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!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Freezing corn: preservation methods compared

Thumbs downI 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?


Anonymous said...

I would love to try this, but can't where I live. I was told that the HOA has to approve any plants I put outside. I was led to belive something small would be okay, an herb garden maybe. They would never go for corn.

Although now that I think about it the chickens would get my herbs. They run wild on this island, and I don't want to have to grow my plants inside.

Anonymous said...

We've tried on the cob, off the cob and grilling. Our results were like yours. We buy a massive amounts from a local family who farms. We grow all the rest of our veggies ourself. Corn we just haven't had great luck in growing. My DD and I both love the grilling method DH likes the the blanched off the cob.

knittinandnoodlin said...

My mom just cuts the corn off the cob and freezes it - no blanching at all!! - and then seals it with her fancypants vacuum sealer. (I was really surprised about the no-blanching thing, but she said corn doesn't need it.) It is the one thing we all look forward to the most at the holidays, and the corn is always the first thing to disappear.

There is nothing like Jersey corn. I'm ready for corn season!

Ashley // Our Little Apartment said...

I either blanch and cut it off the cob, or I just cut it off the cob!

If it is really ripe corn, it honestly doesn't need blanching.

Deb G said...

I did some by blanching, cutting off the cob and then freezing. I'm happy.

I also dried some. I like to toss a handful in soup occasionally. I like it this way too.

hmd said...

This is great to know ahead of time. I had planned to put up corn last year and it only appeared at our farmers market for 2 weeks. Should have stocked up. I know now though. Have you tried canning it before? I might try that too.

Anonymous said...

I've frozen corn several different ways and the on the cob thing has never been fit to eat. I've tried just pulling the shucks back, silking it, pulling the shucks back up and rubberbanding the ends and then sticking it in the freezer bags. I wasn't happy at all with the results but a lady I work with loves it that may depend upon the variety of the corn, I'm not sure. My most consistent way has been to cut it off the cob, stick it in a large ban with a stick of butter (about 8 c. corn to 1 stick), let it get good & hot until butter is fully melted and little bubbles appear around the pan edge (stir quite often so it doesn't stick), then take off heat and let cool to room temp. At that point freeze in ziplock freezer bags...if you lay them flat on a cookie sheet until frozen they actually stack fairly well. To serve just thaw & reheat.


Judy T said...

I have always done the blanch and freeze method. But I love grilled corn so I'm definitely going to have to try the grill and freeze method next year, if I can keep the children out of the grilled corn long enough for it to cool

Farmer's Daughter said...

I do method #1. I've never thought of trying #2, but now I've got to try it. I like to freeze it in small quantities and put it in soups, stews, pot pies, etc. I've got detailed instructions for method #1 with pictures here:

Carrie and Justin said...

We've always pulled the husks back, cleaned the cobs free of silk, added a pad or two of butter, & sprinkled with herbs, then pulled the husks back up and either tied with string or wrapped with aluminum foil. We either immediately toss onto the grill or toss into the deep freezer (wrapped in foil).
To cook, just toss back onto the grill or even directly into the oven (on the racks). Even if it has been frozen for months, it tastes just as fresh as the day it was picked!

Sharlene said...

I am going to have to try the grill and freeze technique. It sounds scrumptious.

Anonymous said...

Hey Crunchy!
I have tried number 1 and number 3, and I agree... freezing on the cob leaves a tad bit of an undesirable result. My family loves corn on the cob and I thought it would certainly be the "way to go" but uh-not so.
This year, your grilled method sounds like an absolute HIT!! I MUST try it!
Thanks so much for sharing this!

Robj98168 said...

Number three works for me- the only difference I do is dry the corn after the chilling process with a towel

Robj98168 said...

OH yeah- I gon't blanch for 6 minutes- the pot is boiling i just stick in the corn for about a minute and then into the cold water- maybe that makes a difference!

Christy said...

I freeze it off the cob but don't bother with blanching. I don't blanch brocolli before freezing it either. I'm lazy and we eat all our veggies in stir fries, so the quick, hot heat cooks them fine without prior blanching.

outdoorgriller said...

That sounds like alot of work but I love grilled corn.If you want more recipes or if you want to take a look at the collection of tips I have for grilling you can visit

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

I tried out method #1 myself this year (right down to sucking the air out w/ a straw) and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I just added some of the frozen corn to the chicken chili I made tonight. :) I recently got a "food saver" off freecycle, but have yet to try that out (but it might be nice to not have to suck the air out manually anymore). ;)

MKD said...

I had the same problem with blanching and freezing the corn on the cob.
It turned out terrible and tasted like gum or something. Yuck.

Will be watching to see if you come up with a better idea or if your readers have better tips!

Marimoy said...

*sniff* all the corn here is shipped from who knows where. No fair.

Anonymous said...

My favorite way to freeze corn is to cut down the center of each corn kernal row, so you break open each kernal. Then cut them off of the cob. Freeze without blanching. It is a delicous creamy corn. My inlaws taught me how to do it, and with fresh corn it is really delicous.
Caron in MA

Sweetpeas said...

My grandmother shucks corn, wraps it in plastic wrap & freezes (on the cob, no blanching). Then just unwrap & boil like normal (but probably for a little longer since it's frozen, boiling corn has never been an exact science for me). I'm not a fan of corn on the cob unless it's grilled, so I don't love it, but my kids gobble it up (& think peeling the plastic wrap is fun too) and I don't notice much difference between it & non-frozen boiled corn. And it's certainly the easiest method :)

Chile said...

I used to shuck and freeze it raw on the cob. Came out fine.

A couple summers ago, I dried a lot of corn. Raw dried corn can be used to make hominy which can be eaten as is or then ground up for masa dough to make tortillas and tamales. Grilled corn that is then dried (on the cob here in the arid SW) can just be tossed into a soup that is going to cook for hours (and hours). The taste is good but it takes forever to cook to tenderness. LOL

Advantage of drying corn here is it's free. I air-dried it during the summer in the garage (no car). It takes little space (and no energy) to store. If I remember, I can cook it up in the solar oven - again, using no energy.

Jennifer said...

I'm lazy so I just cut it off the cob raw and froze it on cookie sheets, then double bagged it. It worked great and tasted better than store-bought. It also didn't suffer from freezer burn. I remember trying to find ways to use it up before corn season hit again.

Just be sure to cover the cookie sheets with something before you put the corn on or you'll have a tough time getting it off!

Anonymous said...

I have used Sweetpeas grandmother's method, that is shucking the corn, leaving it raw on the cob. I wrap the ears with waxed paper and put several in a freezer bag (which I re-use). We have had good results, though I always make sure that we use the corn within about three to four months

Anisa said...

We also freeze without blanching, both on the cob and off. Will have to try your grilling method - sounds yummy. To reheat ours we drop frozen cobs in boiling water then, eat or stick on the grill.

Sarah P said...

I don't blanch at all! I just shuck the corn, cut the kernels off with a chef's knife, pack and freeze. The flavor is so much better than frozen corn from the store.

Your grilling method sounds flavorful and amazing, though.