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How to Freeze Corn

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When the corn crop starts coming in, either in your own garden or the at the local Farmers’ Market, then you’ll know it’s time to start freezing corn. Knowing how to freeze corn will allow you to preserve that sweet summer flavor for use in the cooler months.

Two Ways of Freezing Corn

Freezing corn, as opposed to canning or other methods of preservation, is easy for beginners and experts alike. In fact, some options for freezing corn don’t even call for blanching! There’s nothing quite as easy as that.

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Freezing corn at home gives you the option of preserving the flavor of sweet summer corn for use later in the year. This is especially true for soups, low country boils, or just a side of corn for any meal during other times of the year.

One important tip for freezing corn is you want to do so as quickly as you can after the corn is harvested. Corn will be at its peak, flavor wise, when it is picked, so you want to move quickly.

If you can’t freeze your corn the same day it is picked, then plan to have a cool place for it to sit in the meantime. This may be in a refrigerator or in the garage with a fan blowing on it. The goal is to keep the corn cool until you can put it up.

I like to use two ways of freezing corn for use later in the year. These methods are dependent on how I want to use the corn.

How to Freeze Corn on the Cob

Freezing corn on the cob is one of the easiest ways of putting up corn for the winter months. Freezing corn on the cob can be done without blanching! Here’s what you’ll need to freeze corn on the cob:

  1. Begin by shucking your fresh corn. Save the husks and silks to put in your compost pile. (Find out how to compost at home!)
Fresh bi-color corn on the cob

2. Next, be sure to remove any silks that may be hanging off. A good vegetable brush can help remove these without damaging the tender corn kernels.

3. Cut off any tips that aren’t fully developed (they store more easily this way), and cut off any stems that are too long.

4. Place cleaned corn in ziploc or vacuum seal bags. (I love my Foodsaver for vacuum sealing, which keeps vegetables fresh so much longer in the freezer.) For regular freezer bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing. Some folks use a straw for this!

5. Label the bag with the date and contents. Ziploc freezer bags should keep your corn fresh for a year, while a vacuum sealed bag should keep the corn for two years (if it lasts that long!).

How to Freeze Corn Kernels

For freezing fresh corn kernels for use in soups and as a side dish in the cooler months, you’ll need a little more time. Freezing corn kernels does involve a short blanching process. Here’s what you’ll need to freeze corn kernels:

  • Fresh sweet corn
  • Sharp knife or corn cutter
  • Large bowl
  • Pot/boiling water
  • Freezer bags or vacuum seal bags
  • Sharpie
  1. Begin by bringing a large point of water to boil. Then begin shucking and removing the silk from the fresh corn cobs.
  2. Once the water has come to a boil, drop in corn. Be sure you only put in enough ears so that they are still covered by the water. Boil for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove corn from boiling water and place in a large bowl of ice water.
Cooling down blanched corn

4. Once cool is corn enough to work with, begin taking the kernels off the cob by using a sharp knife or a corn cutter. Do this over a large bowl and have a table cloth or drop cloth of some kind under it. Corn is sweet and juicy and it will spray everywhere.

5. Once corn is cut off of the cobs, use a large spoon or a measuring cup to scoop it into bags. The corn will be very juicy, not dry like the frozen corn from the store.

6. Label with a permanent marker and place in the freezer. Regular freezer bags will keep the corn fresh for up to a year, and vacuum sealed bags will keep it fresh for two years.

Learning to freeze corn is one of the easiest home preservation methods out there, so it’s perfect if you’re just beginning to freeze produce at home. And while I know you can go out and by a $1 bag of corn at the grocery store, it certainly won’t have the same delicious taste as fresh corn put up by you!

Freezing Corn FAQ’s

  • Is it better to freeze corn on or off the cob? This all depends on what you’ll use it for. If you need corn on the cob for low country boils or an early food for toddlers, then by all means keep it on the cob. If you’ll be using it for soups, casseroles, etc, then take it off the cob.
  • Can you freeze corn right in the husk? I’ve heard that this is possible, though I haven’t tried it myself. Let me know how it goes.
  • Can you blanch corn in the microwave? Yes, this is actually how my mom does it. She removes the corn from the kernel first, then microwaves it in a large bowl until it is hot.
  • What is the benefit to blanching before removing the corn kernels? By blanching first, you remove any worms that may have hitched a ride, and it’s easier to take a cob out of boiling water than individual kernels, unless you use the microwave method mentioned above.

More Preserving Articles

If you have any tips for freezing corn, please leave them below in the comments!

Yield: Various

How to Freeze Corn- 2 Ways

frozen corn on the cob in a bag

Learn how to freeze fresh corn for sweet summer corn all year long. These two methods include one without blanching and one blanched and off the cob. Sweet corn kernels can be enjoyed year round with this easy preserving method!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Fresh sweet corn
  • Freezer ziploc bags or vacuum sealed bags (or try silicone reusable bags!)
  • Sharpie
  • Sharp knife or corn cutter
  • Large bowl
  • Pot/boiling water

Instructions

How to Freeze Corn Kernels

    1. Begin by bringing a large point of water to boil. Then begin shucking and removing the silk from the fresh corn cobs.
    2. Once the water has come to a boil, drop in corn. Be sure you only put in enough ears so that they are still covered by the water. Boil for 3 minutes.
    3. Remove corn from boiling water and place in a large bowl of ice water.
    4. Once cool is corn enough to work with, begin taking the kernels off the cob by using a sharp knife or a corn cutter. Do this over a large bowl and have a table cloth or drop cloth of some kind under it. Corn is sweet and juicy and it will spray everywhere.
    5. Once corn is cut off of the cobs, use a large spoon or a measuring cup to scoop it into bags. The corn will be very juicy, not dry like the frozen corn from the store.
    6. Label with a permanent marker and place in the freezer. Regular freezer bags will keep the corn fresh for up to a year, and vacuum sealed bags will keep it fresh for two years.

    How to Freeze Corn on the Cob

    1. Begin by shucking your fresh corn. Save the husks and silks to put in your compost pile. (Find out how to compost at home!)
    2. Next, be sure to remove any silks that may be hanging off. A good vegetable brush can help remove these without damaging the tender corn kernels.
    3. Cut off any tips that aren't fully developed (they store more easily this way), and cut off any stems that are too long.
    4. Place cleaned corn in ziploc or vacuum seal bags. (I love my Foodsaver for vacuum sealing, which keeps vegetables fresh so much longer in the freezer.) For regular freezer bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing. Some folks use a straw for this!
    5. Label the bag with the date and contents. Ziploc freezer bags should keep your corn fresh for a year, while a vacuum sealed bag should keep the corn for two years (if it lasts that long!).


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