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How to Freeze Corn Quickly Without Mess & Fuss

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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.

how to freeze corn

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!

sweet corn field (1)

My neighbor’s sweet corn field.

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.

tractor bucket full of sweet corn (1)

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.

shuck and clean corn

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!

boil corn outside in a turkey burner

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 the corn 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 corn off the cob (1)

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.

take the corn indoors to cut it off the cob


bagged corn ready for the freezer (1)

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.


Quick & Easy Way to Freeze Corn

Quick & Easy Way to Freeze Corn

Keep the mess outside with this quick and easy way to freeze corn

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 4 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 34 minutes

Ingredients

  • Tons of fresh corn

Instructions

  1. Bring water to boil in the largest pot you have.
  2. Shuck, clean, and cut off any bad spots.
  3. 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.
  4. Cool the corn in a large pot using cold water and ice until the corn is cool enough to handle.
  5. Cut the corn off the cobs and bag the corn. Flatten the bags, clean, and label then.
  6. Freeze!

Notes

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.

Looking for more ways to preserve the garden bounty? You might like these posts too.

Grandma’s Secret Recipe for Spicy and Crunchy Dill Pickles

Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce

The Quick and Easy Guide to Canning Crushed Tomatoes

Homemade Gourmet Vinegar with Garden Fresh Herbs

Pineapple Jalapeno Relish 

Keep the mess outside with this quick and easy way to freeze fresh corn
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About Michelle

Michelle Marine is green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.

Comments

  1. blankRobin H says

    We plan on freezing corn this summer, but I hadn’t really thought about the process of actually making it happen – thanks for the tips! We’ll definitely crank up the turkey fryer and a tub-o-ice water. I even bought one of those corn zipper tools in anticipation, but haven’t tried it yet. I hope NY corn is ready soon…

  2. blankMichelle says

    It’s not hard, Robin, but it is a bit time consuming. Fortunately, you’ve got some kiddos who are old enough to help! 🙂 I’m glad this was helpful.

  3. blankKim says

    I think I may do this this year. I am currently on a low carb diet and not eating corn, but DH loves the stuff. And it is in season here right now. Would be a lot cheaper then the canned stuff he usually buys in the winter.

    When you reheat it – do you reboil it or just heat up in micro? Is it still somewhat crisp?

  4. blankMichelle says

    Kim, I boil it in a very small amount of water. It is usually somewhat crisp. I’m not sure how this year’s crop will fare yet. I think it depends on the quality of the corn before it’s frozen, (I think) how long you blanch it, and it might also depend on how you cook it when it’s thawed.

  5. blankAllison says

    I use an old farmer’s trick. I put the whole ear straight from the field to the freezer in gallon size ziplock bags (after checking for bugs). Then when I want corn on the cob, I put it on frozen on the rack in the over and cook for 30-45 mins depending on what temperature my oven is set for whatever else I am baking. It is so easy and tastes like fresh steamed corn.

  6. blankHelen says

    Have you ever cut it off the cob put it in bake pan with butter and baked it for about 10 to 15 minutes at 250 temp cool and freeze it.

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