I love corn. In fact during peak sweet corn season, I have been known to eat corn raw straight off the cob. But what they may or may not known is that peak corn season is actually quite short, lasting in most regions from mid June to Late August—maybe September if you’re lucky.
But if you are like me and have ever sat around in the middle of January craving a steamy bowl of warming corn chowder, one of the best-tasting and sustainable ways to make it is with frozen corn. And sure, you could use some of the stuff you can find in every freezer aisle but we often find ourselves with a few extra cobs at a cookout or even just a particularly good batch of the fresh stuff. Here is our guide to freezing that fresh corn on the cob:
Cook It Up First
Even though some fruits and veggies freeze up nicely in their raw form, corn is not one of them. We find that if raw corn is frozen then defrosted, the resulting corn will be lacking in flavor, texture, and color.
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You can cook the cobs however you like (you can even freeze grilled corn!) but we think the best way to preserve the corn's taste and structural integrity is to give it a simple blanch in salted water. All you need to do is bring a large part of water to a boil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until tender.
Lose The Cob
Though we love the tradition of slathering corn with butter and eating it right off the cob, corn on the cob typically doesn’t freeze well. When defrosted, it can be mushy and have almost a “cobby” taste. Plus, it can take up tons of unnecessary room in your fridge. If you shave the corn kernels off, you can fit 4 to 5 cobs worth of corn into a small resealable bag.
To get the kernels off, simply stand up each cob in the center of a large bowl and carefully use a sharp knife to slice off the kernels. The bowl will conveniently catch all of the falling kernels and will make for easy cleanup.
Freeze ‘Em Up
We love storing frozen corn in freezer-safe plastic bags because it saves space and can actually help to keep the kernels from sticking. Place your corn in a bag and try to level it out into one even layer. To go the extra mile you can use a straw on a mostly closed bag of corn to suck as much air out as possible.
Frozen corn should last from 8 to 12 months if stored properly in an airtight bag. That means you can enjoy corn all year round!
Justin Sullivan is the Assistant Food Editor for Delish, where he helps test, develop, and (of course) taste recipes like one-pot meals, easy desserts, and everything in between. He has worked in professional kitchens across New York, but his favorite role will always be as matzoh ball sous chef to his grandma. He loves diners and being from New Jersey, and when he’s not prepping and testing hundreds of Delish recipes, Justin travels the globe as the world’s foremost chicken finger critic.