We all love lazy summer afternoons in the backyard with barbecued chicken and roasted corn on the cob. These fleeting moments only happen during the end of summer, but what if we told you that sweet corn is easy to enjoy at any time of the year? We’ll teach you how to freeze corn kernels and corn on the cob to eat whenever your heart desires.
Like most vegetables, corn is seasonal and only available at certain times of the year. Corn harvests vary, depending on the area, but generally occur from mid-July through October.
During these periods, fresh corn is readily available at corner farmer’s markets and local grocery stores, often at an excellent price.
Does that mean you only get to eat fresh corn during a small window of opportunity each year? Absolutely not. Corn is incredibly easy to freeze both as kernels or cobs, and these frozen veggies are easy to cook up at any time.
- Freezing Corn on the Cob and Corn Kernels
Freezing Corn on the Cob and Corn Kernels
If you have ever peeled back the husk on some delicious corn on the cob only to discover the kernels are soft and shriveled, we feel your disappointment.
Fresh corn has a relatively short shelf life, but luckily those sweet and yellow morsels of goodness are easy to preserve. Pressure canning corn, making relish, or pickling are all options for corn storage but the easiest way to save it is to freeze it, even if you have a lot of corn.
Choosing and Preparing the Perfect Corn for Freezing
Before you freeze or refrigerate corn, it’s essential to choose and prepare healthy corn cobs for storage. Selecting the best corn ensures the most extended shelf life and offers the tastiest results, just like when freezing celery leaves or any other fruit or vegetable.
When choosing the perfect fresh corn, avoid large husks that have tough and chewy kernels. Always pull the husk back from the cob slightly to check the inside. Healthy kernels are full and fresh, not shriveled or overripe.
This is an excellent opportunity to check for pest damage and corn worms that hang out near the top of the cob. Shuck the corn cob by removing the husk and silk. Use damp paper towels to wipe away stubborn silk.
Rinse the ears thoroughly beneath cold, running water and set them aside. Dispose of the husks in a compost pile or garbage.
If you plan on freezing kernels of corn, place the ear of corn upright in the center of a bundt pan or cake pan and use a sharp knife to cut away the kernels from top to bottom. Rotate the pan as you cut, and the corn falls into the bottom for easy clean-up.
Freezing Corn Kernels without Blanching
It’s possible to refrigerate corn on the cob for up to three days, but after that time, your veggie is not as desirable to eat. Freezing corn is the best alternative to prolong its life.
Can I freeze corn without blanching it first? While blanching helps the kernels maintain color and texture during the freezing process, it’s unnecessary if you’re in a time crunch, like when freezing raw potatoes.
Place the desired amount of corn into each freezer bag and use your hands to press the air out as you seal it.
To get more air out of the bag, insert a straw into the corner and suck the air out while sealing. Label the topside of the bag with the contents and date and freeze for up to a year.
Blanching Corn Kernels before Freezing
Blanching your corn before freezing is the best way to maintain the bright yellow color and taste of the kernels while in the freezer. The cooking process is only a few minutes long and easy to do and is vital for keeping corn fresh and tasty.
Pour water into a pan big enough to accommodate the corn kernels and bring it to a boil. Pour the cut corn into the boiling water and cook for two to three minutes.
Remove the corn from the hot water immediately and place it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the corn after about three minutes and set it aside for freezing.
How to Freeze Corn after Blanching
Have you ever opened a plastic bag of frozen corn to discover the kernels are stuck together in a large frozen blob? The best way to freeze corn after blanching is to flash freeze to ensure they do not stick together during storage.
Spread the blanched corn in single layers on a baking or cookie sheet. Let them cool a bit and then set the sheet in the freezer for an hour or two. Remove the frozen corn pieces from the tray and fill freezer bags with the desired amount.
Quart size bags are suitable for feeding up to five people, and pint size bags are ideal for up to two people. Press the air out of the bag gently to prevent freezer burn, seal tightly, and write the name and date on the top. Freeze the cut corn for up to a year.
Can You Freeze Corn Whole?
If you love a buttered cob of corn, you’re probably wondering, can you freeze corn whole, and the answer is yes. This is the best way to freeze corn on the cob, and blanching is not required.
Freezing Ears of Corn
To freeze corn on the cob, place whole, shucked cobs in freezer bags according to desired portions. Consider cutting the cobs in half if you have young ones in the home with a small appetite.
Press the bag around the cobs to remove the air and seal the bags tightly. Write the date on the top and place them in the freezer for up to one year.
To make frozen butter, double wrap the butter in plastic or foil for optimum freshness.
Preparing and Freezing Creamed Corn
Buttered corn kernels and corn on the cob are the first things to come to mind when thinking about this vegetable, but we often overlook another tasty version. Creamed corn is a popular side dish, and it’s just as easy to freeze.
Fill a pot with unblanched cut corn, and heat it on medium heat to a simmer. Continue cooking and stirring for about ten minutes before removing it from the stove.
Press a freezer bag into a measuring cup and pour the creamed corn into the center. Pull the bag out of the cup, press out as much air as possible, and seal it tight. Mark the bags with the date and lay them flat in the freezer to preserve freezer space.
Using Frozen Corn to Make Corn Casserole
Now that you have a freezer packed full of frozen veggies from the farmer’s market, it’s time to get cooking. Corn casserole is one of our favorite comfort foods and tastes delicious alongside pork chops, grilled chicken, and pot roast.
Add the ingredients into a bowl and blend them well. Lightly grease a baking pan and spread the mixture in the bottom. Bake the casserole dish in an oven preheated to 350°F for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Remove the cookware from the oven and set it aside to cool. Wrap the dish with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat the casserole, set in the fridge overnight to thaw and reheat it the following day.
Thawing and Cooking Frozen Corn
It’s easy to toss frozen kernels directly into corn recipes for quick flavor, but there are other ways to cook your corn after freezing. Here is how to thaw frozen corn to eat with your next meal.
Now that your freezer is packed with veggies, it’s time to make your next favorite recipe with frozen corn. To cook cut corn, saute the kernels in a lightly buttered skillet, roast them in a 400°F oven, or toss them into a soup.
If you cook whole ears of frozen corn, bring a tall pot of water to a rapid boil and add the corn cobs. Boil them for five minutes and remove them from the heat with tongs.
We pay homage to the end of a harvest season with backyard gatherings of friends and family, sweet corn, watermelon, and other garden goodies.
Corn on the cob is a symbol of summer drawing to an end, but who says you can’t enjoy it in the middle of winter? Freezing your veggies is not only easy but prolongs their shelf life for many months.
Now that you learned how to freeze corn cobs and kernels to enjoy, no matter the season, we’d be thrilled if you’d share our corn freezing methods and recipes with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook.