It’t sweet corn time in Iowa, and that means learning how to freeze corn! Luckily, it’s a pretty easy process. Here’s my quick and easy way to freeze corn AND keep the mess and heat out of your kitchen.
I love freshly frozen corn for use in taco soup, vegetable soups, and cowboy caviar. We (me, hubby, father-in-law, kiddos) froze 50 quarts of corn a while back in fewer than 3 1/2 hours! Total cost – $1.25 and time!
Three and a half hours of time was the biggest cost, but that’s all the time it took to shuck it, clean it, boil it, cut it off the cobs, bag it, and store it!
The problem with sweet corn is that it’s all ready at once. When it’s ready, you drop everything and freeze corn. It’s important to pick the corn at just the right time.
In the past, freezing corn has been an all day affair featuring me and other female relatives in the kitchen. However, there’s a much better way to freeze corn! Here’s the best way we’ve found to get the corn in the freezer.
How to Freeze Corn Quickly Without Mess & Fuss
We’ve been pretty lucky the last couple of years to have awesome neighbors who grow the corn for us. We just have to show up and pick it out of the field near our little homestead.
We brought the corn home in our tractor and then involved the whole family in shucking and cleaning in the shade of the garage. While the water came to a boil in the outdoor cooker, everyone was busy in the garage.
How to Shuck Corn like a Pro
The longest part of the process is shucking every single ear of corn. To shuck corn like an Iowan, grab the top leaves and the tassel with one hand, and hold on to the bottom of the corn with the other hand. Yank down hard on the leaves while snapping the bottom. The corn should come on out pretty easily.
You’ll also want to get as many of the silks off the corn as possible. Did you know there is one silk for each corn kernel? Getting all those little hairs off the cobs is one of the worst parts. The other thing you have to get used to is corn worms, called corn borer. Corn often has these borers near the tip.
If you find pests, just break the tip of the corn off and throw it in the compost pile. My chickens love to eat them!
Blanching the Corn
Now it’s time to blanch the corn in boiling water. Boiling the corn in a large pot outdoors keeps my kitchen so much cooler and cleaner, plus the pot is so big I can cook so much more corn at once.
I love using the outdoor cooker for freezing corn. Blanch the corn for 4-5 minutes (after you’ve shucked and cleaned it).
We take each corn cob out of the pot individually using tongs for two reasons. First, it leaves as much hot water in the pot as possible. That means the water will return to boiling faster.
Second, getting the corn out of the hot water quicker helps it to cook off quicker. Put the corn in a large bowl and then dump in an ice water bath.
Cool in a big, clean tub until you can handle it. It’s helpful to use ice to cool the corn more quickly to stop the cooking process. If you’re doing a lot of corn, you might need a couple bags of ice.
Cutting the Kernels off the Cobs
Cutting the corn off the cobs is the worst part, but the Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper makes all the difference. Seriously, if you’re cutting corn off the cob, I highly recommend that you invest in the Corn Zipper. You won’t regret it.
Bag it up, clean off the bags, label them and freeze! I use quart bags because I have a large family. But you can use whatever size baggies you’d like.
Make sure to squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible to prevent freezer burn. If you flatten the bags as much as possible, you won’t need as much freezer space to store the corn. Your corn should last for 12 months in a deep freeze.
- Tons of fresh corn
- Bring water to boil in the largest pot you have.
- Shuck, clean, and cut off any bad spots.
- Once the water is boiling hard, add corn and let the water return to a boil. Once the water is boiling again, boil the corn for 4-5 minutes.
- Cool the corn in a large pot using cold water and ice until the corn is cool enough to handle.
- Cut the corn off the cobs and bag the corn. Flatten the bags, clean, and label then.
I recommend freezing 4 cups of corn in a quart sized freezer bag because that's the perfect portion size for my family of six. You can also freeze smaller portions if you prefer.
You can use freezer bags, freezer safe canning jars, or plastic containers to freeze your corn - whichever is your preference.
Total cost for 50 quarts of corn: $1.25 for the freezer bags because I scored a super sweet deal. 30 minutes to pick. 3 1/2 hours to process. 15 minutes to tidy my kitchen. Those numbers make me happy. And my father-in-law’s sweet corn isn’t even ready yet. If we can keep the raccoons out, we may have more. 🙂
Do you freeze corn? Have you ever used an outdoor cooker? This is our go-to method for freezing corn.