Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Putting up corn

CornMy son and I bought a bunch of corn on Friday that had been picked from the farm that morning. I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to try to freeze corn for the winter while it was at the peak of season. It seemed the easiest and fastest method of preserving the corn kernels and I had read an article in Grit about doing it.

So, Saturday I started with blanching the ears in boiling water for 5 minutes followed by 5 minutes in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. I then cut the kernels off the corn and froze them in 2 cup quantities in Ziploc freezer bags, removing as much air as I could with a straw. I couldn't get over how amazing fresh picked corn tasted and I wished I had bought way more than I did.

Even though the corn from the farm was more expensive than what I've seen in the grocery store, the fact that it was fresh justifies the cost and, when you compare it to frozen corn from someone like Cascadian Farms or other local suppliers, it's a steal.

I must admit, we already busted into one bag last night. I hope to run across more before it's too late. Does anyone in the Seattle area know which of the farmer's markets carry fresh picked corn?


Anonymous said...


Is there any way you can do this without using evil ziplock bags that break after not very long and then are treated as disposable? Would this work with other containers?

Anonymous said...

David --

My mother used to freeze corn in tupperware containers ... she packed the kernels in pretty tightly and added enough liquid to chase out the air. My wife and I have done the same thing but added a buttery water broth to chase out the air. That way you can just heat the good stuff up and serve it.

Hank Will
Editor, GRIT Magazine

--KC said...

Dear Crunchy--

I agree -- once you try fresh sweet corn, there's just no going back. The season for fresh has come to an end, at least here in our neck of the woods (eastern Kansas), and I had completely intended to put some by this year. Life keeps getting away from me.

If you do add broth or water and freeze in plastic Tupperware-y containers, be sure to leave plenty of space for the liquid to expand or you'll pop your cork!

I think you also ought to be able to freeze in stackable pyrex glass dishes, which would be even more sustainable a choice than Tupperware.

Good luck and happy sweet corn!

K.C. Compton
GRIT magazine, too

Chile said...

I've also frozen corn on the cob without blanching it. Just husk and remove the silk. Our last batch of corn from the CSA was not the sweet corn. I don't think this would work in humid Seattle, but here in the dry desert, I was able to air-dry it.

I used an old pair of hose and separated each (raw) ear with a knot. This hung in the garage for about a month and yesterday I knocked the dry kernels off the cobs. This can now be cooked with lime to make hominy.

For a few ears, I roasted them first and then dried them. These dry kernels are known as "chicos" and can be added to stews to rehydrate. They weren't bad dry either.

Ananda Devika said...

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that uses the "straw method" of removing air! :)

My mom always bought freezer tubs for our corn and other veggies. They were still plastic but reusable and not as expensive as tubberware.

Christy said...

I froze a bunch of corn about a month ago, we haven't had corn in our area for about that long. I wish I had frozen more but my freezer is totally full.

emily said...

Wait, why do you have to remove air? Is it because humidity could cause freezer burn? I bought a lot of orange roma tomatoes at the farmer's market a couple weeks ago and froze them (unwashed, so they'd be dry on the outside) in a plastic bag with as much air "pushed" out as possible. Hmm, was that an "oops"?

Eva said...

I think you may be too late to find corn at local farmers markets???? I went to the West Seattle market last Sun, but don't remember seeing any corn. I could be wrong too. Maybe there is a way of obtaining a list of vendors and you could call them.

Well, I realize this isn't much help. =) Good luck finding some fresh corn. How'd the corn from you garden do? Were you able to harvest any?

Unknown said...

I would think the U district would have fresh picked corn. I haven't been recently though (since I work Sat), but it is open year round now...

Anonymous said...

In the dark ages, before there was widespread use of plastic, my family froze produce in glass jars (not to mention canning in the same kind of jar). I still do and it works great! One of the canning jar makers, Ball?, used to make screw on plastic lids (yes I know, plastic again), and they were wonderful for this kind of thing, and reusable. I haven't seen them for years, unfortunately.

Chile said...

Here you go, TinTex. Ace Home Goods has them. Out of stock online, but check locally. I just saw them last week at an Ace store that has a huge housewares section - half the store! - that makes me want to buy way more stuff than I need.