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Freezing sweet corn: whole kernels

Ears of corn.

Why freeze corn?

Freezing is a quick and convenient way to preserve vegetables at home. Sweet corn is a popular, easy and excellent vegetable to freeze. You can enjoy the great taste of summertime sweet corn all year long by following simple, basic procedures for freezing vegetables.

Blanching is a must

Blanching, followed by chilling in ice water, are critical processes for producing quality frozen corn. The natural enzymes in corn need to be inactivated before freezing to prevent both loss of color and nutrients, and flavor and texture changes. These enzymes are inactivated by a hot blanch treatment. The chilling process prevents the corn from becoming mushy due to overcooking the starch.

Husk, blanch, cool, cut, package, freeze, eat

An electric knife is a handy tool for cutting off the kernels.
  1. Husk ears and remove silk.
  2. Bring 6 to 8 quarts of water to a boil.
  3. Submerge several ears at a time.
  4. Blanch the ears for 4 minutes.
  5. Cool promptly in ice water for 4 minutes.
  6. Drain.
  7. Cut the kernels from the cob. An electric knife is a handy tool for cutting off the kernels.
  8. Package the corn in freezer containers, leave one-half inch headspace.
  9. Seal and freeze at zero degrees F or below.
  10. For best quality, eat within 8-12 months of freezing.

Can I freeze corn-on-the cob?

Yes, it can be done, but with mixed results. Corn lovers are often disappointed with the mushy, rubbery texture and the cobby taste. It also takes up more space in the freezer. Want to give it a try? The National Center for Home Food Preservation has directions.

Deb Botzek-Linn, former Extension educator and Suzanne Driessen, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2018

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