I am an avid self-taught gardener (I learn as problems arise), bird watcher, and nature lover.
Corn on the cob is a family favorite, and my growing family use to enjoy it every summer. During those early years my husband and would buy a large supply of corn from a farmer and freeze it for winter meals. Even cut off the cob, the sweet kernels had a far better taste than that from a can. Do I still do it today? Yes, but I no longer freeze it in huge quantities because obviously, for only two people it would be ridiculous to freeze so much and waste the produce.
Anyway, I have tried two methods of freezing corn. One method is the blanching method and the other is without using the blanching process. I will discuss both of these methods.
Freezing Corn with the Blanching Process
Blanching has usually been my “true blue” process of freezing corn. For those unfamiliar with blanching let me give you a quick definition. Blanching is the process by which vegetables are quickly steamed or boiled then plunged into a cold water bath. It's purpose is to stop the enzyme process.
Before you begin, you should have a large pot, a sharp knife or electric knife and a pan. And since the corn is still on the cob, you might want to find something to hold the cob for easy cutting. I had my husband create a 7x9 block with a large nail in the center. It was simple, cheap and made the process of cutting the corn off the cob move along so much more quickly.
Step 1: Husk and clean the silk off the corn.
Step 2: Place the cleaned ears into a large pot of boiling water (It should be a rolling boil). Cover, and allow the corn to boil for five minutes.
Step 3: While the corn is boiling, fill a clean sink or a large pan with ice water. Once the corn has boiled for five minutes, place the corn into the ice water. This will stop the cooking process and prevent the kernels from denting.
Step 4: Cut the corn off the cob. I place the block of wood in a shallow flat pan, like a cookie sheet or cake pan, to catch the kernels. With a sharp knife or electric knife, cut the kernels off the cob.
Step 5: Spoon the corn into freezer bags.
Step 6: Seal the freezer bags. To force air out of the bag and to save space in your freezer, lay the filled bag of corn on the counter and slowly flatten the bag from the bottom of the bag to the opening.
Step 7: After the hot corn has completely cooled, place the bags into the freezer. I usually place the bags on a cookie sheet in a single layer for several hours in the freezer. This allows the corn to freeze faster and keep the bags flat for easy storage in the freezer..
Freezing Corn Without Blanching
Is it possible to not blanch corn and freeze it? I would have said no, until I talked with a farmer that sold me my corn one year.
When I was paying her for the corn she asked me how I froze my corn. My response was, "I blanched the corn, pack it in quart bags and then place the bags in the freezer," I responded
She just looked at me, and said, "Why do you do that? It removes the natural taste of the corn?"
I have to say, I was a little taken back by her response. My response was, "Uh-h, okay. I'm listening. How do you do it?" With that, came the second method of freezing corn.
The equipment you will need is the same, which includes a large pot, a sharp knife or electric knife and a pan.
Step 1: Husk and clean the silk off the corn.
Step 2: Cut the corn off the cob in a shallow flat pan.
Step 3: Place the cut corn into a large pot.
Step 4: You then add salt and sugar to taste, in the large pot of corn. (Some people like sugar in their corn, my family does not, thus, adjust to taste). Add about 1/4 cup of water per every two dozen ears. Stir. Please note, the corn will appear to be dry, but that will soon change.
Step 5: Stir the corn, every twenty minutes, until you see the milk from the corn appear in the bottom of the pan. Once you see the "corn milk”, it will be time to freeze. (For 5 dozen ears, we found that it took about 2 hours before the process was complete).
Step 6: Spoon the corn into freezer bags and freeze.
As you can rightly expect, I was a little hesitate as to how this new way of freezing corn was going to taste. I decided I would perform a taste test before freezing any additional corn. To my surprise, it tasted as if it had just been picked and freshly prepared. However, I would advise that you pay close attention to how much salt you put in the corn. It does not take much salt, especially if you are using canning salt.
To blanch or not to blanch corn, that is the question. After experimenting with both, I believe I still favor the blanching method.