Preserve summer’s sweet corn using the simplest technique…freezing! This post will walk you through preparing and preserving your very own batch of frozen corn.
There’s nothing like feasting on summer fruits and vegetables during the dead of winter. Here in our kitchen, canning tomato sauce, or passata is a long standing fall tradition, as is pickling carrots and freezing corn.
It’s so satisfying to fill the freezer and canning room with the fruits of your labour!
Let’s be real. Frozen corn is widely available at the store and it’s relatively cheap. So why would anyone want to go through the process of freezing it themselves?
For me, it’s about flavour and economy, plus a bit of nostalgia. When I buy a bag of locally grown fresh corn, I am supporting my local farmers. I know that the corn is picked just before selling at its prime.
If you have access to great locally grown corn, you too can make your own frozen corn. It’s literally as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Oh, and you will be amazed at how much of that summer magic is captured in each bag. The flavour of this corn is way beyond any store bought frozen corn.
Small Batch vs Large Batch of Frozen Corn
When I buy corn, the bag contains roughly 6 dozen (or 72) ears. That is, what I consider a large batch of corn because it yields 12 bags of frozen corn. Luckily, you can easily scale your own batch according to how much corn you buy.
In general a half dozen ears will yield 4 cups of loose corn, enough to fill one medium sized freezer bag. So, you can make one bag, or twelve bags. The batch size is up to you.
If your kids are old enough, it can be a really great family activity. Kids can shuck the corn and even cut the corn off the cob using a small paring knife. Later, when the corn has cooled, they can help fill freezer bags.
Participating in preserving food in this way could even get picky eaters to eat their veggies!
Other Ways to Make Frozen Corn
- You could easily just freeze whole cobs of corn without cutting or heating the cobs. However this method takes up a lot of freezer space.
- Another way is to blanch the cobs in boiling water, then cut the corn off the cob and freeze it.
- Yet another method consists of cutting the kernels off the cob and freezing them without blanching. This method also requires a fair bit of freezer space (temporarily) as it’s best to freeze the kernels in a single layer first, then bag them already frozen.
I prefer the slice, blanch, bag method (see I told you it was easy as 1, 2, 3!) because you also get the benefit of the ‘corn milk’ from stripping the raw corn cobs. The corn stays fresh and quickly heats up in a covered saucepan for an easy side dish.
How to Make Frozen Corn
Regular readers will notice I have omitted the ‘ingredients’ section of my post. That is because all you need for this ‘how to’ recipe is corn.
Preparing the Corn
First things first, that corn isn’t going to shuck itself. I usually ask my husband to do this job because I can’t stand when corn silks stick on me. Peel the husks of one side from top to bottom, then do the other side. Remove any silks that cling to the cob.
Removing the kernels can be quite messy so it’s best to do this over a large bowl or basin. Remove the corn kernels from the cob by holding the stem end in one hand and starting at one end gently slice the kernels off as close to the core as you can.
Finish at the pointy end of the cob, then rotate the corn and do another few rows. Once the whole cob has been stripped of kernels, turn it over and hold the pointy end of the cob.
Use the back of your knife to rub the empty cob in a downward motion. This will release any last bits from the kernels and the resulting corn juices, or ‘milk’. Did you know you could milk corn cobs?!
Blanching the Corn
This part is super easy. Simply collect all the corn in large pot or Dutch oven and add a very tiny bit of water. Cover with a lid and allow the corn to heat up gradually on medium low heat. Stir after a few minutes of heating.
Once the corn has all changed from a light to dark yellow colour, remove from heat. Note that the cooking time will increase slightly for larger batches and therefore colour change is the best indicator.
Let the corn cool to room temperature before bagging.
Bagging and Freezing the Corn
For easy bagging, have each freezer bag wide open on a table or counter. Fold the top down for extra stability and so the seal doesn’t get dirty.
Use a cup measure to place 4 cups of blanched corn into each bag. Make sure to get some of that liquid gold at the bottom of the pan in each bag.
To seal, unfold the top and press along the seams, squeezing as much air out of the bag as you can. For frozen vegetables, air is the enemy! Too much air will result in freezer burn.
How Long Does Frozen Corn Last?
In our house, these precious bags of summer gold do not last very long. However, they will keep up to a year and slightly more when properly stored.
How to Reheat Frozen Corn
Luckily, this isn’t rocket surgery. Allow the bag of frozen corn to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, place frozen corn (remove it from the bag first) in an appropriate sized saucepan.
Add a very small amount of water (1-2 tbsp) and cover. Reheat on medium high heat and cook frozen corn until the kernels break up.
In a pinch, you can also heat the frozen corn up in the microwave. Place in a microwave safe bowl and cover with a paper towel. Heat for 1-2 minutes on high, then remove and stir. Heat once more if necessary.
This cooked corn is amazing on it’s own but everything is better with a pat of butter. Even a little salt and pepper or Parmesan cheese, if you like. Sometimes, I’ll even add a bit of dried dill weed. Frozen corn is one of the tastiest quick and easy side dishes out there!
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