How to Freeze Corn On or Off the Cob

Learn how to freeze corn, either on the cob or off the cob, as sweet kernels. Also, keep reading for how to make a cream-style corn!

Some folks turn their nose up at canned corn. I like it, but I have to admit that freezing corn results in a fresher dish on your table.

Of course, nothing beats corn on the cob picked fresh from the garden, with butter and salt dripping down your chin! But the season for fresh only lasts so long, so the next best thing is freezing.

Freezing Corn

How to Freeze Corn

First, you'll need to husk corn and remove silk. Then blanch the ears of corn.  Many people ask if you "must" blanch the corn first.  I highly recommend it.  Blanching stops the enzymes in the corn and will result in much better tasting final product. 

I've read of people cutting the corn from the cob and then blanching just the kernels.  I suppose that might work too.  But blanching softens those kernels and makes it easier to cut from the cob.   I find it easier to blanch, strip the cobs, then freeze.  OR you can freeze on the cob too.  I cover that below as well.  

So first things first...  

Get your corn huskers to work! Make sure they (or you) do their best to get all the hair(silk) off.

While the corn is being husked, start boiling water, either in a large stockpot or your blancher. I find a large stockpot works well for me. Blanch your corn 3-5 cobs at a time, depending on the size of the corn and the size of your pot.

Plunge the cobs in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, depending on the size of the cob. Larger cobs will be blanched for a longer time.

Start counting your time as soon as the cobs enter the water. Do not wait for the water to come to a boil again. Remove cobs with tongs. Place immediately into a sink or pot of ice water to cool and stop the cooking process. 

If you have a lot of cobs you will want to allow time between batches for the water to heat back up.  

Corn blanching.

Allow the corn to sit in the cold water for at least 2 minutes. Keep this water cold, adding ice if necessary. Remove the cobs from the cold water and allow to drain.

  • If you are freezing it off the cob...cut the kernels from the cob. (keep reading I've got tips below!) 
  • If you want to freeze corn on the cob, skip down to the bottom of the page.  

How to Slice the Kernels from the Cob

Set the cob on end and run a knife down the sides, cutting off the kernels.  Try to get just the kernels without digging into the cob.  I aim for getting about 3/4 of the kernels off. 

Be is messy. The kernels will spit juicy goodness all over. I have a large kitchen counter that works well because it is easy clean up. I'll also use a large cookie sheet to catch the kernels; a large, flat dish like a cake pan would also work.

You might even want to do this outside on a table top or somewhere you can clean up easily.  

Slicing kernels from cob.

When you have a few cobs to do, the above method works fine. But if you have a lot of corn to process, try this bucket method my husband came up with the corn cob stripper and a bucket. 

The tool you see him using in the video is the same tool you see in the image above. I believe it is called a corn stripper. They are sold at Amazon and many farm supply stores. The one we have is many, many years old. It is not marked with a name brand of any sort, so I'm not sure what brand it is. :)

How to Freeze Corn Off the Cob

Place the corn into freezer containers. (I prefer freezer bags.) Remove as much air as possible, seal, label, and freeze.

Place bags in the freezer in single layers. This allows the corn to freeze quickly. When the corn is completely frozen, you may stack the bags for convenience.

If you want cream-style corn, simply scrape the corn cobs with the edge of your knife after you cut the kernels off. This will remove any juice and pulp left on the cob. Stir this into the corn kernels in a large pot. Package just the same as above. 

Cream-Style Corn Recipe After You Have Preserved It 

Here’s a quick and easy way to make a cream-style corn from regular kernel corn: home-canned corn, frozen corn, or store-bought corn. It doesn’t matter.

Heat corn to simmer. 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. Puree.

Add back with corn. Add butter and salt to taste. Heat and serve.

Very easy and good too.

How to Freeze Corn on the Cob

Personally, I've only done this once or twice. I just don't care for frozen corn on the cob, as I find the taste is not as good...and it takes up way too much freezer space to freeze the whole cob. I'd much rather freeze the kernels only.

But if you want to, learning how to freeze corn on the cob is super easy too. 

Husk and blanch corn cobs using the same blanching methods as described above.

Cool and drain cobs. Wrap ears individually with plastic wrap. Then place the cobs in gallon freezer bags or wrap in freezer paper. 

Seal, label, and freeze. Place cobs in freezer in a single layer. Allow to freeze completely, then stack for convenience. 

What about with the husks on? 

I have never done this myself.    However, I'm going to put this right here as I've read many many comments from people who simply put the cob, husks and all, in the freezer. 

I've read rave results from this method.  I admit, it is tempting.  But I generally like to blanch first and with the husk on method that would not work.  

You might want to give it a try.  

How to Freeze Corn - FAQs

"How do I use home-frozen corn?"

Just like regular, store-bought frozen corn! :)

"Can you freeze corn on the cob without blanching?"

You CAN freeze corn on the cob without blanching, but I don't recommend it. Blanching helps preserve the taste and texture of vegetables during freezing, including corn on the cob. Not to mention if you're cutting it off the cob, blanching helps make it a little easier to cut off of the cob.

"How long does frozen corn keep in the freezer?"

According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, frozen vegetables generally keep in the freezer for 8-12 months. No longer than a year is ideal. If it has been a year, just make a plan to use it up. I've kept mine in the freezer for longer. Just watch for signs of freezer burn.

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How to Freeze Corn: Step-By-Step Guide for Freezing On or Off the Cob

More Ways to Preserve Corn

Page last updated: 7/12/2019.

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