You’re not ONLY going to learn how to freeze fresh corn on the cob, you’re going to learn how to make it so it still has a nice crunch when you bite into it in the middle of winter. That’s right: frozen corn on the cob that isn’t mushy.
If you haven’t tried freezing whole corn on the cob before, you’re probably just reading this sentence by chance. If you’ve tried freezing whole ears of corn before, you’re currently spinning like a border collie on top.
Frozen corn-on-the-cob that isn’t RAW is the unicorn of the conservation world. It is a known thing. You do not believe me? The corn world is literally in the word unicorn.
Everyone says it can be done, but when you try it the results are more donkeys than unicorns.
Since I grow corn and have a habit of trying to preserve most of the food I grow, I have been trying to freeze it for years. THIS is the first year that I think I have mastered the method.
I don’t like canned corn the same way I like canned green beans. Otherwise I’d just pack the cores, which I’ve done in the past. But picking up a bite of loose kernels is not the same as biting into a full ear.
Just ask anyone with dentures.
There are 4 main rules when it comes to success with frozen corn.
- Corn MUST be harvested within hours of processing.
- Corn MUST be blanched.
- Corn MUST be chilled and quickly frozen.
- Cook frozen.
SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD
If you fail at any of those things, you’ll be dealing with donkey ears.
How to freeze corn
- Buy your corn at a farm stand and MAKE SURE it was picked that day. Corn begins to degrade within a few hours of being picked. The natural sugars in each grain begin to turn into starch a couple of hours after you pick it. So the longer it sits, the less sweet and stickier/gummy/hard it becomes.
Once you’ve purchased your fresh corn, processing begins, immediately.
- Get a pot of boiling water. DO NOT add salt.
- Peel all the corn.
- To blanch the corn, add it to the pot of boiling water and cook for 9 minutes. I know that sounds like a long time (compared to the 3 minutes you’re probably used to cooking corn), but trust me. 9 minutes
4. After 9 minutes, remove the corn from the boiling water and place it in a pot of ice water for 9 minutes to cool quickly.
5. Place your ears on paper towels or a clean cloth and pat dry. The corn must be completely dry with no moisture.
6. Cover with a dry cloth and leave it for a few minutes to make sure it is twice dry.
7. If you have a Foodsaver, seal the corn in bags right away, making sure the kernels don’t get crushed and that it seals well. (If you don’t have a Foodsaver, put the corn in a freezer bag, press out all the air so you can then use a straw to suck out any remaining air.
Innuendo: To help keep my water ice cold glacial when I take the corn out of the boiling water, I place each cob under a cold tap for a few seconds. After I put it in the ice bath. This removes some of the initial heat and keeps the ice bath cooler.
On that cold winter night, with snow flying and gloves melting in the sink, take the summer corn out of the freezer and heat it in boiling water from frozen until heated through.
- If you have a Foodsaver, you can place the corn still sealed in the bag in a pot of boiling water to heat through. Foodsaver bags are safe for slow cooking.
- If it was frozen in a freezer bag, remove the corn and place it in a pot of simmering or boiling water to heat through.
Incredible. As you may have heard in the video, after freezing, the corn retained its sweetness and crunch.
Was it as good as freshly picked corn? No. Don’t be ridiculous. Nothing is as good as freshly picked corn, but it really wasn’t that far off.
If he had served it to someone, he would never have known it was frozen. And that is the goal.
As I mentioned, 9 minutes seems like a long time to blanch, but that’s what you need to do to help ensure that the enzymes in the corn have been rendered as inactive as possible.
It is those enzymes that ripen the corn. It’s those enzymes that immediately start turning sugars into sticky starches when you pick them up.
If you don’t deactivate the enzymes by blanching, the corn will continue to ripen even while it’s in the freezer, leading to color loss, nutrient loss, and that rubbery/starchy texture.
So it’s those enzymes that you want to STOP in their tracks before freezing.
If you still don’t believe me, you can read this very boring scientific paper on the effects of blanching on corn before freezing it.
Do you know when corn is sticky and starchy and sticks to your molars? That’s what happens when you’re old. You can thank active enzymes for that.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer and don’t know anything about it, I can tell you that I’ve had one for decades and love it. I use it all the time. If you have a large family and food doesn’t stay in your freezer for more than a couple of weeks, you may not need one, but if there’s only one or two at home (especially if you have a Costco membership) a Foodsaver will really save the day. their food. This is the one I have, it is the smallest and most basic model.
Store corn in the freezer for up to a year. After that it’s still fine to eat, the quality (color, flavor, texture) just degrades the longer it’s frozen. It won’t spoil, it just won’t taste as good.
Frequently asked questions
Well, it’s not going to kill you if you don’t, but you’re not going to like frozen corn either. Bleaching kills enzyme activity. And enzyme activity is what makes corn rubbery and flavorless.
Yes. If you’re not afraid of microwaves, it does a great job of whitening. However, it does not speed up the process. You still need to blanch in the microwave on high for 9 minutes. You should also blanch in a Pyrex container with a Pyrex dish on top so it doesn’t lose moisture.
Sure, you can also blanch corn on the cob by steaming it instead of boiling it. 9 minutes is still the recommended time.
I have tried to do this many times over the years, but never exactly like this. I blanched for a very short time or used corn from the supermarket, little things I didn’t think would matter that much. they matter
freeze corn exactly like that And when you open your freezer in mid-February, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a unicorn.