Frozen sweet corn is just one of those things. No matter how much I do each year, my family never fails to eat it all. Last year I had a corn freezing “party” if you can call it that, and we froze over 50 bags. Guess when we ate the last bag…. about 2 months ago. The last two months have been rough, having to eat STORE BOUGHT corn and all. So I am definitely ready to have my freezer stocked with sweet corn again.
One of the reasons we go through so much of it is because of how versatile it is. Let me tell you just a few of the things I dump bags of frozen corn into:
- Chicken fiesta (salsa chicken)
- Taco soup
- Ramen noodles
- Shepherds pie
- Corn bread
- Vegetable plate
- Plain, with butter and salt and pepper
- Chicken soup
We have at least one of the things on this list every week, sometimes more. Now you can see how much corn my family of 6 can go through.
Lucky for me, freezing corn is one of the fastest and easiest preserving processes I do each year. It’s right up there with making grape juice, which is probably #1 on my list of “easiest things ever why doesn’t everyone do this?”
I can freeze 50 bags of sweet corn in one day, as long as my cutting hand doesn’t cramp up. One of these days I will invest in a corn cutter to make my life easier … but then again, my kids need a job … so maybe not.
Freezing sweet corn is so simple, you will wish you had started a long time ago. And as a bonus, it tastes unrecognizably better than store bought frozen corn. I don’t know how it comes out so different, but it does. My entire family, including my 2 year old, can tell the difference between store bought, and home frozen. Compare the two and tell me what you think!
- Pick your corn straight off the stalk if possible. We have discovered that corn is one of the fastest flavor losing veggies. Every single hour it spends off the stalk, it loses a considerable amount of flavor and freshness. We try to pick right before we preserve. If that’s not an option for you, ask your store when they get their shipments of corn so you can but them the day they come in. To figure out how much you need consider this: approximately 3-4 cobs of corn fill a quart size freezer bag. My family of 6 consumes about 1 bag a week on average. That means, I need a little over 200 ears of corn to satisfy our needs.
- Have a family “shucking” party. Do it outside …. just trust me. Caterpillars, earwigs, spiders, mites, corn hair, sticky juice, corn husk paper cuts, need I go on?
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. Then, fill your sink or a large container with cold water. You will be blanching the corn and then immediately sticking it in the cold water to stop the cooking process, so you will want these two somewhat close together.
- When the water comes to a rolling boil leave it on high heat. Put 4 ears of corn in. Do not fill the pot with tons of corn. If your water doesn’t come back to a boil within about a minute, your not blanching correctly. Depending on your stove, the size of pot you are using, and the size of corn cobs you have, you may adjust the amount of corn cobs you put in the pot at one time. Once the water comes back to a boil, set your timer for 3 minutes.
- Using tongs, remove the corn from the pot and drop it in the cold water. Leave the high heat on and add 4 more corn cobs. Repeat the process until all of your corn is blanched and cooled. If you are doing a lot of corn you will need to replace both the boiling water and the cold water a few times.
- Once the corn is cooled, grab a large cutting board and your favorite serrated knife and start cutting off the corn. I start this step as soon as I have some cooled corn, and while I am still blanching. You have plenty of time to cut a few cobs while you are waiting for your corn to cook.
- Scoop the cut corn into Ziploc bags. I like to use quart size, and I only fill them about 2/3 full. If you fill them all the way full, you can’t flatten them out for easy stacking, and you can’t break off chunks for when you don’t need a full bag. It’s your preference though, you can fill them as full as you want.
- Chuck them in the freezer! I would suggest only making what you will eat in the next year. After 1 year of freezing, the taste really starts to decline fast. We had some bags that hid out in the back corner of the freezer for a little over 2 years, and we ended up throwing them away because they tasted pretty awful.
There are a few variations to this process. Some people I know like to cut the corn off before they blanch it. Personally I don’t like to because I think it’s a bigger pain to blanch the cut corn than it is the corn still on the cob. But that is still on option that you might like better.
Another variation is to add butter and salt and pepper to the corn right before you bag it. Then, when you pull it out of the freezer, it’s all mixed up the way you like it, all you have to do is heat it up and serve it. The reason I don’t do this is because often times we eat the corn completely plain because corn frozen straight out of the field is so flavorful and delicious. The other reason is that I don’t want butter and salt and pepper on it when I put it in things like corn bread or taco soup.
And variation #3 is to blanch it and then freeze the entire cob. While this is faster, the flavor is significantly less satisfying. It also takes up a lot more room in your freezer.
It’s pretty hard to mess up sweet corn! Don’t be afraid to try different things with it like adding seasoning, or cooking it for longer or shorter times. For those of you who have never lived on a farm, you should know that raw sweet corn is a delicious treat. No, you DON’T have to cook corn! So if you find that you prefer corn raw, or only cooked for a couple of minutes, then eat it that way! I even serve it to my kids frozen as a special summer treat.
Does anyone else have a favorite way to eat sweet corn? I have heard that grilling it is delicious!
Other preserving posts you might be interested in:
and here is a Canning Cheat sheet for those of you like me who are sick of always looking up canning times.