When you grow your own corn, you may find yourself with a lot more than you can eat quickly. This is unfortunate because as soon as you pick corn, the sugar in it begins converting into starch. In this article, we describe the best ways to refrigerate or freeze corn on the cob to enjoy the freshest corn possible, year round. Read on to learn more on how to store fresh corn on cob.
What You'll Learn Today
What’s The Best Way To Store Corn On The Cob?
Should corn on the cob be refrigerated? Refrigeration is a good option, but it just slows down the conversion of sugar to starch. It won’t stop it. Fresh corn stored in the refrigerator should be edible for up to ten days, but for best flavor, you should eat it within a couple of days of refrigerating it.
If you want to enjoy sweet corn at its sweetest, it’s important to use it or freeze it as soon as you pick it.
The worst way to store corn on the cob is out on the counter or in an attractive farm basket. When kept at room temperature, corn will lose about half its sugar within a few hours. Here’s a guide how to tell that corn has gone bad.
Follow these instructions to preserve freshness and flavor in corn on the cob.
Refrigerator – Corn In The Husk
If you just have a few ears of corn to store, and you plan to eat them within a couple of days, be sure to pop them in the fridge (with husks on) until you are ready to boil them up. Put them in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
How long does corn on the cob last in the fridge? I depends but usually not more than 2-3 days.
Freezer – Husked Corn
If you have a lot of corn on the cob to store, you’ll want to freeze it. In a freezer that is kept below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, corn can stay fresh for a year. If your freezer is kept below zero, corn can stay fresh indefinitely.
How To Freeze Corn Three Ways: Blanched, Unblanched And Whole
How do you freeze corn on the cob? There are a couple of ways to do this successfully. It’s not as simple as just tossing it in the freezer. To preserve the flavor of the corn, you should blanch it first.
To do this, you’ll husk the corn and remove as much of the silk as you can. Trim the ears to remove damaged ends and to attain a uniform size for ease of packaging and positioning in the freezer.
Once your corn is prepared, you’ll plunge it into a pot of boiling water for about 7-11 minutes depending on the size of the ears:
- Small ears – 7 minutes
- Medium ears – 9 minutes
- Large ears – 11 minutes
Remove it from the boiling water and place the corn in a cold (icy) water bath for four minutes. Allow excess water to drain off. Package the corn tightly in freezer safe plastic wrap before freezing.
Put the wrapped ears of corn in freezer bags. Label the bags with the date. For best results, eat the corn within ten months of blanching and freezing.
Do you have to husk corn before freezing? The downside of this method is that the husks make the entire package of corn considerably larger so that it takes up more room in your freezer.
Additionally, when you remove the corn from the freezer, you’ll need to allow it to thaw so that you can remove the husks.
How To Store Fresh Corn
Freezer – Husk On
- Cut about an inch off both ends of each ear of corn.
- Remove the first layer of husks.
- Put the ears of corn into large freezer bags.
- Press out excess air and seal the bags.
- Place bags in the freezer.
When you are ready to use the corn, you’ll need to let it thaw a bit so that you can remove the husks, unless you plan to bury it in coals and roast it. In that case, you can just leave the husks on for cooking and remove them when you eat the corn.
With this method, it’s best to use the corn within a couple of months. Since you don’t blanch it or wrap it, it can lose flavor and texture if frozen for an extended period of time.
If you find your corn is mushy when you take it out of the freezer, you don’t have to throw it away. You can still use the kernels in soups, chowders and other dishes. Remember to toss the cobs and husks into your compost bin.
How To Freeze Corn On The Cob The Easy Way
Why Is Freezing Better Than Canning?
Freezing is a natural means of food preservation that allows you to keep fresh veggies closer to their natural state. Frozen veggies taste a lot more like fresh veggies than canned ones do, and you really can’t can whole ears of corn!
Freezing is a lot easier than canning, too. Canning is a hot, lengthy, arduous task that requires a lot of special equipment and care. You can hurt yourself pretty badly when canning. None of this is true of freezing!
Preserve Corn Safely!
Remember that safe food handling methods apply to all types of food, not just meat and dairy. Be sure that all of your work surfaces, tools and your hands are absolutely clean throughout your process.
Make sure that your refrigerator and/or freezer are cold enough to preserve your corn on the cob efficiently and correctly. Your refrigerator should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Your freezer should be at ZERO degrees Fahrenheit.
Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator rather than leaving them out at room temperature. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria in food being thawed.
When kept in the refrigerator, corn should be used up within a couple of days. When kept in the freezer, at ZERO degrees, it can be safely stored for ten months. For more advice on corn, read our latest article about corn germination.