How to Store and Put Up Fresh Corn in Your Freezer
Why Freeze Fresh Corn?
When fresh corn becomes available in the summer, it's everywhere! If you have a garden, then you suddenly have much more corn than you can eat. Why not preserve that wonderful freshness by freezing it?
If you don't have a garden, then you've probably noticed that the price of corn in the grocery store goes way down in the summer. When I start seeing corn on sale, I buy upwards of 50 ears at a time to prepare and store in my freezer.
I love having fresh, sweet corn whenever I want—particularly in the winter!
Step-By-Step Instructions for Freezing Corn
It's a good idea to read through all of these instructions before you get started.
In a nutshell, you'll learn how to:
- shuck and remove the silk from the cob.
- cut the corn from the cob.
- blanch the corn.
- package the corn to store in your freezer.
1. How to Shuck Corn and Remove the Silk
Go outside and shuck your corn in the yard. It's so much easier to clean up the husks and silk outside than it is to clean them in your kitchen.
- Pull the husks off of the corn.
- Use your fingers to remove the largest clumps of silk.
- Use a silk brush (you can find them at hardware stores) to clean off the smaller pieces of silk.
You don't have to remove every piece of silk—you'll go crazy trying to get each cob completely silk-free. Once the corn is cooked you won't see the occasional silk anyhow.
2. How to Easily Cut Corn From the Cob
- A large pan
- A sharp knife
Holding the cob in one hand, slice away the kernels with your knife. Imagine you're trying to cut off the top 2/3 of the kernels. This way you won't cut into the cob, which you don't want to do.
What's left on the cob is delicious! To extract the last bit of corn and juices, run the blade of your knife down the cob and let them run down into the pan.
3. How to Blanch the Corn
The good news is that it doesn’t take long to blanch. You'll know it's done when steam comes up from the corn as you stir it up from the bottom of the pot, and the corn turns a slightly deeper shade of yellow. This color change is slight, so if you're working in a very brightly lit kitchen, it's better to look for consistent steam as you heat the corn.
- Put the corn kernels and corn liquid into a heavy pot.
- Heat on the stove on medium-low. Note: Because corn has a high sugar content, it will burn if you don't keep an eye on it.
- Cook for about 20–30 minutes (for a large pot of corn) until it reaches the right temperature.
- Watch for steam and a slight change of color as your stir the corn up from the bottom of the pot.
- Remove the pot from the stove and place on the counter to cool. I usually stir it from the bottom every 10 minutes or so to hasten the cooling process.
4. How to Bag and Freeze the Corn
Once the corn has come to room temperature (it's okay if it's slightly warm), it’s time to get it ready for your freezer.
- Use a funnel to pour two cups of corn into quart-sized freezer bags.
- Lay the bags on the counter, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal.
- Write the date on your bags with a Sharpie.
- Place bags in the freezer.
Make a space in your freezer where the bags can lay flat while they freeze. Once they're completely frozen, you'll have neat packages that can be stacked and moved around the freezer.
When I first started freezing corn, I tossed the bags into the freezer willy-nilly and ended up with oddly shaped bags that wouldn't stack properly. They took up way too much room. That's why letting them freeze flat in a cleared area of the freezer is so important.
The corn will last for a full year in the freezer.
Don't use sandwich bags. They won't provide the protection the corn needs while in the freezer.
How Much Corn Should You Buy?
Here's a general rule of thumb: 25 ears of corn will equal about 10 cups of corn kernels.
I usually buy 50 ears of corn at a time, which makes about 10 bags with two cups of corn in each quart-sized bag.
If you cook for three or four people, you'll probably want to put three full cups of corn in each bag. If you cook for a large group, then defrost two bags of corn for one meal.
You're going to love having the taste of fresh summer corn all year long. Enjoy!