What’s better than local summer sweet corn? Being able to enjoy it all year long! If you’re new to freezing corn on the cob, here’s a step-by-step guide so you can stock up on fresh ears of corn to keep the taste of summer on hand, even when it’s not being grown in season at your local farms.
Why Blanching Is Important
Blanching prolongs the shelf life of frozen corn, better preserving its flavor and texture, and kills any germs potentially on the corn kernels. In fact, blanched corn will stay fresh in the freezer about 10 months compared to raw corn whose quality will degrade after six months. By cooking the corn prior to freezing it, you avoid the texture becoming gummy and mushy when defrosting.
Freezing Whole Ears of Corn
The great thing about this method is when you’re ready to use it, just grab the corn out of the freezer, heat it up with a quick boil, then incorporate it into your favorite recipe, or eat it straight off the cob!
Step 1: Shuck the Corn
Prepare to blanch your corn! Remove the outer husks and silk fibers from the corn on the cob, snapping off the extra length on the ends for easier storage.
Step 2: Blanch the Corn and Let Cool
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
- Fill another large bowl with water and ice cubes to shock the corn to prevent further cooking.
- Using tongs, add the shucked ears of corn to the boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the corn cobs from the boiling water with tongs and immediately submerge them in the ice bath, letting stand for 5 minutes.
- Remove the corn cobs from the ice bath and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. It’s important the corn is dry and cooled before freezing to prevent ice crystals from forming, otherwise, the corn will be soggy upon reheating.
Step 3: Wrap, Seal, and Freeze
Tightly wrap each dry, cooled corn on the cob individually with plastic wrap and place them in a resealable plastic freezer bag, ensuring you squeeze out any air before sealing. Store them in your freezer for up to 10 months! Simply boil the corn a few minutes to heat through when you’re ready to use them.
Freezing Loose Corn Kernels
Follow the same first two steps for freezing whole ears of corn listed above. Next, you’ll carefully cut the corn off the cob using a serrated knife. The goal is to cut two-thirds of the corn kernel to avoid the tough, inedible core.
The Best Way to Cut Corn off the Cob
Invert a small bowl within a larger bowl to create a base for your corn to rest. Not only is this a cleaner process, it also prevents your knife blade from hitting the rim of the bowl. Cut in a downward motion, trying not to angle the knife into the cob itself. Rotate the ear of corn and cut again until all the kernels have been removed.
Tip: Four medium-large ears of corn will yield one pound of kernels.
Package and Freeze Your Corn
Using a quart-size freezer bag, add about 3 cups of corn in each bag, ensuring you remove any air when sealing. Store in your freezer for up to 10 months! When you’re ready to use, first thaw the corn, then lightly sauté it with a little butter and olive oil until heated through.
López-Alt, J. Kenji. “The Best Way to Cut Corn Kernels From the Cob.” Serious Eats. Updated September 09, 2020. https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-buy-prep-cut-fresh-corn
O’Brien, Kate Trombly. “How to Freeze Corn on the Cob.” The Pioneer Woman. May 13, 2022. https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/cooking-tips-tutorials/a39827044/how-to-freeze-corn-on-the-cob
About Organic Beth
Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three who loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips.