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Canning Corn

Canning corn is a great way to preserve your harvest.   Some people love it... some don't.  Personally, I like the flavor of home canned corn too. Canning corn from your own garden or locally grown is still better than store bought. 

Many people also prefer the taste of frozen corn. For these reasons freezing corn is another great preserving option.  I do some of each because my family prefers the frozen over canned.  But I love the convenience of canned!  

We have a wonderful variety of sweet corn that is grown around here called Olathe Sweet Corn. It is so good and sweet, they have a festival weekend dedicated to corn. This weekend includes concerts and all you can eat corn on the cob.  If you are working with a sweet corn  don't be surprised if it comes out a deep golden color. This sometimes happens with the sweeter varieties.

Corn does take a bit more work than some other foods. It is not hard, but it has a processing time of 1 hr and 25 minutes for quarts and 55 minutes for pints. Compared to other produce this is a long time.

Home canned corn must be processed in a pressure canner.

Prepare

Gather your canning supplies


Ingredients

  • Corn
  • Canning Salt - optional

You will need about 32 pounds (in husks) of sweet corn per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 20 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.

Canning Corn Procedure

Pick your corn. Corn should be fresh picked and ripe.

Get your corn huskers to work! Make sure they do their best to get all the hair off. Games make this task fun. Challenge them to see who can husk the most ears. Here's a tip; for mess control.... husking can be done outside.

While the corn is being husked, start boiling water. Either in a large stockpot or your blancher. 

Blanch your corn cobs.

  • Place in boiling water for 2 minutes and remove with tongs. If you are using a blancher the tongs are obviously not necessary.
  • Cool immediately in a sink or large bowl of ice-cold water.
  • A blancher works well or just use a large stock pot.
  • You do not want to cook the corn just blanch it. I find it easier to cut it off the cob this way. I read that many people skip this blanching step.  Since this corn will be processed in a pressure canner you can skip the blanching step if you prefer.  

Cut the kernels from the cob. 

  • Let the cobs cool. Set it on end and run your knife down the sides cutting off the kernels.
  • Try not to cut into the cob. I aim for getting off about 3/4 of the kernel.
  • The kernels will stick together in little strips and look like this.
  • I use a large cookie sheet to catch the kernels; a large flat dish like a cake pan would also work.

This can get messy too. The corn tends to squirt. Do it in an area that will be easy clean up. I have a big island in the center of my kitchen that I use. I LOVE easy clean up! 

Tips; Use an electric knife; I've never done this but it sounds like a great idea. 

Another Tip - Use a Bunt pan, set your corn on end on the centerpiece and let the kernels fall into the pan. I've tried this and it seems awkward to me. I list it here because I have seen others rave about doing it this way. Try it you may just like it. 

Here is a video of my husbands cool cutting the kernels off the cob time saver.  He is using a tool that is called a corn stripper.   I do not have a brand name on ours and it is a vintage tool that has been around for years.  If you do a search on Amazon you'll see some that are similar.  

Close up of the blade on this corn stripper.  Check your local farm store for similar cutters. It is an invaluable tool when canning corn, dehydrating, pickling.  Anytime you want to get a lot of cobs stripped use one of these. 

While the corn is being husked and the corn is cut off, go ahead and get your canner and canning jars ready. 

Optional add salt to the jars. ½ tsp. per pint, 1 tsp. per quart. Salt is for seasoning purposes only.

After the kernels are off the cob, pack into clean canning jars.

When canning corn you can either raw-pack or hot pack. Since I have already blanched my corn, I prefer raw pack. Here are directions for both

  • Raw pack; pack lightly into hot jars and add boiling water, leaving 1 inch head space.
  • Hot pack; simmer kernels for 5 minutes, then pack into jars.  Top off with cooking water leaving 1 inch head space.

Fill jars, leaving 1-inch head space.  Be sure and wipe the rims of your jars clean so there will be no food particles to interfere with the seal.  

Place your canning lids on and finally add your screw bands.  Place in a pressure canner to process.  

If you need more instruction on how a pressure canner works see this page.  

Process in a pressure canner.

Always use a pressure canner when canning corn.  

pints - process for 55 minutes

quarts - process for 1 hour 25 minutes 

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

Do you like Creamed Corn?  Try this.  

Here’s a quick easy way to make a cream style corn from regular kernel corn.  home canned corn, frozen, or store bought, it doesn’t matter.  This is not for canning, rather it is how I make creamed corn when I open the jars.  

If you are using home canned corn it is a good idea to open the jar and boil your corn for 10 minutes. Read more on why I suggest boiling first here.  

Heat corn to simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes if you wish.  Remove 1/2 of the corn to a blender add 1/2 cup or so of cream.  Half and half, evaporated milk or other cream of your choice works.  I usually have half and half on hand.  Puree.

Add back with corn add butter and salt to taste heat and serve.

Very easy and good too.

Canning Corn Questions from my inbox.  

When pressure canning corn, do I really have to process that long?

Canning Corn processing question.

Hello, I'm a long time canner/freezer/preserver type of girl. In the past I've always put my corn up in the freezer, because that's the way mom and gran do it.

But the garden is gang busters this year and even with a new freezer, there isn't going to be room for all of it.

Anyway I called gran and borrowed mom's steam pressure canner and canned up the first few batches of corn. I followed the directions in the Ball Blue Book and let the thing chick-chick for 55 minutes.

However the corn has darkened quite a bit and some of the water in the jar is gone as well. So I've gone on-line to get more info.

Both gran and mom say 55 mins is too long and they only ever steam theirs for 25 minutes.

I'm filding conflicting directions on line too, I've found websites indicating times anywhere from 25 to 55 minutes. I don't want to poison my family, but I would love it if that 25 minute time was a possibility.

Hi Amy 

This is a hard question. And I have been asked it in a myriad of ways. Can I do it the 'old' way? Many of the questions posed to me point out that either moms or grandmothers did things different. And I certainly don't like contradicting our elders... often they have great wisdom!

However, The answer is: You take a risk by doing it the 'old' way. You have to make that decision yourself. Personally I decided to just follow the recommended guidelines and have that peace of mind. The processing times I give on my site are all taken from safe sources.  My most used source is the National Center for Home Preservation.  Some directions are from the Ball Blue Book. 

The good news is.... it is not unusual for canning corn to turn golden colored. Mine often is a darker color. From my research it is because it is a very sweet variety. My corn never tastes over cooked.

As far as the liquid loss. That is ok too. You want to avoid it, but it will not hurt your corn unless it is extreme. Liquid loss is often caused by taking your jars out of the canner too quickly.

Leave the jars in your canner for a couple of minutes before removing. Open the canner and then wait 3 or 4 minutes. This gives the jars a chance to cool slightly. When it is cooling the contents will be shrinking and not swelling so that may help you keep more liquid in your jars.

Read more on this here; Home canning and liquid loss.

I hope that helps. 

Sharon

Another question on processing time.

canning corn

Sharon, I was reading canning corn and noticed that it takes 1hr-25min to do a batch. Why does it take so much longer with corn and beans to process. Thank you.

Answer - It all has to do with the acidity of the food. I've used the times recommended by the USDA. They test the foods and determine the length of processing necessary for eliminating the risk of botulism. Corn is more starchy than other vegetables so I'd assume the acidity levels are different as well. Also corn has more natural sugar.

Here are a few pages that might interest you.

Botulism A severe, sometimes fatal food poisoning caused by ingestion of food containing botulin.

Canning methods Which Canning methods to use? Is my food high acid or low acid? Should I process in a water bath canner or pressure canner? Why? That is a common question ~ and a good one....

More ways to preserve corn.

Canning information source.  Canning Corn 

› Canning corn

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by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2017 SimplyCanning.com

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Information given has not been evaluated by the FDA or USDA, you are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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