How to Freeze Corn on the cob

Who doesn't love fresh corn on the cob? We sure do, and every summer we can't wait for it to go on sale so we can put some away for later in the year, when it isn't available. Right now, Yokes has Yakima Valley sweet corn on sale 4 for $1.00 so I bought 20 ears, a few to eat now, and some for later. I would have purchased more, but I was chatting with one of the produce guys and he said that the Spokane Valley corn will be coming in real soon and that it will probably be a little cheaper so I decided to wait for it before buying more.

Freezing corn is so easy, just like freezing Green Beans. I start by schucking the corn. Then I wash it in the sink under cool water with a clean wash cloth to get the little silks off.

I have read that some people freeze corn whole in the husk, but Im not so sure about that. I like to make sure the corn is as fresh as possible and you have to look at it to do that. Once they are clean, trim off the tips and any spots that are bruised or look iffy. I cut the cobs in half as well.

At this point, they are ready to be blanched. Again, from what I have read this is "optional". I still do it, blanching deactivates enzimes that would otherwise break down the nutritional value and flavor, it sets the sugars and the color. Get out your biggest pot and fill it with water, once it gets to a rolling boil, add a bit of salt. I have used Kosher Salt in the past, but this year I used the purified salt that I had purchased for canning the beets. I was really impressed with it when I was freezing green beans, it seems to really brighten up the veggies and it doesn't leave such a big salty crust in the pan.

In blanching corn, you are essencially cooking it twice, which can - if over done- make the skins tough and the corn mushy. Depending on the size of the ears, the time it spends in boiling water will vary from 5 to 10 minutes. My rule of thumb is once I smell it cooking, I take it out. Periodically, like every 3 or 4 batches, you will need to add more water and salt or even change the water out if your doing alot of corn. Once you take it out of the boiling water, drop it immediately into an ice water bath.

Look at how bright the corn is! Now, it takes alot of ice to cool the corn down. For some reason, it seems to heat up faster then it cools off, so if you don't have an ice maker you might consider buying a couple bags of ice as you will need to add more during the ice bath process. Leave the corn in the ice water for atleast twice as long as you blanched it for, insuring that it is completely cool through the cob.

Once the corn has been completely chilled in the ice bath, let it sit on some paper towels, or a clean bath towel, to dry just a bit. Then your ready to bag it up. I have a food sealer, but you can also wrap the ears separately in cling wrap and bag them up in a gallon size Freezer bag.

And there you have it! Home frozen corn on the cob is sooo much better then what you can buy at the store. The stuff in the freezer at the store has been injected with sugar and salt and its extremely over-priced (IMHO). So, if you got a bit of space in your freezer, a big pot and some freezer bags then you have everything you need.

There are alot of good websites out there that provide excellent information on freezing and canning your own produce, my favorite one is http://www.pickyourown.org/

No comments: