I wanted to share with you some of the results of the corn freezing methods that I tried last summer. Some came out fantastic and some came out inedible. I don't know if you have experienced the same problems as I, but here's the run-down.
1. Blanch and freeze off the cob: The first trial consisted of shucking the fresh corn, rinsing, blanching the corn on the cob in boiling water for 4 minutes and then placing into an ice bath for 5 minutes. I cut the kernels off the corn and put them into Ziploc freezer bags, sucking the air out with a straw, and then freezing. To reheat, I place the kernels in a microwave safe covered bowl and heat until hot.
Result: Good - a little better than premium organic frozen corn, but much cheaper and worth the effort.
Verdict: Would definitely do this again and would feel comfortable doing large quantities.
2. Grill and freeze off the cob: In the second trial, I decided to grill the corn instead of the hot water blanching, mostly because I was already grilling corn for dinner and just did the whole dozen ears while I was at it. I shucked the corn cobs, rinsed them, brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and grilled them as long as I normally do to ensure that the kernels were nicely caramelized. Once they were cool enough to handle, I cut the kernels off the cob, put them into Ziploc freezer bags, sucked the air out of the bags and then froze them. To reheat, I place the kernels in a microwave safe covered bowl and heat until hot.
Result: Fantastic - this is, by far, my most favorite method.
Verdict: Unless the grill is out of propane or it's a monsoon and raining like crazy, I will forever process my corn this way. The flavor, even after freezing, tastes just like right off the grill.
3. Blanch and freeze on the cob: Similar to method number one, I shuck the corn, rinse, boil in hot water for 4 minutes and dip into an ice bath for 5 minutes. I put the corn cobs into Ziploc freezer bags, sucking the air out with a straw, and then freeze. To reheat, I place the frozen cobs into boiling water and boil until tender.
Result: Terrible - this corn had such an odd, water-logged flavor to them that it was bordering on inedible. In fact, we ended up composting most of what I made.
Verdict: Unless I find out what I did that went so terribly awry, I won't be bothering with this method again. I really did it because I needed to process the corn in a hurry and was too lazy to cut the kernels off the cob. In the end, I would have saved more time and expense if I had just done method number one.
So, now I know what kind of corn preservation method I will be employing next summer. I love eating corn off season (without having it shipped in from who knows where) and plan on processing a ton next summer.
What's your favorite method of preserving corn?