How Do You Store Fresh Corn On The Cob?

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’s The Best Way To Store Corn On The Cob?

best way to store corn on the bob

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

  1. Cut about an inch off both ends of each ear of corn.
  2. Remove the first layer of husks.
  3. Put the ears of corn into large freezer bags.
  4. Press out excess air and seal the bags.
  5. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

how to store fresh corn on cob Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to store corn on the cob still in the husk?

Corn in the husk has its own handy packaging and can be stored in the fridge loose. In fact, putting unshucked corn in a plastic bag for storage will encourage mold growth.

What’s the best way to store corn on the cob without the husk?

Wrap each individual cob in a paper towel and place the cobs in a plastic bag to store in your hydrator drawer (or lower shelf in the fridge) for up to two days.

What’s the best way to store corn on the cob without refrigeration?

You can store corn on the cob unrefrigerated for a limited period of time by placing corn (with husks) inside a damp cloth or paper bag (or towel). Soak the bag or towel in cool water, wring it out and then place or wrap the corn inside. This is a good way to keep corn cool for a day or so as you make your way to a campsite or barbecue spot.

How can you keep corn on the cob for longer than three days?

Corn that still has its husks can be wrapped lightly in paper, paper towels or cotton gauze and then placed loosely into a plastic grocery bag. Tie the top loops of the bag together lightly so that air can still circulate a bit. Place the bag in a hydrator drawer or the bottom shelf of your fridge. Turn the bag every day so that the ears shift a bit and don’t put constant pressure on each other. This will also help prevent mold growth. If all goes well, your corn should be good for five days or so.

How can you keep corn on the cob for longer than three days?

Freezing and canning are both great ways to keep corn fresh and ready to use for months. Freezing is very easy, and frozen corn tastes more like fresh corn than does canned corn. This is a good way to preserve your excess garden produce for one winter, but frozen corn should be used up within 3 months for the best flavor and texture. If you have a lot of extra corn, or you want to preserve it for more than just a few months, home canning is a better alternative. Although home canned corn doesn’t quite retain the taste of the garden, it is a good bit better than store-bought canned corn because it is actually preserved in glass jars, not metal.

For more advice on corn, read our latest article about corn germination.

4 thoughts on “How Do You Store Fresh Corn On The Cob?”

  1. Hello everyone, I’m Keith. Brace yourselves:
    I’ve been freezing corn for as long as I can remember. I grow all my own vegetables in my garden at home, life is sweet.
    When I harvest corn, within 10 minutes of it being snapped from the plant… it’s in the freezer. Long cobs are best snapped in half to utilize freezer space better, this is why I’ve made up timber compartments inside my chest freezer to better utilize space… but that’s another story for another day.
    Corn will stay frozen indefinitely. When I choose to eat corn with my meal, I’ll take it directly from the freezer to the hot pan under the lid with the meat for the meal. By the time the meat is done… the corn is done also.
    Blanching? How would the indians have done that? They were innovative, absolutely… but they didn’t have access to processes that need electricity. Did they? At least not before electricity was invented they didn’t.
    In a nutshell… freeze your corn as soon as you get it off the plant and leave it frozen for as long as you want. I’ve eaten corn that’s been frozen for well over a year and I can honestly say that I’ve never got sick from my own cooking.

    • where did the native north americans get the freezer bags? and freezers ? I have a large corn crop this year and am searching for the methods used pre 1900 by everyone natives especially , but I do not want to start making pemmican . I have been off grid for 30 yrs , and have a couple large propane fridges but that won’t be enough.

      • Without refrigeration, you will need to turn to some other method of preserving your corn crop. Native Americans dried their corn and then stored it in underground pits that had been lined with grass. This method helps prevent spoiling and mildew and can keep corn usable for a couple of years.

        Other food preservation methods include canning and/or cold storage in a basement or root cellar.


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