How to freeze corn on the cob for the freshest corn, year round.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Few side dishes are more versatile than sweet corn, which is why everyone should know how to freeze corn on the cob. This starchy vegetable is one of the most delicious, guilt-free additions to any meal. Not to mention, corn is a fantastic source of thiamine, folate, vitamin c, potassium and fiber. It’s also a nutritious yellow food.
You can choose to dress it up (like this smoky parmesan corn on the cob recipe), or you can opt to get back to basics (with a good old boiled corn on the cob). Corn is unmatched in its applications, and we should always have some handy if we want to guarantee an enjoyable meal.
However, the speed at which corn on the cob spoils in the refrigerator is also unmatched. Its one-to-three-day shelf-life leaves much to be desired, and honestly, who wants to eat dried out corn? Luckily, we will cover a few clever freezing techniques that can give you perfectly preserved corn for up to eight months, at a time.
Can You Freeze Corn on the Cob in the Husk?
Leaving the husks on the whole cobs of corn is perfectly fine if you plan to use them within three to four months. Keeping the husks intact slows the enzyme activity on the surface of the kernels and protects the corn from freezer burn.
Just wrap the ears of corn tightly in plastic wrap or toss them into Ziploc freezer bags (being sure to remove as much air as possible before you seal the bag). Place the corn cobs in your freezer until you are ready to use them in a meal. After a few weeks of being frozen, removing the husks is a fairly simple process (particularly if you own a microwave).
Simply allow the corn cobs to defrost and then place a few at a time into the microwave for 3-5 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut a half inch from the from the bottom of the corn (near the stalk). Peel off the husk and the silk starting at the top (the part with the silk exposed).
Can You Freeze Corn on the Cob Without Blanching?
Technically, yes, you can. However, if the corn is not blanched prior to freezing, the texture will slowly become mushy and chewy over time. The most common method of blanching is boiling the food at a high temperature for 30 seconds before submerging it in cold water for rapid cooling.
Blanching slows the activity of the enzymes on the vegetable’s surface. This helps to preserve the texture, taste, and nutritional content of the corn while frozen.
The end-result of freezing un-blanched corn on the cob is not ideal if it is stored for more than a few weeks. If you’re hoping to use the un-blanched frozen corn for salads or as a stand-alone side dish, then it’s a bad idea not to blanch it first. However, if you’re using the corn for stews, soups, or chowders, the mushy texture shouldn’t be a big problem.
Should I add Salt to the Water when Freezing Corn?
This is a really good question. Typically, if you’re boiling corn to eat right away, you’d add a little salt to the water for taste. But when you’re boiling/blanching corn before you freeze it, you definitely don’t want to. This can cause the corn kernels to become tough. So hold off on that salt until you’re ready to eat it.
Can You Freeze Cooked Corn on the Cob?
Absolutely! You can preserve cooked corn on the cob (baked, roasted, grilled etc.) with ease if you have a few airtight plastic containers. In fact, cooked corn on the cob lasts just a bit longer than blanched corn on the cob when frozen.
This is great news for those of us that can’t bear to waste leftovers. Just be sure that your corn on the cobs have cooled completely before placing them into your freezer. If you’re using freezer safe plastic bags, squeeze all the air out first for maximum preservation of taste and quality.
How Do You Prepare Fresh Corn for Freezing?
Whenever you can, try to start out with large ears of corn that are as fresh as possible. Buy fresh corn from your local grocery store or farmer’s market and be sure to keep an eye out for plump kernels with bright green husks. Avoid any ears of corn with a strong or slightly rancid smell. The corn should smell fresh and slightly sweet.
To shuck the ears of corn, start by peeling off the outer layers of the husks. Grab a section of the silk tassel and the inner leaves and firmly pull the leaves downward to the base. Continue to do this until the corn kernels are exposed. Now we are ready to freeze the corn on the cob.
At this point, we essentially have two choices: freeze them raw, or blanch them first. Here is your step-by-step guide on how to prepare perfectly preserved frozen corn on the cob that will last for many months to come:
How to Freeze Corn on the Cob (Blanched)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (Do not add salt to the water unless you don’t mind tough corn on the cob).
Use tongs to place each corn on the cob into the boiling water.
Let the corn boil for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the corn from the boiling water and immediately place in a large bowl of ice water.
Shock corn in cold water for 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the corn cobs from the cold water and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Allow to air dry for 30 to 40 minutes.
Evenly place the dried corn cobs on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Ensure that the medium ears of corn are placed on a separate tray to the small ears of corn.
Place the baking tray into the freezer and allow to freeze for 3 to 4 hours.
Transfer the frozen corn on the cobs into vacuum freezer bags.
Label the freezer bags with the current date and store for up to 8 months.
How to Freeze Corn on the Cob (Blanched)
- 6 ears corn
- stock pot
- cookie sheet
- parchment paper
- large freezer bag
- Wash your corn.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (Do not add salt to the water unless you don’t mind tough corn on the cob).
- Use tongs to place each corn on the cob into the boiling water.
- Let the corn boil for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the corn from the boiling water and immediately place in a large bowl of ice water.
- Shock corn in cold water for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the corn cobs from the cold water and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Allow to air dry for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Evenly place the dried corn cobs on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Ensure that the medium ears of corn are placed on a separate tray to the small ears of corn.
- Place the baking tray into the freezer and allow to freeze for 3 to 4 hours.
- Transfer the frozen corn on the cobs into vacuum freezer bags.
- Label the freezer bags with the current date and store for up to 8 months.
Frequently asked questions about Frozen corn
When is Corn in Season?
Typically, corn season is May through September. You’ll find fresh corn at your local grocery store and farmers’ market during this time. That said, some of the sweetest corn will be available later in the summer.
Do you have to thaw frozen corn before using it?
That really depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re throwing it into a casserole, then no. Corn defrosts quickly and will defrost and warm within your casserole. But if you’re serving it just as a side dish, then yes, you obviously want to defrost it.
Is frozen corn as healthy as fresh corn?
Frozen corn can be just as healthy, if not healthier, than fresh corn. When you freeze any fruit or vegetable at the height of freshness, you preserve its nutritional value. On the other hand, if fresh fruits and veggies are left without eating and go beyond peak freshness, they can actually lose some nutrients.
Recipes Using Frozen Corn
Have questions or suggestions about how to freeze corn on the cob? Leave them in the comments below.