was cobby and somewhat mushy. You can use the corn on the cob or cut the kernels off for soups (like Corn n Sausage chowder), Grilled Chicken Corn and black bean Salad and other recipes.
FREEZING AND BLANCHING HUSKED CORN ON THE COB:
Freezing and blanching corn on the cob without the husks. This requires an extra step. You can omit the blanching step for short term freezing.
What is Blanching?
Blanching is the process of boiling the corn for several minutes to kill the enzymes in it that eventually degrade the flavor and quality of the corn in long term freezer storage. A properly blanched corn; correctly sealed in a vacuum sealer or ziplock bag, as I am today, should last 6 months to a year in a chest freezer.
Why Blanch Corn?
Eating unblanched frozen corn is perfectly safe. The value of blanching is in preserving the best taste possible for your winter dining experience. If you know you will be eating your corn within two months of freezing, you don’t need to blanch. The flavor will still be good!
The University of Illinois Extension service has a good guide on blanching times for all the different methods of freezing corn (and ideas for making and freezing creamed corn which I need to try).
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What you’ll need for freezing corn:
- a box of gallon size freezer bags, (or a vacuum sealer if you have the set up)
- An indelible ink marker
- A huge pot or water bath canner
- long handled tongs
- garbage bags, or a box for all the husks
- ice cubes and lots of water
- Pick perfectly ripe ears that are not yet drying out and getting tough or unripe with underdeveloped kernels. Your ears should look like the ones I have pictured below. Full and round.
- Husk the ears. this is the messy part. You will need a large garbage can or bag. or do it outside and throw it
over the fence to the neighbors field,in the compost bin straight away; although it will take a very long time to decompose!
- Some people prefer to cut the cobs in half. If you want small cobs cut them now.
- Heat a large pot or a water bath canner full of water to boiling.
- Meanwhile, Fill a sink full of cold water. Add Ice to keep it cold.
- Drop your ears of husked corn into the boiling water and let them cook only until they turn a bright yellow turning as necessary until they are evenly blanched. This will take about 7 minutes a batch. But stay close to your pot. You do not want to actually cook the corn.
- Remove the corn from the boiling water and immerse immediately in the cold water to stop the blanching process. While the corn is in the water set out a towel and cut several sheets of tinfoil big enough to wrap the corn ears individually.
- One at a time, remove each ear from the ice cold water, dry the ear quickly in the towel and wrap it in the tinfoil to prevent freezer burn. Repeat until all the ears are in foil.
- Put the ears, into gallon size freezer bags, four ears to each bag. Label each bag,(especially the date!) and freeze until you want to eat it later in the year.
To use the frozen corn:
- Remove the frozen corn cobs from the freezer.
- Thaw them, remove from the tinfoil, and then heat them in the microwave for three or four minutes. OR put the frozen ears in a pot of boiling water and cook until warm enough for the table.
- They are cooked enough already so you are just warming to whatever temperature you like to eat them at:)
Freezing Corn Off the Husk:
Finally the most labor intensive, messy method of freezing corn. But possibly the most practical if you’re short on freezer space. Also less likely to taste cobby since there is no cob 🙂
- Cut the kernels off the cob ( Electric knives work well for this).
- Blanch the corn kernels 4 minutes for best flavor retention (or not for short term freezing)
- Load the kernels, into quart size ziplock freezer bags or vacuum seal
- label and stack the bags into your freezer.
To use thaw the bag and cook the kernels as needed.
Enjoy your corn. Let me know in the comment section how you like to freeze your corn! If you use a method here, let me know what your results are. I love new ideas and suggestions. Thank you and happy freezing!