How to Freeze Sweet Corn

The following is a guest post by Tiffany of Eat at Home. Welcome, Tiffany!

One of the best tastes of summer is sweet corn.  It’s right up there with garden-fresh tomatoes and sweet tea.  Luckily, it’s easy to preserve summer flavor by freezing corn.  There’s nothing like pulling a bag of corn from the freezer and serving your family the tastes of July and August in the middle of winter.

When buying corn, look for freshly picked ears.  The husks should be green and not dried out.  Peel back the husks and take a look at the kernels.  They should be plump, but not too full.

Getting started – Tools and Utensils You’ll Need

  • Freshly scrubbed sink
  • Large pot to boil the corn
  • Vegetable scrubber for removing silks

  • Tongs
  • A clean place for the cobs to drain, such as a scrubbed dish drainer or clean kitchen towels.
  • Something to cut the kernels off the cob – I like to use a corn cutter like you see in the photo, along with a clean board with a nail driven through it to hold the cob.  You can also use a sharp knife or electric knife.
  • Plastic zip top freezer bags

Steps to Freezing Corn

1. Husk the corn.

This is best done outside to avoid getting silks all over your kitchen.  Gather extra help for this step.  Younger kids like husking corn and older kids should all experience the joy of finding the occasional worm.

I like telling my teens about how corn huskings were important social events in the olden days.  It makes them more appreciative of movies and Facebook.

2. Scrub the ears in cool water.

Use a vegetable scrubber to remove the silks.  If there are any bad spots, cut them out with a knife.

3. Boil the ears.

Place the ears in a pot filled with boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes.  You will need to do this in batches.

4. Cool the ears to stop the cooking process.

Fill a freshly scrubbed sink with cool water.  Use tongs to move the corn from the boiling water to the cool water bath.

5. Drain.

Remove the cobs from the sink and allow to drain in a scrubbed dish drainer or on clean towels on the counter.

6. Cut the kernels from the cob.

Use a sharp knife, electric knife or corn cutter gadget to remove the kernels.

7. Fill zip top freezer bags.

I froze mine in 2 cup quantities.  For my family of 6, I’ll need two of these bags to make a side dish.

8. Freeze.

Lay the bags flat in the freezer.  This makes them easier to store and quicker to thaw.

I put up 2 dozen ears of corn and it yielded 8 2-cup bags for the freezer.

What is your corn experience? Have you ever grown it , de-tassled it, picked it, or put it up in the freezer?

About Tiffany

Tiffany King shares easy family recipes on her site, Eat at Home – Everyday Food for Busy People. She has a husband and 4 children, who she occasionally forces to shuck corn.

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Comments

  1. I think I’m going to need to buy a bigger freezer with all of the great freezing tips I’m seeing here lately :)

  2. We grow and freeze our own sweet corn each year, and this is how we do it as well. Two additional things:

    If you’re using an electric knife to cut the corn off of the cob, try putting the ears in a bundt pan or angel food cake pan while you cut. It holds the cob in place, and collects the corn as it drops.

    Also, if you are going from freezer to pan, you might not want to freeze the corn flat. I’ve had trouble getting it out of the bag that way. But if you are on top of things and think early enough to thaw your corn before 8 minutes til dinner, this shouldn’t be a problem. Ha!!

    Happy eatings!

  3. I just learned how to do this last week! We live in a rural community. A farmer stopped by with a generous gift of corn. My family of three could not possibly eat it all before it would go bad so I looked up how to freeze it. Now I eagerly await a farmer’s unexpected gift!

  4. Trudy Garvey says:

    I had always heard taht you had to do it this way but then I read somewhere that corn does not have to be boiled before cutting off the cob to freeze so I tried it last year. (anything to save myself time during a busy harvesting/canning season) I am happy to report that it worked great for me!!! When I want to use the corn I thaw it, add a little water to it then boil and drain for a nice side dish. Or I just throw the thawed corn in whatever soup or stew I am making.
    Trudy Garvey’s last post: Week 7- July 23- 2010 – Happy Vacation Time!

  5. Thanks for the idea of freezing corn now for later enjoyment. I was thinking about canning veggies this season, but I hadn’t thought about using the freezer.

    How I prepare my corn? I put my unhusked corn ears in the microwave to steam for a couple of minutes. I let them cool a bit until I can handle them. Then I can easily shuck and pull the silks off without scrubbing (the steam inside the husk separates the silks from the kernels).
    gloria of Veghead etc.’s last post: Tomato mom

  6. I’ve recently converted to enjoying fresh sweet corn instead of the frozen boxed variety. Can anyone suggest re-heating methods once it’s cooked and frozen? Or should I just freeze it uncooked like Trudy suggested?

    • Jenn, it can be cooked similarly to regular frozen corn you buy in the stores. I add corn to a small pot with about 1/2 inch of water, cover it and steam for a few minutes.

      This corn is also amazing for adding to chili, quesedillas, soups, or cornbread. Just add it frozen!

  7. Such a wonderful idea!!! The corn is really cheap right now so it only makes sense to stock up and freeze some!! Thanks for the tips Tiffany!
    Chels R.’s last post: Jillian Michaels homemade healthy fudge brownies

  8. Vitek Marie says:

    So much not needed trouble. For years I have grown & purchased fresh corn, left on the husks, cut just the bottom stem off….dipped in water and wrapped tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Freeze. Then when you want an ear of corn…set the microwave at 9 minutes….take it out….peel with a cloth (it’s hot)….and it’s just as fresh tasting as can be.

    • That is great that you have found a method that works for you, Vitek. I, for one, would not have the freezer space to accommodate whole corn cobs. There’s just too much other great produce all jostling for space in there!

  9. Don’t forget to scrape off the little nibs left on the cob after you cut off the corn. It is the best–sweet and delicious.

  10. We have barbecued corn (placing husked corn directly on the grill) and then cut the niblets off and frozen them that way. The smoky flavour is great when added to black bean soup in the dead of winter.
    Elizabeth’s last post: raiding the icebox to make mjdarra MLLA 26

  11. We put up corn every year on our farm that we raise in our own fields. Since we always put up a large amount, we cut the corn off the cob after washing it before cooking. This saves a great amount of space in the pots for cooking. Then, we cook the corn for 3 minutes before running it through a strainer (saving the hot water in a bowl to pour back into the pot for the next batch) and quickly pour the cooked corn into a bowl with cold water. We change the water a couple of times in order to cool it down quickly and remove any extra silks and such from it before straining it to put into bags. This year we ended up with 65 pint-an excellent harvest for our family of 5!

    • Susan, thanks for sharing your process. I wondered about cutting it off the cob first. It seems like it might be more efficient. Instead of heating water for entire ears of corn, you just need enough for the kernels. I like it!

      Sounds like an excellent harvest indeed!

  12. This would make my son, the corn hound, so happy! Thanks for the great tips. And the comment about teens made me laugh – gotta share that one!
    Lynn’s last post: Pickles- Extra Garlic- Please

  13. I break the cobs in half and blanch them and then freeze a few meals worth on the cob. I also freeze corn in bags but my family loves corn on the cob so this will be a nice treat in the winter.

  14. Corn seems to be one of the few “winner” foods for both my little guys, so it would be great to take advantage of the summer prices and stock up for winter – we LOVE the sweet white corn.
    Alissa’s last post: Lagging

  15. Hey! We grow a little over hundred acres of sweet corn and use it as an entree’ in many of our meals in our winery/farm market throughout the year. One thing you may want to consider is baking the corn instead of boiling it if you need to do large quantities. You can really cycle corn through an oven vs. boiling water. Plus you lock in a lot more of the flavor. We prefer Sh2′s (Super Sweets), link on our Face Book page explains the differenc.

    The oven/corn roaster works better than a grill because you do not have as many air exchanges and it heats more evenly thus does not require turning the corn. When you husk it the silks just fall off too. You need to hold it with an oven mit but it is very doable. We also have a large roaster ( one of those units U C at fairs ) we pull behind a truck for festivals, it works on the same principle.

    Preheat oven to about 350 f, (oven vary some) put corn right on rack, (husk and all), you can trim silks if you like to avoid burn smell in house. Bake 4 about 40-45 min. remove and husk then process like any other way.

    This is how we prepare all our corn, even for dinner’s and to sell ready to eat.

    Enjoy!

    • Stephanie says:

      Then you can freeze it after this method? Also, can you cook more than 4 at a time in the oven? I’m wanting to load the oven up and make it easy :). Thanks!

  16. This will be my first year freezing corn and I’m really looking forward to it. Your instructions are easy to follow and the photos are great. Thanks for the inspiration :)
    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom’s last post: Recipe- Curried Tomatoe Bouillabaisse

  17. Whoa, just read the comment above on preparing the corn in the oven with the husks on first. Cool! I wonder if you can just fill your oven with the husks? Do you have to cool them in an ice bath after?
    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom’s last post: Recipe- Curried Tomatoe Bouillabaisse

  18. I just finished freezing 20 dozen ears of corn. Yes, you heard me right….it was 2o dozen. Am I a glutten for punishment or what? I used to blanch the ears of corn and then cool it, etc… like most people but a few years ago I found a new way that is sooooooooo much easier.
    1. Shuck the corn and remove silkies. Then cut off the cob.
    2. Bring to a boil 1 cup water, 1 stick butter, 1tsp salt and 1Tbl sugar. Add 8 cups of corn. Bring back to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Put desired amount for a meal in your freezer bag and freeze.
    I put the bottom of my freezer bag in a sink of cold water and ice so that the heat from the corn doesn’t break the bag. Even though this has the added ingredients of sugar and butter, I still add it to my Chicken Taco Soup and Vege Soup without any problems just a little sweeter tasting soup. I love not having to cool down the corn on the cob which takes so long.

  19. Jo Ann McCord says:

    I cut the kernels off before cooking. Why waste all that space in your pan boiling the cobs? I add a little water and cook just long enough for kernels to swell and start to break open. Then I plunge the cooking pot into a sinkful of ice water to cool as rapidly as possible, then into pint or quart containers and into the freezer. I add nothing else, that can be done when re-heating to serve.

  20. Jan Bobier says:

    another method my sister found years ago. 4 doz ears to 1pint half and half. you also need 1 pd butter. cut corn off cobs. put in roaster with lid. add butter and half and half. mix well and bake @300 for 1 hour. gives a nice sweet taste and is delicious in winter. cool and bag to freeze.

  21. The BESTEST sweet corn recipe that we have used for years is:
    15 c. raw corn
    5 cups of ice
    1/8 c. of salt
    1/2 c. sugar
    Mix everything in a big bowl-wait for the ice to melt-put in freezer bags-when you are ready to eat the corn, thaw and heat in microwave on high for 10 minutes. It saves alot of time and you don’t need to heat up your kitchen in the summer. But the best part is it tastes soooooo yummy!
    Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Like another poster, I put my cut corn kernels onto a cookie sheet and freeze them for an hour before transferring them to a ziploc bag. That way I don’t end up with a block of corn!

  23. I like to freeze corn like I would berries. After it’s cut off the cob I lay it on a sheet pan and stick it in the freezer once they are sufficiently frozen I toss it all into a ziplock!

  24. I tried growing our own corn this year. Total bust!
    However, we’ve got a local grower that I may pick some up from to freeze after reading this. How do you all prevent freezer burn? I found that so many of my frozen treats from last year’s harvest succumbed to freezer burn.

  25. I also found out that when you are boiling the water for the corn Put some sugar in the water it will bring out the sweetness in the corn. Yum! Yum! Enjoy. Thanks, Jack Wright

  26. Hi there! I was wondering if anyone has frozen fresh corn off of the cob without blanching in vacuum sealed bags (like FoodSaver) with some butter so that when you want to have it as a side dish, you can just take it out and throw the whole vacuum sealed bag with the corn kernels and butter inside into boiling water to cook for a few minutes? Or would it be better for me to go ahead and blanch it and then put it in bag with butter and vacuum seal it? This vacuum sealing is new to me, but I love that it doesn’t get ice in the bags or freezer burned.

  27. I ended up cooking mine in the oven. Here’s how I did it. Thanks! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.483167781759938.1073741826.195907937152592&type=3

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