Let me tell you that freezing corn is not my favorite thing to do, especially when it comes to discovering wildlife between the kernels (and this does happen). However, I like the taste of homemade frozen corn better, not to mention that it’s a lot more economical if you are going to grow it anyway. In any case, we don’t use it very much – mainly as a side for smothered chicken and an ingredient in chili and tamale pie.
Frozen corn will keep in your deep freezer for up to three years, believe it or not. 12 ears of corn, once cut from the cob, will yield approximately 4 full quart bags.
Here are the instructions:
- I like to freeze corn that is more mature than you would want for eating as it is better suited for cutting off the cobs, and because it tastes and keeps better this way overall. And it develops that lovely yellow color once you blanch it.
- Shuck your corn (remove the husks).
- Examine each cob and cut off wormy tops if necessary.
- It is important that you process your corn the same day you pick it because the sugars in picked corn convert into starch really quickly, turning it mealy and causing it to lose some of its sweetness. If you absolutely must wait till the next day to process, add a little milk and sugar to the boiling water before adding the corn, which helps it to regain some of its sweet and supple quality.
- Corn needs to be blanched in boiling water for about 6 minutes before freezing – this is done to stop the activity of the enzymes that would otherwise cause the sugars in the corn to convert into starch, rendering it unpalatable after thawing.
- Use a big pot and do not crowd the corn (process about 3 ears at a time in approximately two gallons of water). Set your timer as soon as you add the corn, without waiting for the water to come back to a boil.
- Remove from the pot with a pair of tongs and allow to cool.
- Lay each ear flat on a cutting board and use a long, shape knife (such as chef’s) to cut the kernels off the cob, being careful not to cut too close (if your knife is meeting a lot of resistance, you are cutting too deep). Some people stand the ears of corn up on the counter or in a bundt cake pan and cut vertically, but this horizontal approach goes faster and results in less mess. You will end up with long slices like in the photo above. The kernels will separate on their own when you use them for cooking later in the winter.
- Pack into Ziploc bags made specifically for freezing (check the box before you buy it) – I like to freeze mine in quart bags.
- Use a sharpie to mark the year on each package.
- Stick the bags in the freezer.
- If you need to thaw your corn in a hurry, just cut the bag open and dump a block of frozen corn into a bowl of hot water – the corn should thaw within an hour. Drain, and use in accordance with the recipe.
- If you plan to serve your corn as a side dish, cover it with water and bring to a boil to heat it through. Drain and serve.