Often, I find people asking me how to freeze corn on the cob. The truth is, it isn’t as simple as just putting the corn in your freezer. However, there are some tips you can follow, to preserve your corn on the cob better.
Why should I freeze corn on the cob?
While I love corn on the cob, I always buy more than my family and I can consume. Instead of letting it go bad, I prefer to save it for a later time. After thawing it, corn tastes equally delicious and can be part of many different dishes.
Another reason I like to freeze corn is that it is much better than canned corn, so I like to buy it fresh and preserve it for when I’m ready to use it.
Here are the 4 things to understand when freezing corn on the cob
Fact #1: You can do it quickly and freeze cobs whole
This is a quick and easy method, which means it isn’t the best. Yet, I do this all the time when I’m running low in time. To freeze corn on the cob whole, place it in freezer bags, push all the air out, and put it in the freezer.
As you can imagine, this method takes a few minutes at most. However, once you thaw the whole cob it won’t be as easy to cut the kernels out. The color and shape preserve well, but the flavor may be a little bland.
If you want to cook the whole cob, boil it in a large pot of water, cook it for about 5 minutes, or until the texture is right.
Fact #2: Remove the corn from the cob and freeze it in individual bags
This second method is probably the most common and the one that saves the flavor best. To freeze corn kernels alone, you will need to remove them from the cob, which can be a bit messy.
I use a regular cutting board and slice the kernels into a bowl. This method is easy but it takes some time. You can use corncob cutters, but these are pricey and not necessary.
Once the kernels are off, place them in small freezer bags, press on them to remove extra air, seal tight, and freeze them.
This method doesn’t require any cooking, and when you thaw the kernels, they are pretty much ready to be used in any dish. Keep in mind that thawed corn isn’t necessarily as tasty as fresh corn, and it does require that you cook it before using it again.
For best flavor, sauté your corn with some oil and spices for a few minutes until it softens. You can also boil the corn in soups or stews and the texture will hold up.
Finally, if you want to, this corn can be roasted in the oven for a crunchy addition to a salad, or side dish.
Fact #3: For best flavor, texture, and color, blanch the corn before freezing
I don’t always have the time to do this, but when I do, I try to blanch the corn before freezing. To do this, you can boil water in a large pot, add the cob, and cook for about 3 minutes. After cooking, place the cob in a large bowl to cool down. Once cool, you can remove the kernels from the cob.
I like to save these blanched kernels in quart-sized freezer bags. Again, always make sure to remove as much air as you can.
This step takes the longest, but blanching the corn will save the color, texture, and flavor. After you thaw your blanched corn, you can use it as is in salads or salsa, or you can sauté or roast it.
Fact #4: Keep your corn safe for months at a time
Freezing corn will help you keep it safe and edible for around 8-10 months, and sometimes up to a year. Of course, as more time passes, less flavor and color the corn will have once you thaw it. Still, this is a great way to reduce waste and save money.
Make sure your bags are labeled accordingly, particularly if you are using any of the three methods mentioned earlier. The best-kept corn will be the blanched one, but all corn on the cob can be kept frozen for months at a time.
Also, make sure you check for ice crystals and always keep your freezer bags clean. If you allow ice to accumulate, it can get into the bag and cause your corn to go bad.
What are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to go buy fresh corn on the cob, use it, or freeze it as you wish. With these freezing methods, corn on the cob will always be in season at your home!
Now that you know these facts about freezing corn on the cobs, why not check out this article about freezing bananas?