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After testing several different ways to freeze sweet corn, I’m sharing the BEST way in terms of texture, flavor and ease of prep!

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bowl of sweet corn

If you don’t know where I’m from, this post juuuuust might give it away! Us Iowans (and those from other midwest states) sure do love our sweet corn, so much so that we’ll freeze the fresh corn to enjoy as a side dish year round.

And from a little research, I learned that everyone does it just a little differently. So last summer, I bought a whole bunch of corn, shucked it and froze it using three different methods.

After 11 months in the freezer, I heated each of them up and did a taste test. I’ll walk you through each variation, talk through the results and give you my favorite recipe at the end!

How to Freeze Sweet Corn: The Methods

For all of the variations, the corn was first shucked and silks removed. The corn was all purchased from the same farm and prepared on the same day. Note that seasoning in the experiment is very simple so the focus was on flavor and texture of the corn. The corn was frozen in freezer baggies with 2 cups of corn each.

A. Boil, Cut, Freeze

The corn cobs were boiled for 6 minutes each. I was able to fit 6 cobs in my pot at a time, so I cooked them in batches until they were all cooked. As soon as they came out of the boiling water, they went into an ice bath. I used a cooler full of ice water as the ice bath. Once they were completely cool, I used a serrated knife to cut the corn off the cob. I measured 10 cups of corn in a large bowl and stirred in 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar. It was then scooped into freezer bags and frozen.
Why test this method? This was the most popular response when asked how followers cook their sweet corn.

B. Cut, Boil, Freeze

A serrated knife was used to cut the corn off the cob. 10 cups of corn went into a large pot with 2 cups water, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar. The mixture was heated at medium-high heat and boiled for 5 minutes. The corn was poured into large shallow pans to cool the mixture. Once the corn was cool, it was scooped into freezer bags and frozen.
Why test this method? This was also a popular response. It uses fewer large containers (no ice bath needed) and time in the kitchen seemed to be shorter than in method A.

C. Cut, Add Brine, Freeze

A serrated knife was used to cut the corn off the cob. Each freezer bag was filled with 2 cups of the raw corn. A brine was made in a liquid measuring cup: 2 1/2 cups warm water, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp salt. The brine was stirred until the sugar and salt were dissolved. 1/2 cup of the brine was poured into each bag of corn, then the corn was frozen.
Why test this method? This was a method I was super intrigued by as it seemed to save a lot of time and heat in the kitchen (no boiling!).

bags of freezer corn with labels A B and C

How to Freeze Sweet Corn: The Results

The bags of corn were first thawed overnight. Then the bags were cooked one at a time. For Methods A & B, they simply needed reheated. They were heated on medium-high heat until piping hot. For Method C, I boiled the mixture for about 5-7 minutes, as the kernels were frozen raw.

Method A: This one was very good and was a close second to the winner. The flavor and texture was great; those who tasted thought the corn was a little more bland than Method B.
SCORE: 9/10

Method B: This is exactly when I want when I pull a bag of sweet corn out of the freezer and is my personal preference! The texture and flavor was wonderful; all-around the favorite.
SCORE: 10/10

Method C: I wanted so bad for this one to be the favorite….it’s just SO easy to make. However, it fell flat in terms of flavor and texture. Even after boiling 5-7 minutes, it still had a raw corn flavor and the flavor was bland.
SCORE: 5/10

Cooked sweet corn labeled A B and C

Tips for Freezing Sweet Corn

  • Plan to shuck the corn outside. If you’ve done this before, you know it can be a sticky job! Keep the messy husks and silks out of the house so you’ll have a clean kitchen when you begin cooking!
  • Set up your stations before starting. Make sure you’ve got a large, clean work area and gather the supplies you’ll need. You’ll need large stock pot or saucepan, a sharp knife, measuring cups, large spoons, salt, sugar, plenty of freezer bags, a large cooler for the ice water bath, etc.
  • Use an angel food cake or bundt pan to hold the ear of corn and to catch the corn kernels (see photo below). A cousin gave me this tip years ago and I love how it keeps the cob from slipping out of your hand while cutting!
  • Cut the corn off the cob with an electric knife. If you have an electric serrated knife (like what you can use to carve a ham), it’s super helpful when cutting corn off the cob. Your arms will be less sore the following day, ha!
  • Remove as much air out of the bag as possible before freezing.  Air left in the bag can lead to freezer burn over time, so try to remove as much as possible.
  • Place the bags of corn in single layers on a baking sheet.  This is the easiest way to make sure they freeze flat and makes the best use of freezer space!
  • Gather some help and turn on the tunes! Freezing corn was always a family affair for us. It took some time, but as they always say “many hands make light work.” And when you’ve got some good music or a podcast to listen to, the time flies by!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you choose a good ear of corn?

Whether you’re picking the corn in your backyard, grabbing it from the farmer’s market or the grocery store, you want to choose the best cobs possible.  If you have a choice, I like the variety with white AND yellow kernels.  I find them to have lots of natural sugars that are so yummy!  Then, pull a little bit of the husk down and look at the tip of the corn.  If it’s mushy, pass.  If it’s nice and yellow with well-hydrated silks, that’s a great start!

Can I freeze the corn in freezer containers?

If you want to use Tupperware instead of baggies, you certainly can. Be sure to allow a little bit of room for the juices to expand while freezing.

How long is Freezer Corn good for?

We would always freeze the corn in July/August and it would be good for about a year…or until the next harvest! 🙂

​How to use Freezer Corn

You can really use freezer corn just like you’d use fresh sweet corn right off the cob.  Use it in delicious recipes such as corn chowder, Mexican corn salad, cornbread pudding, and everything in between!  My favorite way to enjoy it is simply heating it up with a little butter and enjoying it as-is!

a metal pan full of thawed frozen sweet corn.

Other Iowa Favorites

I always say that there are three foods I think of when I talk about Iowa: Sweet corn, pork and scotcheroos! Now that I’ve got the sweet corn complete, I think I’ve nailed the Iowa trifecta! 🙂

Dr Pepper Pulled Pork is always a great option when feeding a crowd. It’s easy and makes the tastiest sandwiches!

Honey Garlic Pork Chops and French Onion Pork Chops are two of my favorite way to prepare pork chops! So much flavor to go with the tender chops!

Scotcheroos are an Iowa classic – a no bake treat that nobody seems to be able to resist!

Ever heard of Ham Balls?! Tender and juicy ham balls are coated in a delicious sweet and tangy sauce. This Iowa staple is perfect for potlucks, family gatherings and special occasions!

Connect with Dance Around the Kitchen!

Follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook so you never miss a recipe!! And as always, thank you for following along with my blog, making my recipes, liking and sharing on social media and any other way you support Dance Around the Kitchen!  -Kelsey

How to Freeze Sweet Corn
5 from 7 votes

How to Freeze Sweet Corn

Author: Kelsey
20 1/2 c servings
After testing several different ways to freeze sweet corn, I'm sharing the BEST way in terms of texture, flavor and ease of prep!

Ingredients
 

  • 12-14 ears of corn* husks and silks removed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  • Use a serrated knife to cut the corn off the cob.
  • To a large pot, add 10 cups* corn, water, salt and sugar.
  • Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour the corn into a large shallow pan to cool.
  • Once cool, scoop into labeled freezer bags, remove excess air and freeze.
  • When ready to enjoy, thaw a bag of corn in the fridge (or microwave), then simmer until hot. If you'd like, you can add 1-2 tbsp butter, black pepper, and/or additional salt.

Notes

*NOTE:  This recipe can easily be halved, doubled or tripled, depending on how much corn you have and how large your saucepan is…..
-HALF RECIPE:  5 cups corn, 1 c water, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1/2 tbsp sugar
DOUBLED RECIPE:  20 cups corn, 4 cups water, 2 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar
TRIPLED RECIPE:  30 cups corn, 6 cups water, 3 tbsp salt, 3 tbsp sugar

Nutrition

Calories: 21.37kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.74g | Protein: 0.72g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.07g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 352.13mg | Potassium: 59.57mg | Fiber: 0.44g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 41.2IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 0.66mg | Iron: 0.12mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Have always used method a, but looking forward to trying b!

  2. I do B and have for years. Am I the cousin that told you to use angel food pan and electric knife? Just curious because I’m feeling REALLY special if I am- loloool

    1. Well of COURSE you are!!! 🙂 Learned that from the best of the best….<3

  3. 5 stars
    Just finished 4 dozen ears! They are currently cooling. We used buntpans and electric knife. What a game changer!
    My question is, do I drain the corn before freezing?
    Thanks for an awesome recipe.

    1. I like to put some of the liquid in each of the baggies!

  4. Sarah Fisher says:

    5 stars
    I’ve always wanted to try to freeze sweet corn so we have it for fall/winter gatherings. This recipe was super-easy, and the end result tastes like the recipe my aunt used to use. Delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    B tastes delicious before freezing it!
    Question tough- before freezing, should I strain the liquid? Or just add it in with the corn in the freezer bag?

    1. I use the liquid in the bags. It makes it so there’s no air pockets in the bag and therefore keeps the corn good longer! :). When you’re ready to enjoy, feel free to drain it if you’d like!

  6. I used your Cut, Boil, Freeze method today. I started with 6-1/2 dozen ears of corn, and I ended up with 24 bags (2 cups each). Whew! 😅

    This is much easier than blanching it on the cob and messing with a water bath.

    Thank you!

    1. Woohooo!!! I hope you enjoy it all year long! 🙂 ~Kelsey

  7. What kind of salt to I need to use? Kosher or Reg.? I am going to try B. Thank You!!

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks! I was seeing so many methods. Really glad you did all the work for me! B is the way I did it, previously but without the sugar. Question: If it’s sweet corn, why add the sugar…especially if diabetic or watching weight? I want good tasting sweet corn, but watching my empty calories! Oh…my friend said you haven’t lived until you tried brown sugar instead of regular; it add a hint of molasses. Try that and let us know what you think!!

  9. 5 stars
    Great recipe and research in support of it. Love it.

  10. Steffanie says:

    I am excited to try your Method B! Do you think I can omit the sugar with good results?

    1. Yes! Depending on the corn…some is sweeter than others. You could always add sugar when reheating if desired! ~Kelsey

  11. Method C. But sauteed in butter in a skillet to cook. No raw taste here.