How to freeze corn now and enjoy it later

Freezing corn is the easiest way to enjoy a taste of summer all year long!

July 31, 2018 - Author: Christine Venema, Michigan State University Extension

Corn, available in Michigan late July through September, is a very popular summertime vegetable. One way of the easiest ways to preserve those golden nuggets of summer is to freeze them so that you can enjoy the taste of summer all year long.

Before preparing any food, Michigan State University Extension recommends you wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.

Freezing whole kernels of corn

When freezing whole kernels of corn, select the plump ears with tender kernels and sweet milk. Forget the buggy and wormy ears. Corn should be frozen within two to six hours of harvest time. Remove the husks and silk from the ears. Blanching needs to be done to stop the enzymes that cause texture and flavor destruction. Blanch the ears for four minutes in boiling water. Next, plunge the ears into ice water to stop the cooking action. The ears should be in the ice water for about eight minutes. Drain the ears. Cut the kernels off the cob about two-thirds the depth of the kernel. 

For a cream style corn, cut the kernels in the center. Next use the back of the knife to scrape the cob, collecting all of the juice and the heart of the kernel. A tip to make this process easier: use a bundt pan to anchor the cob in the center of the pan. This will steady the cob while it is being scraped. Pack the corn into freezer containers, leaving ½ inch head space. Seal the container. Label it, putting the date of packaging on it. If plastic freezer bags are used be sure to squeeze out all of the air before freezing. For the best quality, consume your preserved corn within eight to 12 months.

Freeze corn on the cob

To freeze corn on the cob, increase the blanching time to 7 minutes for small ears that are an inch in diameter, nine minutes for ears that are 1.5 inches in diameter and 11 minutes for ears that are two inches in diameter. Immediately immerse the ears into ice water for the same length of time that they were blanched for. Drain the ears and blot them dry with paper towels. Tightly wrap the ears in moisture-vapor-proof film and put them in a plastic freezer bag. Squeeze out all the air to prevent freezer burn. Be sure to seal, label, date and freeze the ears.

Storing and freezing tip

Word to the wise, do not attempt to freeze more than 1 quart of food (2-3 pounds) per cubic foot of freezer space per day. Otherwise, the freezer will have to work too hard and it will take too long for the product to freeze.

For further information on storing and preserving corn check out this resource. When the snow flies, it will be a great treat to have corn on the cob, that you have properly frozen.

Tags: food & health, food preservation, msu extension

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