So, I mentioned in my How to Save Money on Groceries post that one of the many ways we decrease our grocery spending is by growing our own garden, and preserving our harvest.
I thought I would have a short series to share some of the ways we do that. Today, I am focusing on the best way to preserve corn. Obviously, this will not be everyone’s opinion, but I personally think the best way to preserve corn is in the freezer, so I’m going to share that. And, the best part is that it requires no special equipment whatsoever, so this is a great way to ease yourself into preserving your food.
How to Preserve your Corn in the Freezer
What you need:
- Corn :)
- A large pot (A bigger pot will make the process go more quickly, but if all you have is a small soup pot, it will work as long as your corn will fit in it)
- A good knife or corn peeler. (I love Rada knives in general and that’s what I always used before. This year, my mom got me a pampered chef corn cutter and it was nice to have)
- Ziploc Freezer Bags–yes, use ziploc. They are not paying me to say that, but I do strongly prefer their freezer bags over any other brand.
What to do:
When choosing your corn, choose ears that are matured, but still fresh. Remove the husks and silks (great job for kiddos! No current pictures from this year, but my boys have done this task since about age 2).
1. Fill your pot about 3/4 of the way with water and bring it to a boil (tip: cover with a lid to help it boil faster). Once the water is boiling, fill the pot with as much corn as you can fit in the pot (just make sure that the water will still cover the corn). Once your corn is in there, set a timer for 10 minutes. You are blanching the corn. (Note: I have read other literature that recommends time based on size of the corn, but I have always found 10 minutes to work just fine, and it’s easy so it’s what I have stuck with.)
2. Once that 10 minutes is up, remove your corn from the hot water very carefully using tongs. Some people like to put the corn immediately in ice water to be sure it doesn’t overcook after removed from heat. At this point, if you have additional corn, you can reuse the same water for up to 4-5 rounds of corn, though you may have to add more water at some point due to evaporation.
3. Once your corn has cooled, you *could* just freeze it, as is, on the cob. However, I don’t prefer doing that, and it takes up a lot of space in the freezer. So, I usually cut mine off the cob, using a sharp knife or corn cutter.
Then, it all goes into a bowl, like so.
And because I am a bit OCD, I don’t like my kernals being all attached like this, so I use my handy dandy chop/stir tool to separate them.
4. At this point, the corn is ready to be put into the freezer bags. A standard serving of corn is approximately 1/2 cup per person, so I generally add around 2-2.5 cups to my bags. I like to freeze them in ready portions for our family, so that they are ready to go and I can just grab a bag out to use easily. If I have a lot to work with, sometimes I will freeze a few larger bags in anticipation of taking home grown corn to potlucks, etc.
I like to put the corn in, and then flatten it out as I get the air out, so that the bag lays flat when frozen and takes up less room that way. After being frozen, it can even stand up and squeeze into small spaces between other things in your freezer. As with all food items, it’s a good idea to label with the item and the date, and use a first-in/first-out system.
I totally meant to count our ears before I got rid of them, but I didn’t. We estimate that I started with around 30-40 ears and ended up with 11 bags of 2-2.5 cups each…just to give you an idea.
Just to reiterate, is definitely the BEST way to preserve corn and is far superior to canning it when it comes to the quality of your finished product! And, it’s a great start because you don’t need any special equipment at all.