To many of us, corn on the cob represents summertime. We all love that time of year when our gardens and the local farmer’s market give us bright, delicious, sweet corn on the cob.
Having corn with our meals adds a special feeling to even the most straightforward fare, and just biting into a kernel of corn brings back memories of sunshine and hot weather. When we want the great taste of fresh corn at any time of year, it’s essential to know how to freeze corn on the cob safely and efficiently.
So, can you freeze corn on the cob? Our guide will answer that question and show you the best way to preserve your fresh corn for long-term storage. We look at a time-tested method of preparing ears of corn for preservation, and we show you our most reliable freezing process so that your corn comes out of the freezer in excellent shape.
Finally, we let you in on our favorite corn on the cob recipe. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to have fresh corn throughout the year!
Preparing, Freezing, and Thawing Corn on the Cob
The question, “Can I freeze corn on the cob?” has an easy answer. Yes, you can freeze corn, but to make sure that your corn is tasty and unspoiled, you need a tried-and-true method for preparing your corn for freezing, and you also have to have a freezing and unthawing process. Having a reliable preservation process can mean the difference between long-lasting and fresh ingredients and a jar of contaminated food.
This section takes a look at the corn on the cob preparation and storage process. We look at how to get your corn cobs ready for the freezer, and we walk you step-by-step through our reliable freezing method and show you how to freeze corn on the cob. And, we show you how to thaw frozen corn safely to keep it tasty and crunchy and even include a great recipe you can use with your frozen corn.
Preparing Corn on the Cob for Freezing
If we want our corn to last in the freezer without getting freezer burn or getting chewy and hard, it’s vital to start with only the best and freshest ears of corn. Use only near-ripe corn, and avoid freezing overripe or under-ripe ears.
Try to select ears with full, mature kernels, and make sure that your corn doesn’t have any insects or other pests. For the best flavor, harvest corn in the early morning hours. Before you start, make sure you have enough freezer space.
To blanch corn and remove enzymes that break down corn over time, husk the whole cob and remove all the silk you can. You can use a vegetable brush to get the last stragglers. Bring the water pot to a boil, and add the ears one at a time. Avoid splashing the boiling water as you work with the corn.
Blanching time depends on the size of corn ears and your altitude, as small ears take a shorter time than medium ears, which take a shorter time than large ears. Higher elevations also require longer times than lower ones. Check the National Council on Home Food Preservation’s literature to make sure you leave the corn in the water for the correct amount of time (..).
After the corn has been in hot water for the specified time, remove them, and drop them into the cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the corn, and place them on a cookie sheet.
How to Freeze Corn on the Cob – Freezing Corn on the Cob
The best way to freeze corn on the cob is to use FoodSaver-style vacuum seal bags, but Ziploc bags or other zip-seal bags will work, too. The more air in the bag when you place the corn in the freezer, the higher the risk that the corn will get freezer burn, so if you use Ziplocs, force out as much air as possible. Always label freezer bags to make sure you use the oldest items first.
Place one or two ears of corn in each bag, depending on the portion size you want. Stick the straw into the bag, allowing it to poke through the opening.
Seal the bag so that the closed bag top tightly surrounds the straw, then suck all of the air out of the container. Get as much air out as you can, and then pinch the bag top, slide out the straw, and seal the bag. Place the freezer containers in an unused corner of the freezer.
Thawing Frozen Corn on the Cob
Unfortunately, freezing corn is only half the battle. To make your food preservation a success, you have to get the corn back to room temperature and ready to use in cooking without altering its taste or texture. As many problems can arise during the thawing process as during the freezing process, it’s essential to know how to thaw frozen corn just as it is how to freeze it.
When you’re ready to use your corn, remove as many bags as you need from the freezer, and put them in a back corner of the refrigerator. Fridge temperatures are low enough that they won’t force the corn to warm up too quickly and will allow your cobs to gently and gradually reach a safe temperature. Your corn is now ready for use on its own, but we recommend using it in corn recipes like southern creamed corn. You won’t believe how tasty this cream style dish is; the flavor and texture are out of this world.
Work over a large bowl so that you catch all of the corn kernels as you go. With the paring or electric knife, carefully cut away the kernels into the bowl, including the juice. Scrape off any residual cut kernels from the cob using a fork.
Pour the cut corn and juice into a saucepan. Add butter, milk, pepper, and salt, and place the pan over medium heat — cook the corn for ten minutes, stirring it constantly. If the corn is still watery after ten minutes, add the cornstarch and cook for another five minutes.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to freeze corn on the cob. If you ever wondered, “Can you freeze corn on the cob?” then wonder no more! You absolutely can, and our guide can help.
We showed you how to select the best corn and how to prepare it, freeze it, and thaw it. You’ll never have to wish for corn in the middle of winter again. Note that you can freeze many other vegetables, too. Freeze green beans, okra, and almost every other garden staple you have. Open the freezer instead of visiting the grocery store!
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