If you enjoy corn all year or have too much corn to use up, freezing is a great option. Learning how to freeze corn on the cob can help you to make the most of your harvest.
However, it’s not as easy as putting the corn right into the freezer without prepping it first. Knowing how to freeze corn in three different ways can help you find your favorite method.
How Long Can You Freeze Corn on the Cob?
With proper preparation, you can easily keep corn on the cob frozen for an extended period. Although freezing isn’t forever, corn is one of the hardier vegetables to keep for up to a year.
On average, frozen corn on the cob should be used within eight to 12 months of the initial freezing date.
As a helpful tip, make sure you write the date on your packages before putting them into the freezer so that you can keep track.
With this process, you can quickly cycle out your corn and ensure you aren’t eating any past their expiry date.
According to the University of Minnesota, frozen corn will last the longest when frozen at zero degrees or less. It’s also a great idea to consider some top tips for storing food long term, especially if you want to preserve cooked corn.
Three Ways for Freezing Corn on the Cob
It is possible to know how to freeze fresh corn on the cob without blanching it, depending on your preferences. Still, it might not be as simple as freezing some of the other easy-to-grow vegetables in your garden.
Three of the most popular freezing methods include freezing unblanched, uncooked corn kernels, and blanched.
Following this corn freezing method doesn’t make the corn as easy to use for recipes where the kernels need to be cut. Also, you might find that when cooked, the corn might be a little too watery and chewy for your liking.
How to Freeze Unblanched Cobs
By far, freezing unblanched corn on the cob is the easiest and least time-consuming option. In fact, there are only three steps to follow.
Step 1: Shuck the Corn
As with any type of corn prep, you’ll want to make sure you first shuck the cob. Separating the husk at the top and pulling it down to reveal the cob is a relatively straightforward process.
You’ll also want to remove any silk using a dry paper towel to help attract them away from the corn.
Step 2: Use Freezer Bags
Now that your cobs have been shucked, you can put them into your freezer bags. Find high-quality bags that will prevent freezer burn, which will render the corn useless.
You’ll also want to make sure the corn is thoroughly dry before putting it into the freezer bags. Once inserted, ensure all of the air has been extracted from the bag. Depending on your at-home tools, you might even be able to seal the corn in an airtight freezer-safe bag.
Step 3: Freeze
Lastly, all you have to do is put the corn in the freezer. Keeping it off the door and in the back or in a drawer will protect it from temperature fluctuations from opening the freezer.
Uncooked Corn Kernels
Uncooked corn kernels are fantastic to have for soups, rather than cutting them from frozen cobs. This is relatively simple to do but will create a mess if you’re not prepared.
One of the best tips for cutting kernels off the corn on the cob is to have an over-the-sink cutting board. With these tools, you can cut the kernels over the sink and push them into a bowl through the straining hole.
You will also want to consider using airtight freezer bags to help save freezer space for storage.
Corn kernels are very easy to cook without overcooking them. The only disadvantage is that it will have a more textured finish than blanched corn. Also, as the corn will have to be cooked before use, it’s not the best option for quick salads and salsas.
How to Freeze Fresh Corn on the Cob (Kernels)
If you know you’ll be using your corn for specific recipes, this may be the better method to follow.
Step 1: Shuck the Corn
As with all three corn freezing methods, you’ll want to make sure your corn is perfectly shucked beforehand.
Step 2: Cut the Kernels
Using your cutting board, you can slice the kernels off the cobs and put them into a large bowl. By putting them into a bowl, you’ll have better control when transferring the corn to a freezer bag.
Step 3: Transfer the Kernels and Freeze
Many people choose to use airtight containers for this step, but freezer bags save far more space. You can also hold far more kernels in a freezer bag than a small jar. Once all of the kernels are in the bag, eliminate air as best as you can. Then put it in the freezer.
The third method for freezing sweet corn is to cook it beforehand, which is the most common choice. When defrosted, it won’t have as much of a raw flavor and texture as unblanched corn does.
A phenomenal tip for freezing blanched corn is to put the cooked corn into ice water before freezing. This process helps to return the corn enzymes to an inactive state to prevent the loss of nutrients and color.
How to Freeze Blanched Cobs
Although blanching corn before freezing will take a little more prep at the time of freezing, it’ll save you a lot of time when cooking.
Step 1: Boil the Cobs
You’ll first want to bring a big pot of water to a rolling boil and then put the cobs into the water. Allow them to cook for up to 11 minutes.
Step 2: Ice the Corn
When your corn has finished cooking, you’ll want to immediately transfer it from the boiling water to a bowl of ice water. By doing so, you’ll be protecting the corn’s taste and texture, rather than letting it cool down slowly.
Step 3: Cut the Kernels (Optional)
When the corn is cool enough to be handled, you can cut the kernels off the cob and put them into a bowl. If you prefer to keep the cobs whole, you can skip this step entirely.
Step 4: Freeze It
Simply spoon the kernels into your freezer bags or put the entire cobs into freezer bags. Ensure you remove as much air as possible. Seal the bags and freeze them.
Frequently Asked Questions about Freezing Corn on the Cob
1. Do you have to blanch corn on the cob before freezing?
It’s unnecessary to blanch corn on the cob before you freeze it, although it can make cooking it slightly easier. You’ll also find that blanched corn will provide a completely different taste and texture that you’re likely to enjoy more.
By blanching beforehand, all you’ll have to do is defrost the corn and add it to your recipe. This process makes it ideal for cold snacks and meals, such as salads and salsa. However, you can quickly freeze corn unblanched or still in its husk if you want to save valuable prep time.
2. Can corn on the cob be frozen with husks?
If you want to reduce your prep work, you should ask, can corn on the cob be frozen with husks? All you will have to do is wrap the corn in a saran wrap the corn while in its husk and put it into an airtight freezer bag.
Using a permanent marker, make sure you write the date on the corn before freezing. Once the date has been indicated, you can keep the corn frozen until needed, but it will need to be cooked once taken out.
3. How do you freeze corn without blanching it?
Freezing sweet corn without blanching is much simpler than you’d expect, especially as you won’t have to boil it beforehand. The most important part of the process is to make sure it’s in an airtight bag to prevent freezer burn.
Plenty of people also like to wrap their cobs in saran wrap before putting them into a freezer bag for extra protection.
4. How long do you blanch before freezing corn on the cob?
If you want to blanch your corn on the cob before freezing it, you’ll want to follow some guidelines. We’ve summarized the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s outline for blanching corn on the cob based on size.
- Small ears (1.25 inches in diameter): blanch for seven minutes
- Medium ears (up to 1.5 inches in diameter): blanch for nine minutes
- Large ears (over 1.5+ inches in diameter): blanch for 11 minutes
If you’re blanching your corn kernels before freezing, the guidelines are slightly different from cobs. It’s best if you blanch your kernels for four minutes before packing them for the freezer.
5. Is frozen corn good for you?
Corn has plenty of advantages and disadvantages in regards to health. This ingredient is an affordable vegetable that is rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids. It is also a great source of dietary fiber and protein, especially when compared to other vegetables.
Corn may also be the only option for the base of many recipes, depending on your dietary restrictions. For example, if you have celiac disease, corn-based products are a fantastic alternative to the traditional grains.
However, there are also a few health concerns to note. Corn is very high in sugar, which you’d typically find in starchy vegetables, and with its high cellulose content, it’s hard for the body to digest. Also, you’ll find specific ways to prepare corn can lead to high-fat meals.
With that said, the benefits far outweigh the detriments, and corn could be a healthy vegetable for many diets.
How to Freeze Corn on the Cob
Learning how to freeze corn on the cob is straightforward and very versatile. Whether you prefer it blanched, unblanched, in cob form, or kernels, you have options for storing it in the freezer.
Follow these steps to ensure the proper preparation to maintain the high nutritional value of your corn and to avoid freezer burn. Freezing fresh foods is a way to have fresh foods on hand for when you need them.