Are you wondering how to safely freeze fresh sweet corn to enjoy later?
Safely freeze fresh sweet corn to preserve delicious taste and quality for the next year! This method works so great that sweet corn tastes like it’s fresh even in wintertime.
And we all know fresh sweet corn is the best. But, nothing as good as fresh sweet corn ever lasts forever, right? Here’s a way you can enjoy fresh sweet corn all year long until it’s time to plant and harvest more.
Not only is sweet corn perfect straight from the cob, it can be the perfectly sweet addition to any main dish. I love fresh sweet corn all year long. But there is only so much time you can pick the ears fresh from the stalk.
And then you’ll be drowning in sweet corn ears. You’ll have so much fresh sweet corn that you won’t know what to do with it all. This can be very overwhelming.
Also, it is possible to become overwhelmed and tired of sweet corn at the end of the season. My family and I enjoy fresh sweet corn for as long as possible. But as much as we can enjoy, there’s always quite a bit left over.
So, we safely freeze fresh sweet corn kernels and ears. Here’s a really easy way to do it in only 7 steps.
Step 1 – Clean the Ears
When you get the ears home, clean the ears. Pull all the husks and hairs off the ears revealing a nice clean ear of corn that looks delicious. The ear should be completely clean of hairs and husks.
If you have small livestock, such as cows, pigs and chickens, offer them the husks as a treat. Later on, you can also give them the naked ears to chew on.
But first, get a large pot with boiling water to blanch the ears. Do you remember blanching? I also blanch peas before I freeze them to preserve their freshness. Well, the same is true to safely freeze fresh sweet corn.
So, the next step is to boil the ears.
Step 2 – Boil the Ears
Once the water is boiling in the large pot, carefully submerge fresh ears into the water using a pair of tongs. You don’t want to burn yourself! After you place the ears carefully into boiling hot water, heat for about 15 minutes or until the water with the corn begins to boil again.
You’ll know the ears have been into the water long enough when the water has a strong boil. After the ears are hot enough, take your tongs and carefully remove the ears. Place into a clean sink of ice cold water to complete the blanching process.
Step 3 – Blanch the Ears
So, you’re carefully removing the hot ears from the boiling water to stop the cooking of the ears. Place the hot ears into a cold ice water bath. I usually just clean one section of the sink and fill it up with cold water. I also like to put ice cubes in the water to keep it cold a little bit longer.
Keep the ears in the cold water bath for about 20 minutes. This process not only cools down the kernels, but it keeps the kernels from becoming mushy otherwise. And, like I’ve mentioned before, it stops the cooking of the kernels. This preserves the taste and freshness of the sweet corn during freezing.
This step is really essential to keep you from burning your fingers while you handle the ears in the next critical step of cutting the kernels. But first, let’s prepare the freezer bags for freezing.
Step 4 – Prepare Freezer Bags to Safely Freeze Fresh Sweet Corn
Because it’s important to know what’s in your freezer bags months later. And more importantly, note the date just in case it’s years later. So, label your freezer bags with a permanent marker.
I prefer the Zip Lock Freezer bags as a secure and trusted choice for freezing all my produce. To prepare the freezer bags, I identify what is in the bag and the date it was frozen.
Wondering what size of freezer bag to use? Well, for our family of three, I prefer using the quart sized bags to safely freeze fresh sweet corn kernels. This quart size is also just the right amount to add to recipes, such as soups, casseroles, and freezer meals later on.
To freeze whole ears, I like to use Gallon sized zip lock freezer bags. This is just the right size for our large ears of sweet corn. So, prepare some Gallon size freezer bags as well for freezing whole ears.
Once the first quart-sized bags are labeled, it’s time to prepare the kernels for freezing. Once the blanching process is complete, it’s time to begin to cut the kernels off the cob to safely freeze fresh sweet corn.
Step 5 – Cut Kernels
First of all, remove ears from the cold water bath and into a deep dish pan or pie pan. The deeper the pan, the less chances of the corn kernels escaping. Then, grab a sharp knife (by the handle, please) to easily slice the corn kernels off the ears.
Next, stand an ear of corn on one end, start at the top of the ear of corn and gently slice the kernels off the cob all the way down the ear. Repeat by turning the ear and cutting until the ear is naked and all of your kernels are sitting in your deep dish holding pan.
Finally, once the cob is completely naked from kernels, dispose of the ear and start again. Continue to cut kernels until your kernel pan is full. When it’s full, it is time to fill some quart sized ziplock bags with corn.
Step 6 – Prepare Freezer Bags With Sweet Corn Kernels
Grab a labeled Quart size Ziplock Freezer bag and a large spoon. Fill your spoon with corn and carefully place into the bag. Fill the bags all the way to one inch from the top of the zipper. This is also called a one inch head space.
Next, make sure the corn is packed together tightly. Then, press all the air out of the freezer bag before you securely zip up the bag. Securely zip the bag all the way across to secure freshness. The bag must be air tight.
Step 7 – Pop the Bags Into the Freezer
When you are finished and your freezer bags are full, they must go immediately into the freezer. If you are going to be making freezer meals, I would suggest just sticking it into the fridge until you are ready to make the meals within a couple of days.
For storage space purposes, lay the bags on their sides in the freezer. Lay bags on top of one another to flatten them. After they are completely frozen, you can slide them into place easily until you are ready to use them.
Safely Freeze Corn on the Cob
You can also freeze corn still on the cob. It’s easy and delicious to freeze ears of corn whole by following the steps above. Just don’t cut the kernels on the ears.
Simply clean the ears, blanch in the hot water, cool in the cold water bath and lay out on a towel to dry.
Then, pack the ears into gallon-sized Zip Lock Freezer bags. Throw the bags of corn on the cob in the freezer and pull them out this Fall and Winter to eat with your roasts.
Grow Or Pick Fresh Sweet Corn
Even if you don’t have the land or ability to grow fresh sweet corn, there are area other ways around this. For starters, you can take it off another grower’s hands by buying it. Buy it right off the farm or at the local farmer’s market. The possibilities of freshness in Rural America are endless.
If you do have the ability to grow it yourself, then what’s stopping you? Prepare the soil, plant the seeds, maximize care and watch your sweet corn ears thrive. Then, enjoy the very best part of having fresh sweet corn by eating it.
And there are numerous ways to enjoy frozen fresh sweet corn long after the growing season has commenced.
How to Enjoy Frozen Sweet Corn
They don’t call those sweet corn ears “Roasting Ears” for nothing, right? Frozen kernels or ears taste amazing in a roaster or on a grill after they have been safely air tight and frozen.
When you want some sweet kernels to add to recipes or as a side, now you have it right there at your finger tips. I enjoy adding kernels to soups, salads, nachos, and more.
Also, the cobs are delicious after a session on the grill with butter, salt and pepper. Are you inspired to safely freeze fresh sweet corn to enjoy later into the year?
Please let me know via Facebook or Twitter your favorite way to eat sweet corn.