Today we're talking about how to freeze sweet corn so you can enjoy it all year long! Corn on the cob is a delicious summertime treat, but sometimes you end up with more corn than you can eat at one time.
Those of you who live near a field of delicious sweet corn know that there’s only a limited window of prime sweet corn eating. And eat it, we do!
But freezing it yourself is the second best thing. It's easy to do, and frozen corn retains all of its flavor and sweetness. Then come wintertime, you can treat yourself to a cozy bowl of chicken corn chowder in the Instant Pot using your sumertime corn.
So grab some corn from your farmers market or your neighbor's stand and let's dive in.
Tip: You can also freeze green beans for later, too!.
Freezer Sweet Corn - Why I Love It
If you eat sweet corn in the family, you know that when it's in season, it's basically a supper side for five days out of the week.
Tip: pair your sweet corn with some old fashioned baked beans.
But like all good things, sometimes you've had enough!
When you freeze your own sweet corn in the summer, you can enjoy fresh tasting sweet corn all year long. In fact, I froze several plastic freezer bags of corn to serve with our Thanksgiving dinner!
Sure, I could stroll down the freezer aisle of any grocery store to pick up a bag of frozen sweet corn.
But this fresh sweet corn corn is grown right near me. It is literally picked the morning I drive up and put it into the back of my Chevy Traverse.
You can’t get much fresher than that!
And by freezing the sweet corn at the peak of its freshness, it locks in not only the nutrients, but also the freshness and flavor!
I’m also not a fan of canned sweet corn, so preserving sweet corn by this method is not my favorite.
My parents had a period of time when they experimented freezing corn on the cob, but it somehow tasted, well - like the cob.
So in the end, my Grandma’s good old fashioned way of freezing sweet corn is how this farm girl is making hers!
How to Freeze Corn Off the Cob
Here's how I like to freeze our sweet corn.
Step 1: Husk and remove the silks from the corn first. Place the “naked” corn in a sink or large bowl of cold water.
This will allow any remaining silks to float up and out of the way.
Step 2: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add corn, several ears at a time, to the boiling water blanch them for 2-3 minutes.
The actual amount you boil at one time will depend on the size of your pot.The corn will start to turn golden when it’s ready to be pulled from the hot water.
Keep in mind we are just par cooking the sweet corn, we don’t want to cook it all the way through.
Step 3: Use tongs to pull the blanched corn from the water and add it to the ice bath. Allow it to sit in the ice-cold water for about five minutes or until it’s no longer hot.
Pull it from the water to drain.
Tip: I like to set it on a rimmed baking sheet or cookie sheet to catch the water as it sits.
Step 4: Get out a big cutting board and a sharp knife. Cut the kernels off of the corn cob, about ⅔ of the way to the cobs. If you get too close to the cob, sometimes a “cobby” flavor comes into play.
Okay, maybe that isn’t a real word but if you’ve ever tasted it, you know what I’m talking about. And you’d probably use the same word to describe it!
How you cut kernels off the cob is entirely up to you. I'm all about finding the easy way about things so I'm sharing my favorite way...
Our farm neighbor Debbie, who grew the sweet corn, told me she uses an electric knife to cut her sweet corn off the cob.
I don’t own an electric knife due an incident involving tequila a few years back. Let's just say our margaritas needed ice and I thought I should carve some cubes...Anyway, that’s that’s a story for another day.
So I just use a regular chef's knife from our set.
I love cutting the corn kernels off using a knife, because when you pack up and freeze corn, you can end up with little corn steaks like this below.
Those were like currency in our family!
Tips: You can also place the ear of corn on a bundt pan or angel food cake pan to cut. Use the hold in the center to hold the tip of the corn. When you cut, the corn spills right into the cake pan!
Step 4: Portion the corn into quart sized freezer bags. I like to save it into two cup portions, which is about the equivalent of a can of corn.
You can use it in Cold Mexican Corn Dip and other yummy dishes, too!
Remove as much air before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
It’s also about the portion our family will eat at dinner (without leftovers, of course!) or when I’m cooking my corn casserole and other recipes.
You can discard the corn cobs, though I've been wondering if our beef cattle could eat them.
What's the best sweet corn for freezing?
Our neighbors grow the same variety as DelMonte used to use. There used to be a packing plant near us so farmers used to grow for their canning operation.
Anyway, whatever they grow is delicious. Other people swear by bicolor or peaches and cream corn.
I think the key factor, no matter what variety of corn you prefer, is to find the freshest, most local corn you can find!
Why aren't you freezing sweet corn with cream and butter? Or sugar?
Well, quite honestly, when the corn is really fresh, it's inherently sweet! I don't find there's a need to add anything additional until cooking time.
Then, I like to add some salt and butter to my own portion!
How to store frozen corn
You can go crazy and freeze fresh corn by going through dozens of dozens of sweet corn at a time. For me, I’ve learned that I can freeze four or five dozen ears of corn at a time without burning out.
By the end, I’m a little grumpy and repeating the mantra, “you’ll be so happy you did this” over and over. So six dozen is overextending for me!
Grandma and Mom, thank you for teaching me about home food preservation and how to freeze fresh corn I feel you in the kitchen with me whenever I'm tackling projects like this!
I hope you'll give freezer corn a try!
Leftover Corn Recipes
Still have too much corn? Hey, it can happen! Here are some ideas to help you out during sweet corn season.
How to Freeze Sweet Corn
- 8 ears fresh sweet corn
- Husk and remove the silks from the corn first. Place the “naked” corn in a sink or bowl of cold water. This will allow any remaining silks to float up and out of the way.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add corn, several ears at a time, to the boiling water blanch them for 2-3 minutes. The actual amount you boil at one time will depend on the size of your pot. The corn will start to turn golden when it’s ready to be pulled.
- Use tongs to pull the blanched corn from the water and add it to an ice bath. Allow it to sit in the ice water for about five minutes or until it’s no longer hot.
- Cut the kernels off of the corn cob, about ⅔ of the way to the cobs.
- Transfer to quart size freezer bags, remove as much air as possible and lay flat to freeze.