Let's get corny. 

By Corey Williams
April 08, 2019
Elizabeth Laseter

Summer is almost upon us! You know what that means … lots and lots of delicious fresh corn on the cob. However, it’s easy to go corn crazy and buy too much at the farmer’s market. But what is a veggie lover to do with all those extra ears? Freeze them. Freezing corn makes it last last longer, so you can enjoy it in salads, soups, tacos, frittatas, and more year-round.

Elizabeth Laseter

So how exactly do you freeze corn on the cob? As it turns out, the answer is very, very simple:

Step 1: Shuck the Corn

Elizabeth Laseter

Before you start shuckin,’ you want to make sure your corn looks nice and fresh—on the outside and on the inside. Look for ears of corn with green husks that are firm to the touch. The leaves should hold tightly to the husk, and should not limply hang off the side. If you want, you can even pull back a leaf an inch or two at the grocery store or farmer’s market to make sure those kernels look bright and plump.

How to Shuck Corn

  1. Pull off the leaves a few at a time to eventually reveal a cob full of kernels.
  2. Once all the leaves have been pulled back, rip or cut the husks from the cob.
  3. Remove any silk (the light, thin, straight hair-like strands you find underneath the leaves). You can get a special tool for this, but your hands work just fine.

Step 2: Blanch the Corn

Elizabeth Laseter

What is blanching? Blanching is a cooking process where a food (usually a fruit or vegetable) is scalded in boiling water and removed after a brief time. The food is then placed into an ice bath, or placed under cold running water, so it does not continue to cook.

Elizabeth Laseter

Blanching corn before freezing helps preserve its yellow color—and prevents the need to cook it after defrosting.

Bring a pot filled with water to a boil. Add corn and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the cobs with tongs, and then place them into a bowl of ice water or rinse them under cold water. Place the corn on a cutting board and let cool.  

Related: Mexican-Style Corn on the Cob in an Air Fryer

Step 3: Take the Corn off the Cob

Corey Williams

You can freeze corn on the cob whole, but removing the kernels from the cob makes it much easier to use after defrosting. Pro-tip: Use a serrated knife to “saw” the kernels off the cob and onto a kitchen towel. From here, you can then easily scoop the kernels into a bowl or plastic bag.

Step 4: Bag the Corn

Elizabeth Laseter

Get a cup measurement for your kernels, then label a zip-top freezer bag with the date and the amount that you’re freezing. Four ears of medium-sized corn produces roughly two cups of kernels. Make sure you’re not overcrowding the plastic bag with kernels—for two cups of corn, a 1-quart zip-top plastic freezer bag should do the trick.  

Step 5: Freeze the Corn

Elizabeth Laseter

Lie the bag of corn flat in freezer—it should freeze in about three hours. Frozen corn (when stored properly) should last roughly 10-12 months.

Step 6: Thawing Frozen Corn

Elizabeth Laseter

When you’re ready to use the corn, there are a couple ways to approach the defrosting process:

If you’re using it in a saute: Toss the frozen corn straight into a hot skillet. The heat will defrost the corn quickly, and most of the excess water will evaporate. This method works well if you’re mixing in other veggies like onions, tomatoes, or black beans.

Elizabeth Laseter

If you’re using it for salads, salsa, etc.: Empty frozen corn into a colander and rinse with room temperature water. Drain well. Place the kernels between two paper towels, gently pat dry (it may take several rounds to remove excess water), then use as desired.

Corn Recipes

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Looking for more ways to use frozen corn? Look no further:

Spicy Grilled Corn Salad

Sheet Pan Pizza with Corn, Tomatoes, and Sausage

Easy Corn Pudding

Corn and Crab Pita Nachos

Easy Creamed Corn

Find even more amazing corn recipes here.

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