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Corn on the Cob: how to freeze?

The local corn here in Eastern Pennsylvania is fabulous this year, so I'd love to buy a bushel & freeze it somehow. My ultimate goal is to serve it on the cob for Thanksgiving dinner. If I do buy a bushel, I'll also want to cut some off the cob to freeze as well.

What is the best method fro freezing it so that I preserve the sweetness and the crunch? Keep in mind that when I prepare fresh corn, I barely cook it -- I put it in less than an inch of boiling water for barely 3 minutes. I do have a good vacuum sealer.

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  1. Corn has to be blanched before freezing. You could try cooking an ear as usual and freezing it for a few days, then reheating in the sealed bag, but I suspect you won't like the texture.

    2 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Why does it have to be blanched? I've been cutting it off the cob for years and freezing it without blanching it. Tastes great, and seems to be just a bit crisper than blanched. I'm really interested why folks think it has to be blanched first. Thanks.

      1. re: Niki in Dayton

        I'm not positive, and maybe someone with a science background can weigh in, but I think you need to blanch it to stop any enzyme action. If you do it right, the texture won't be affected (the very act of freezing will probably do more damage to the texture than blanching would).
        Blanching seems to be recommended for freezing any vegetable.

    2. I freeze corn frequently. As greygarious said, it has to be blanched before freezing. After I blanch it, I cut it off the cob and freeze on cookie trays. Then I bag them. I've never frozen it on the cob, but once it's blanched, you'd just want to be sure it was well sealed. Will it be as good as fresh--no. Will it taste great in the middle of winter--YES. If you don't like how it is on the cob after freezing, you may find that it works fine off the cob in other preps.

      6 Replies
      1. re: dct

        grey and dct: I think I will try some test ears this weekend. Off the cob would certainly take up a lot less room in the freezer, but both DH and I are obsessed with the panache of serving corn on the cob at our Thanksgiving dinner.

        dct, when you take the corn off the cob, do you use a standard knife, or do you have a special gizmo?

        1. re: PattiCakes

          Just did up a few batches last night. I just use a good sharp thin bladed knife.
          Opening up a bag of fresh frozen corn in the winter is wonderful. No, it's not as great as summer time still on the cob, but it's pretty darn good. Sometimes I'll add some frozen Edamame beans to the corn, a little cilantro, nice change of taste for the corn.

          1. re: pacheeseguy

            If you have an angel food or bundt pan, use it when cutting the corn from the cob. Stick the pointy end of the ear onto the center tube, then slice down, and the kernels will all be caught rather than flying all over your counter. Also, holding your knife at a 45 degree angle to the counter, start cutting at the point end of your knife, sliding it towards the handle as you cut downward. This way you don't need to apply much force, and the knife just glides through.

          2. re: PattiCakes

            No gizmo, but I am tempted by them. I use a chef's knife, stand the ear on one end and carve off the kernels in long strokes. Tales about 4-5 passes per ear. I do this on a small cutting board set in a roasting pan, which helps contain the flying kernels.

            Last year, I cut the corn first and then blanched. I've been informed by my mother that it's not as good as if you blanch it on the cob first. So there's another wrinkle in the blanch/don't blanch debate.

            1. re: dct

              An addition to my earlier reply. Here is Cook's Illustrated's take on the best "corn strippers." The model I mentioned is NOT recommended. Oh well. Next time I'll look for the other ones. Here's the link: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/equip...

            2. re: PattiCakes

              Yes, I found a special gizmo in a cookery store. Hard to describe, bear with me...two parallel metal prongs with a circular serrated edge cutter placed midway. You place the circular serrated edge over the cob, hold both ends and push down. Works great!

          3. we often enjoy frozen corn on thanksgiving. however, given the reality that frozen corn bang flat isn't as good as fresh corn, we don't try for the "on the cob" effect. instead, we do what we seldom do in season, jazz up the corn by frying it with ingredients such as chopped red peppers. while the preparation doesn't cite the past summer as pointedly as serving whole ears, it is, i think, a better dish in november.

            btw, the "hawk" in my screen name reflects the fact that i'm an iowan, not that i enjoy eating small rodents.

            1. I've had good results with freezing corn on the cob -- after it's blanched, I put it into ice to cook it quickly. Once it's cooled down, I wrap each ear in plastic wrap, then put those into a gallon freezer bag. If you cool it quickly like this, it's less likely to taste like the cob.

              1. I know of many people that don't blanch, don't take off the cob, don't even take of the husk. They just put the corn right in a bag and freeze that way for on the cob corn. I haven't done it personally though.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Allice98

                  Point taken - maybe Patticakes will undertake the experiment for us: prepare blanched and unblanched bags of both on and off-cob, freeze for a few days, then do a taste test and report back!

                  1. re: greygarious

                    I suppose you want me to make a spreadsheet and a pie chart? geez.

                    I'm on it this weekend, with results later next week after I've given the freezer time to work it's frost best.

                  2. re: Allice98

                    Ahh, I should have read the whole thread before replying (see above question about why does it have to be blanched; I never do so and it freezes just fine).

                  3. For the last couple of years, I haven't even blanched. I bring the corn home, shuck it, slice it off the cob (with a regular chef's knife), and throw it into a ziplock then into the freezer. Works like a charm and couldn't be easier!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: nojunk

                      The Great Corn Freeze Experiment will commence tomorrow, after a trip to the farmers' market. We will blanch corn, then freeze it both on and off the cob; we'll also freeze both on and off the cob au natural (no blanching). All 4 versions will be vacuum sealed using a vacuum sealer thingy. All versions will remain in the freezer for a full week before a panel of tasting experts convene to test the results in a blind, but probably lubricated, tasting. All will be done in interests of science, in our hermetically sealed test kitchenes here in Pennsylvania. Please don't try this at home.

                      1. re: PattiCakes

                        Sounds like fun....please report back (once you break the hermetic seal, that is!)

                        1. re: PattiCakes

                          Can't wait for the results! I've been blanching/cooling/ on the cob freezing it for the first time this year (I also live in Eastern PA) as per Cooks Illustrated's recommendation. Would love to take 'em off the cob to give me more room in the freezer.
                          Thanks so much, PattiCakes!

                      2. Check out this thread, with discussion of freezing the corn in the husk! I'm planning on trying it... The idea of being able to just grill it in the husk, as I usually do in the summer, is irresistable.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fearlessemily

                          OK, now I have ANOTHER option to test. I'm really liking the unhusked option! Did you read further in the post where someone talks about the walk-in freezer they BUILT????

                          Just call me Patti CORNCakes.

                          1. re: PattiCakes

                            Greygarious just pointed out your thread. I had started one on this subject. Do you have any recs from last year's experiments? TIA.

                        2. The corn in Eastern PA absolutely HAS been fantastic this year! So have the peaches. I'm going to give freezing corn ON the cob a try. No Blanching. With and without the husks. It'll give us something to do on this rainy summer weekend.

                          1. If the corn is really sweet, I'd make macque choux for the freezer. That's what my grandmother always did.

                            1 Reply
                            1. did you ever get your answer