How to Freeze Corn (the Best way, IMO)
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Interested in freezing corn, but not sure which method is best? Let us help!
In the category of summer vegetables there is nothing that quite satisfies like corn on the cob. Maybe its the fact that it arrives when the sweetness of summer is just starting to wane and you really want to hold onto it. Maybe it is just. that. good.
Popping a bag of fresh corn out of the freezer in mid-winter is like opening up a bag of summer preserved for the time when you most need it. It seriously tastes like it came right off the cob, whether you roast it, add it to corn chowder, or saute it up to put on a fresh salad.
Our local farm market always has a corn sale toward late August so we race on over there and by two or three dozen ears and spend that evening processing and freezing to create a winter corn stash.
There are lots of theories about how to freeze corn – on the cob or off, blanched or raw, or some combination of the above. Here’s why we prefer the traditional method you’ll find in most preserving books – blanched on the cob, cut off, and then frozen in vacuumed sealed bags.
A. Corn can be frozen on the cob, but when cooked it often ends up watery and mushy, which just isn’t as fun as eating it off the cob in the middle of August.
B. Corn that is frozen raw can be used later, BUT it doesn’t retain is fresh flavor quite as well and can even lose nutritional value.
This University of Minnesota Extension article describes very well the enzymes that exist in fresh vegetables and how they need to be deactivated in order to prevent negative changes like flavor loss, color change, and loss of nutrients. Blanching or steaming deactivates those enzymes.
So, given that argument, here’s how we freeze our corn. Oh, and be sure to freeze as soon after harvesting as possible to avoid the corn going downhill (also explained in the article above).
Note: we use a vacuum sealer to bag up our corn and remove the air for the freshest results. This isn’t absolutely necessary (you can use freezer bags and remove the air with a straw) but we find it is worth the investment for the amount of freezing that we do every year. We use it mostly for freezing green beans and corn, but it can also be used for meat and lots of other veggies.
How to Freeze Corn
- Large Stock Pot
- Cooling Rack set over a Sheet Pan
- Vacuum Sealer (optional)
- Vacuum sealer bags or freezer bags
- Chef's knife or other large knife
- Husk Corn Cobs
- Place corn on the cob in a large stock pot with about 1-2 inches of water at the bottom. Bring water to a boil.
- Steam corn on the cob for 3 minutes. Remove from pot promptly to stop cooking.
- Cool corn on the cob on drying racks until dry.
- Cut corn off the cob. We find the "bundt pan method" easiest for accomplishing this task. Simply set the end of the corn cob on the middle circle of your bundt pan and cut down the sides, letting the corn fall into the pan.
- Place corn in freezer bags or use your vacuum sealer to freeze about 2 cups per bag. If using regular freezer bags, you can suck the air out of the bag using a straw! Corn can be quite moist, so you may have to use your vacuum sealer twice to get all of the moisture out.