How to Freeze Corn: Start With Quality Corn
The most critical step to ensure delicious frozen corn is starting with corn that is not over-ripe.
We grow corn in our garden so we can keep a close eye on it. When it is ripe, we can pick and freeze it all in the same day.
If you are buying your corn from an auction or farmer’s market, scope out the seller to find out when it was picked and ask questions. Open the tip of a few ears to check its ripeness.
Most varieties of sweet corn have pale yellow kernels when they are ripe. If you see deep yellow or orange kernels, question its ripeness or know the variety.
Another thing that helps produce a wonderful frozen corn is starting with sweet corn that has not been sitting out in the sun all day. If the truck load is not tarped or out of direct sun, the corn can become gummy and starchy as it would be if it were over-ripe.
When you are buying corn from someone, try to go as early as possible to eliminate the possibility of sitting in the sun.
If your sweet corn is over-ripe, it will become starchy and gummy as it is heated. Chewy, sticky corn just ain’t pleasant! In cases of extreme ripeness it will gum up into a ball in your pan as you are heating it for supper.
How to Freeze Corn: What You Need
Freezing vegetables requires a lot fewer specialty kitchen items than canning.
All you need for freezing corn is:
- A large kettle
- A dish pan that sets in your sink
- A sharp paring knife – Rada paring knives are my favorite! Buy them here or look for them at garage sales and thrift stores.
- Corn Cutter (optional) – I have Corn Cutter and LOVE it. My aunt gave it to me so all I had to do was replace the blades and use it! It saves so much time. But you have to be careful with your fingers!
- Several large bowls and/or shallow pans
- Freezer containers or freezer bags (It is important to use freezer bags because they are made of a stronger plastic and will keep flavors much better.)
How to Freeze Corn
- Pick and husk all the sweet corn. Break off extra long cob stems so they fit better in the kettle. Clean off extra silk, as well.
- Fill a kettle 2/3 full of water and bring it to a boil.
- While your water is coming to a boil, gather up several large bowls, tongs, a dish pan and a paring knife.
- Set the dish pan in your sink and fill it with cold water.
- Once the water has come to a boil, gently place the ears of corn in. As many as will fit. Cook the corn until it comes to a rolling boil again.
- With your tongs, carefully lift each ear of corn out and place it in the dish pan of cold water.
- Refill the kettle with corn, put the lid on and let it come to a boil again.
- Run more cold water into the dishpan to continue cooling the corn. The cold water stays on the bottom and the warmed water overflows off the top cooling your corn efficiently.
- After the corn has cooled a bit, remove it from the cold water and place it in the next sink or a draining rack on end. This allows the excess water to drip off so you don’t get soupy corn.
- Stand an ear of corn in your bowl or shallow pan, big end down and cut the kernels off. After the kernels are cut off, place the blade perpendicular to the ear of corn and scrape it down. This gets the last bit of juices out of each kernel and adds a bit of cream to your corn. If you only want kernel corn, skip this creaming step.
- If you have a corn cutter, place the notched end on far side of a shallow pan. Place the ear of corn, big end towards you, on the cutter and slide it forward while applying pressure. By adjusting the blades you can achieve more kernel or more cream in your corn.
- Stir the corn in your bowl or pan and then fill your freezer containers. [Among my frugal ways is reusing containers. I use cottage cheese and sour cream containers to freeze veggies in.] Put the lids on. Label. Place in the freezer.
- If you are freezing your corn in bags, roll down the top of the bag before filling. This keeps the zipper part clean so you can get a good seal. Squeeze out all the air possible and then lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet. Label. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the bags are completely frozen you can stack them efficiently.
14. Clean up!
Freezing Corn is Easy!
Freezing corn doesn’t have to be complicated. I don’t add any extra ingredients before freezing because that way my options are open when I pull a container out of the freezer. I can use it in a hot dish, I can drain it and add it to Texas Caviar or I can add salt and butter and serve it alone.
The great thing is you don’t have to have a ton of corn to make it worth your time. If you only have a couple dozen at a time, you can easily freeze it up in an evening.
Now that you know how to freeze corn, go ahead and give it a try!