Sweet corn is a staple in almost every cuisine. Although it is widely available throughout the year, it can be much cheaper during peak season, which lasts from May to September.
If you use this starchy vegetable quite often, you might want to buy an extra amount for later. One of the easiest preservation methods is freezing.
Freezing corn is a no-brainer. It is straightforward. Anyone can do it – no special kitchen skills required. It can be frozen in several ways, depending on how you want to use it in future recipes. Keep reading to learn the simple tips to freeze corn successfully!
Preparing Corn For Freezing
To freeze corn properly, you shouldn’t just stash it right away in the freezer. There are some simple requirements required for proper freezing. Most importantly, we need to blanch it to kill bacteria and preserve the quality better.
Some people might try to freeze corn on the cob in the husk, however, we suggest to remove the husk for better results.
Here is our simple guide to prepare corn for freezing.
- 1. Select freshly-picked ears with bright green husks and golden brown silks. The kernels should be plump and tender. Avoid those with shriveled husks, molds, or bad spots.
- 2. Remove the husks and silks and trim the ears.
- 3. Wash corn on the cobs under running water, don’t use soap.
- 4. Sort them out by size.
From here, you can freeze corn in the cob or whole kernels. Either way, blanching is highly recommended because raw kernels don’t freeze well.
How to Freeze Corn on the Cob
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and prepare a large bowl of icy water.
2. Blanch the prepped cobs for the following times depending on the size:
– Small ears (diameter size up to 1 ¼ inch or 3.2 cm) for 7 minutes.
– Medium ears (diameter size from 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch or from 3.2 cm to 3.8 cm) for 9 minutes.
– Large ears (diameter size from 1 ½ inch or 3.8 cm) for 11 minutes.
Make sure the pot is large enough to fit the cobs. Blanch several of them at a time and avoid overcrowding the pot.
3. Use a timer to avoid under- or overcooking them.
4. When the time is up, use tongs to remove them from the boiling water.
5. Plunge them immediately into the ice water bath to stop cooking. Quick cooling is vital to prevent unpleasant ‘cobby’ taste. Don’t forget to replace the ice water when blanching tons of them.
6. Allow them to cool promptly. As a general rule, chill blanched cobs for as long as the blanching time.
7. Drain them off in a colander and shake off excess water. Use a paper towel to dry them completely.
8. Lay them on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple of hours.
9. Once frozen, remove them from the freezer.
10. Wrap them individually in cling wrap and pack them in a freezer bag.
11. Suck out as much air as possible from the package and seal it well.
12. Mark the freezing date and freeze for a long term.
Freezing Corn Kernels
Frozen corn kernels are handy to use for quick salads, soup, and many other dishes. They can be blanched, roasted, or grilled before freezing.
- To blanch, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and fill in a bowl with icy water. In boiling water, blanch corn ears for 4 minutes. Make sure they are submerged in the boiling water.
- Once blanching time has passed, transfer them to the ice water bath for 4 minutes.
- Drain them off thoroughly.
- Use a sharp knife or a corn peeler to slice the kernels off from the cob about 2/3 the depth of the kernels.
- Spread them on a baking sheet and flash freeze for 1 to 2 hours. Pre-freezing allows the kernels to freeze separately instead of in a big clump.
- Once they are frozen, pack them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
- Expel excess air from the bag and seal it tightly.
- Write the freezing date and transfer the package to the freezer.
Thawing and How to Cook Frozen Corn on the Cob
Having freezer corn is handy to use anytime you need to whip up quick meals. You can cook it as you would with a store-bought one.
Frozen corn on the cob is a great snack on its own. To enjoy it, simply remove the wrapping and boil it for a few minutes until it is warm enough. Or, reheat it in a microwave for 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, the frozen kernels are great for soups, salads, corn salsa, stir-fries, or just about anything that calls for the starchy vegetable. Since they are frozen individually, you can easily take an appropriate amount for your recipe.
If you want to cook it, no need to thaw it out. Simply add it into the pan and let it thaw while cooking. If you still need to thaw it, you can easily do it in the refrigerator or in the microwave.
How Long Can You Freeze Corn?
Corn preserves its maximum freshness up to 8 to 12 months after freezing. It may remain safe to eat beyond this time, but the main issue is freezer burn. Always store frozen foods at 0 °F to maintain their safety and quality.
Yes, you can. However, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, microwave blanching is not effective in inactivating enzymes that cause loss of color, flavor, and texture. It doesn’t save time and energy either. Check our tips above to blanch corn properly.
Yes. Fresh corn on the cob should be wrapped in a plastic bag and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days. Only shuck the husks shortly before using it. For long-term storage, freezing is the easiest way. Follow our tips above to freeze this starchy vegetable successfully.
Corn salad is best served on the day it is made. The fresh ingredients do not freeze well and turn out mushy and watery after thawing. It is best to freeze the corn separately and use it to prepare the salad.
Sweet corn is a summertime favorite as well as a great addition to many dishes. Freezing is an easy and excellent technique to preserve this starchy vegetable.
Check our tips on freezing corn on the cob and whole kernels for year-round storage. This way, you can bring the sweet taste of summer anytime you want!
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