How To Freeze Fresh Sweet Corn (Quick Guide)
Summer is here, but it won’t last forever. However, all those sweet corn on the cob lovers out there shouldn’t worry. The end of summer does not necessarily mean the end of delicious fresh corn. If you freeze it properly, you can enjoy a sweet cob of corn on the coldest winter days.
Freezing corn is not impossible, but you should follow some basic steps to do it right. There are several ways to freeze corn. Use the tips and tricks I will provide to keep your corn with the best texture and flavor.
Multiple Ways To Freeze Sweet Corn
When it comes to freezing fresh sweet corn, you have many options available.
- Freeze Corn on the Cob: You can cook or grill corn on the cob and let it cool. Then, remove the husks. Freeze the cooked cobs or kernels.
- Freezing corn in the husk: You can freeze uncooked corn on the cob while it’s still in the husk.
- Blanching corn cobs: You can remove the husks and then blanch the corn on the cob. Freeze whole cobs.
- Blanch the kernels: You can remove the cob from the husk and blanch it. Then, remove the corn kernels. Freeze only the kernels.
Should You Blanch Corn Before Freezing It?
Ideally, you’ll want to blanch corn before you put it in the freezer. Although blanching is not the easiest method, it is the most rewarding. Blanching is the process of slowing the corn’s internal enzyme action that will degrade the quality of the kernels in terms of color, flavor, and texture if frozen without blanching. Sweet corn that is not blanched prior to freezing will not retain its best quality.
Freezing corn on the cob can slow the enzyme action but will not stop the degradation. Blanching is essential for keeping the structure and taste of the fresh sweet corn and its appearance.
So, to freeze corn on the cob and keep it fresh, you’ll want to blanch it first. The only exception is if you are in a hurry and you plan to use the thawed corn kernels as part of a recipe, like a stew. In this case, the degraded taste and appearance are unlikely to cause a noticeable issue.
So, even though blanching is the perfect way to preserve frozen sweet corn, it is not a ‘must.’ For example, I have frozen corn on the cob without blanching it first. The method works, and the results are decent, but if time is not a factor, I will generally choose to blanch the corn first.
How To Blanch and Freeze Sweet Corn On The Cob
- First, shuck and clean the ears of corn.
- Pull off the silk. (Tip: Rubbing a damp paper towel on a corn cob will remove the silk quickly and easily)
- In a large pot, put water to boil.
- Put the sweet corn ears in the pot. Wait for the water to boil again.
- You’ll want to blanch the corn cobs for approximately 4-8 minutes, depending on how large the ears are. Start counting the time as soon as the cobs hit the boiling water.
- After the right length of time, take the corn cobs out of the water and quickly put them into a dish of ice water to prevent them from cooking any further. Let them stay in the ice bath for the same number of minutes as you boiled them. Remove them once they are cool.
- Dry the ears of corn thoroughly with a towel or let them air dry.
- Remove the kernels if you want. An electronic knife is a handy tool for this.
- Divide the corn (cobs or kernels) into portion sizes and place them in a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
- Place the bags or containers of corn into the freezer.
Freezing Sweet Corn in The Husk (Without Blanching)
Freezing corn without blanching is the easiest method and is perfect for a shorter storage time. The National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) suggests keeping frozen corn for no longer than 12 months. You’ll have greater success, however, freezing unblanched corn if you plan to thaw and use it within four months.
You should know that as time goes by, unblanched, frozen sweet corn gets mushier when thawed.
Here are the steps to freezing unblanched sweet corn:
1. Find the freshest sweet corn available. The fresher the corn, the better it will be when thawed.
2. Do not remove silk or husks. A tight husk will help protect the sweet corn from freezer burn.
3. Use plastic wrap or freezer bags. Try removing as much air as possible. Squeeze all the excess air and use vacuum-sealed bags for a longer life span. Then place the wrapped sweet corn in a freezer container. You can instead use aluminum foil to wrap them individually.
4. Label the container. Labeling the freezer bag or container will help ensure that your frozen corn gets used before it has spent too long in the freezer.
5. Freeze the corn. Finally, store the corn in your freezer in a single layer and let it freeze completely.
How To Thaw and Cook Sweet Corn Frozen in The Husk?
When you’re ready to eat your frozen corn on the cob that’s still in the husk, this is what you should do.
- Remove the frozen corn from the freezer.
- Let your corn defrost in the fridge for a few hours, if possible, or place it under cold water if you want to speed up the thawing process.
- Place the husked corn on a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave on high until cooked.
- Cut an inch or so off the end of the corn cob.
- Hold the end of the corn and peel off the silk and the husk.
- Remove the kernels to eat in some recipe or eat the corn on the cob.
Another method would be to use a stovetop to thaw and boil the ears of corn. Place your cobs in a large stockpot and pour water to cover them. Let the water boil over high heat. Cover the large pot of boiling water and let it cook for 7-10 minutes.
This method works well, however, it can be more difficult to remove the husk and silk from the cobs once it comes out of the boiling water.
Use Thawed Sweet Corn For Creamed-Style Corn Recipe
A delicious way to use your frozen sweet corn kernels:
Cut the corn kernels from the cobs. Simmer the corn. Put approximately half of the corn in a blender. Add half a cup of cream and half a cup of evaporated milk. Make a puree. Put it back into the corn on the stovetop and add salt and butter. Eat.
Frozen Corn FAQs
How Long Should You Keep Corn In The Freezer?
You can keep corn in the freezer for a maximum of 8 to 12 months. If you’ve had your corn frozen for quite a while, make sure there are no signs of freezer burn.
How To Avoid Frozen Corn From Getting Mushy?
The best way to keep frozen corn from getting mush when thawed is to blanch it before freezing. The process of blanching corn prior to freezing deactivates the corn’s enzymes, which will keep the starches in the corn from breaking down.
Can You Freeze Corn Without Cooking It First?
Of course, you can. You wrap it up in plastic and place it in the freezer. It’s that simple.
Note, however, that the end result will be better if you take the time to blanch the corn before freezing. Blanching preserves flavor and texture. In addition, it inactivates the natural enzymes, thus keeping the corn’s color, taste, and nutrients intact.
No matter which way you choose to freeze your corn, make sure you fill your freezer with some delicious sweet corn during the summer months when it’s in plentiful supply. Afterall, who doesn’t love a taste of summer in the middle of a cold winter day?