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Freezing corn the right way

Now that you've found the perfect sweet corn of the season, how do you properly and safely freeze it to enjoy all year round?  We've put together a freezing guide with some help from our local Food & Nutrition Cooperative Extension Specialist. So clean out that freezer and start blanching!

The best way to ensure great taste after freezing is to start with a fresh load of sweetcorn. According to Food & Nutrition Extension Specialist Sandra Bastin of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, you should select only tender, freshly-gathered corn in the milk stage. The silks on the top of the corn ears will be a lighter brown. Remove the corn from the husks, trim off any leftover stalks, remove silks and wash.

Freezing on the Cob

Water blanch small ears ( 1 1/4 inches or less in diameter) 7 minutes;medium ears (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter) 9 minutes; and large ears (over 1 1/2 inches in diameter) 11 minutes. Cool promptly and completely to prevent a "cobby" taste. Drain and dry the ears. Seal the ears in freezer bags and freeze.

Which method is best? On the cob takes the most freezer space but captures more flavor than the whole kernel & creme style methods. Whole kernel method is the fastest but also probably the blandest. Creme style preserves good flavor and requires less freezer room but takes the longest to prepare.

Whole Kernel Corn

Water blanch 4 minutes. Cool promptly, drain and cut from cob. Cut kernels from cob about 2/3 the depth of the kernels. Package, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

Cream Style Corn

Water blanch 4 minutes. Cool promptly and drain. Cut kernel tips and scrape the cobs with the back of a knife to remove the juice and the heart of the kernel. Package, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Seal and freeze.

Another way to prepare cream style corn for freezing is to cut and scrape the corn from the cob without blanching. Place the cut corn in a double boiler, and heat with constant stirring for about 10 minutes or until it thickens; allow to cool by placing the pan in ice water. Package in moisture-vapor resistant containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal and freeze.