Freezing Sweet Corn

Freezing Sweet Corn

If any of you know my husband, you know his love for sweet corn. If you don’t happen to know my husband, let me tell you… eating upwards of four cobs of corn is not anything surprising in our household. He quite literally is a sweet corn monster. So what that relates to is normally we plant two to four patches of sweet corn between our house, our farm, and our business. So at any given time in the summer, we are literally up to our ears in sweet corn! 

Now I know that there are probably a hundred different ways to freeze sweet corn. This is the way we do it and we’ve found it produces the best end result for the corn we grow. For more information regarding the sweet corn we grow, check out this post all about it!

We’ve tried to freeze our corn with a brine and we’ve found it changes the flavor. We’ve also tried to freeze corn without blanching it, we’ve found it doesn’t thaw well or keep its flavor for a year really well. According to Penn State Extension, “Research has shown that unblanched sweet corn can be held in frozen storage for up to 8 months without significant loss of flavor quality. Beyond 8 months of frozen storage, however, the blanched corn was preferred by a taste panel. So a good rule of thumb is that if the corn is to be eaten within the same year it is grown, it may not require blanching. However, for longer term frozen storage, blanching will result in a higher quality product.”

So here’s the Prairie Californian method of freezing sweet corn. First, we’ve got to go out and pick it. 

Sweet Corn - Prairie Californian-3

Sweet Corn - Prairie Californian-6Then we have to husk it. Usually we fill up an entire ranger box full of sweet corn. Husking that corn by simply grabbing it and ripping the husks off is really hard on the wrists. Last year, thanks to social media, we found a new way to de-husk our corn! 

Sweet Corn - Prairie Californian-7Sweet Corn - Prairie Californian-8Sweet Corn - Prairie Californian-10If you chop off the butt of the corn, where the cob attaches to the stalk, and then make a cut down the middle of the cob the husk literally peels right off without resistance. Seriously, try it! 

The next step requires getting the corn off the cob. Now here’s where some methods vary. Many people blanch the corn on the cob and then cut it when it is hot or cooled. This is a totally acceptable method if you’ve got the time to let the cobs of corn cool. Or if you’ve got leather hands and can cut corn off of hot cobs! 

We use an electric knife over a plastic cutting mat. The electric knife works great and saves your wrists and hands from having to put a bunch of force into cutting every single cob. Once the cutting mat is full, it works great to dump the corn into a plastic container. We use old gallon ice cream tubs with lids, they work great. 

Sweet Corn - Prairie Californian-11The last and final step I don’t have photos of. But we take a large turkey cooker and heat up water to a boil in it. Starting with one tub at a time, we dump the corn into the boiling water and let it blanch for about 30 seconds to one minute. We then use a large mesh colander to retrieve the corn and return it back to the tub. You don’t retrieve every single kernal of corn from the pot, however, this isn’t a big issue as we are cutting and packaging a lot of corn. There’s plenty to go around! 

If you have some sort of cheesecloth bags at your disposal, you can dump the corn into those for blanching too. Then you wouldn’t have to deal with wild kernals in your boiling water. 😉 

We cool the tubs in the fridge overnight and package the blanched corn in vac bags for the freezer. I put about 2 cups per package. I also take a portion of the corn and make the best creamed corn ever! You can find the recipe here

Freezing the sweet corn allows us to enjoy sweet corn from our farm year round! Especially when we can bring the spoils of summer out in the middle of a North Dakota winter! It doesn’t get any better than that!

Freezing Sweet Corn
  1. Sweet Corn (Husked or De-Husked)
  2. Chef's Knife
  3. Electric Knife
  4. Cutting Mat
  5. Turkey Cooker
  6. Mesh Colander
  7. Tubs or Tupperware
  1. If corn is not husked, husk by cutting off the butt of the cob (the portion that attaches to the stalk). Make a cut down the middle of the cob (like you were going to butterfly it). Peel the husk away from the cob.
  2. Cut the kernels off the cob using an electric knife and a cutting mat. Use the cutting mat to pour the corn kernels into clean tubs. Heat up a turkey cooker with water to a boil.
  3. Starting with one tub at a time, pour the kernels into the boiling water. Blanch for about 30 seconds to one minute. Retrieve the corn kernels with a mesh colander and return to tubs.
  4. Cool in the fridge overnight and package, about 2 cups per bag, in bags for freezer.
Prairie Californian
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  1. September 1, 2015 / 2:25 pm

    I hope I’m not the only one who doesn’t know this or I’m going to feel dumb..what is blanching? Is that just boiling the corn?
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    • September 3, 2015 / 3:45 pm

      Blanching is a cooking process where usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process.

  2. October 5, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    You and I are meeting in Kentucky one summer in my Daddy’s sweet corn patch to show you the Edwards way of putting up sweet deliciousness. Oh my lanta, we are going to have so much fun! 🙂
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  3. Catcando75
    February 21, 2017 / 12:03 am

    Have you tried the variety “How Sweet It Is”? It has been consistently voted to be the best freezing variety retaining it’s taste & being especially crisp. I blanche the whole cob & then drop into an ice water bath. I also use an electric knife initially but then use a smooth blade sharp knife to scrape the cob to get the juicy sweet bits. I freeze them in quart bags. The reason I love “How Sweet It Is” is because it’s that good after freezing. So much so that last year I was cleaning out our freezer & found a 2 y/o quart bag of it that had worked it’s way to the bottom. Initially I was so sad to see that I had a bag of white gold left to ruin, but then I thought I might as well cook it just to make sure, so glad I did! It was like eating it from the cob, still sweet & crisp! It is a truly amazing variety, just have to avoid cross-pollination. It’s the only variety this Hoosier country girl plants. My Uncle in London,KY. , who’s been planting corn for 50+ yrs. planted a large patch of seed I’d given him “Over yonder”. He won’t plant anything else now simply because of it’s freezer value. That & Kentucky Half Runner beans, nothing tastes better, yum!