There is nothing like fresh corn on the cob. Where we live there is an abundance of fresh corn during the summer, and it can be purchased very inexpensively. This year I decided to try to freeze some for us to enjoy this winter. It is very easy to do and doesn't take too much time after you shuck the corn.
I went to a local farmer's market and was able to get six dozen ears of corn. They had boxes of corn where you could buy two dozen and get one dozen free. So I paid a little over $10 for all that corn. Not a bad deal!
To have the best luck with freezing your corn on the cob, it should be the sweetest corn you can find, and you should freeze it as soon after it has been picked as possible. That means growing the corn in your garden or getting it from a local farmer's market, not from the grocery store. Keep the corn refrigerated until you are ready to prepare it for the freezer.
Shucking the Corn
The first step is to shuck all the corn. For this step you might want to get the whole family involved. Shucking means to peel back all the corn husks and remove as much of the remaining strands of silk as possible. If you want smaller ears of corn you can also break the cobs in half.
At this point some people put their corn on the cob directly in the freezer. Many people recommend it and say they have had no loss of flavor or texture. However, experts recommend blanching the corn first before freezing. Corn has enzymes in it that will cause the corn to lose its texture, color, and flavor while it is frozen. Blanching it first stops this process and preserves the quality of your fresh corn. It is safe to freeze corn without blanching it first, but if you are storing for a long period of time, the blanching will produce a better result.
Blanching the Corn
To blanch the corn, fill a large pot about 3/4 full with water and bring it to a boil. I used my canning pot. In this size pot you should be able to blanch 12 or more ears of corn, depending on the size of the corn. Place the shucked corn into the boiling water and boil it for 7 minutes. Large ears of corn should be blanched for 10 minutes.
After blanching, the corn needs to be placed in ice water for the same amount of time it was in the boiling water. You can do this in your sink. I used a small ice chest. The water needs to be very cold. Add ice to the water, and continue adding ice as the ice melts. The hot corn will melt the ice quickly.
Preparing the Corn for the Freezer
Drain the cold water off of the corn. There are several ways you can prepare the corn cobs for the freezer. Some people just place them in freezer bags and put them in the freezer. If you are going to use this method, to avoid freezer burn you should wrap each cob in plastic wrap first and then place the cobs into a freezer bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible. Some people use a drinking straw inserted into one corner of the top of the bag to suck out the extra air. I chose a seal-a-meal type vacuum sealer to prepare my corn for the freezer. This method removes the most air and really protects against freezer burn. You can also place these bags directly into the microwave or boiling water when you are ready to prepare the corn to eat.
When you are ready to eat the corn, you shouldn't cook it as long as you would fresh corn, because it is already partially cooked. Place the frozen corn in boiling water for three or four minutes or a couple of minutes in the microwave and it is ready to eat!
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, gardening, organizing tips, home decorating, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.
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