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Learn how to freeze corn on the cob IN THE HUSK, without blanching it first. It's the easiest way to enjoy delicious, fresh corn once summer has ended!
I was inspired to test this freezing method after several readers commented on the process to microwave corn on the cob in the husk and said they'd always done it this way! Really?!
To Blanch or Not to Blanch before Freezing Corn
Conventional guidance is that you must blanch vegetables before you freeze them. Blanching slows the action of enzymes that naturally occur in vegetables and degrades the quality (color, texture, and flavor) of the vegetables. Freezing slows down the action a little, but it does not stop it. This article on the Science of Freezing Food from the University of Minnesota Extension does an excellent job of explaining the nitty-gritty details.
While blanching is definitely the most common way to prepare corn for freezing, you don't have to take this step.
When it comes to corn on the cob, I've been pretty happy with the result when I freeze corn on the cob in the husk without cooking it first. It literally takes a few minutes to freeze corn this way and there is no mess at all. The husk may even reduce the opportunity for freezer burn.
This method is ideal for shorter periods of storage...up to about 4 months. The biggest difference that I noted was that the corn starts to get a little softer as time goes on, which may not be a problem at all depending on how you are going to use it. It's perfect when you'd like to buy a little extra fresh corn at the farmer's market or when it goes on sale!
Ways to Freeze Fresh Corn
There are many options for freezing corn. You can:
- Remove the husks, blanch the corn on the cob and then freeze the whole cobs of corn.
- Shuck the cobs, blanch them, remove the corn kernels and freeze only the kernels.
- Cook corn, allow it to cool, remove the husks and freeze the cooked cobs or the kernels that have been cut off the cob.
- Freeze uncooked corn on the cob in the husk. This is the EASIEST method by far.
Note: To blanch corn on the cob with husks removed, submerge the corn in boiling for water according to the guidelines below and then remove the corn to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Blanching guidelines for corn on the cob are as follows:
- Small ears: 7 minutes
- Medium ears: 9 minutes
- Large ears: 11 minutes
How to Freeze Corn on the Cob in the Husk without Blanching
- Start with the freshest corn possible. If you start with corn that has been sitting on the counter for a few days instead of ones stored in the refrigerator, then you're already one step behind when it comes to quality!
- Don't peel or remove anything. If the husk is snug against the corn then it will help prevent freezer burn.
- Wrap corn in plastic wrap and/or place it in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Use a FoodSaver to vacuum pack it if your have one.
- Store corn in the cob in the freezer until you're ready to cook it.
How to Cook Frozen Corn on the Cob in the Husk
The magic continues when you're ready to cook frozen corn on the cob. Simply follow the directions to microwave corn on the cob in the husk.
- Remove it from the freezer. Many people find it best to allow the corn to defrost first.
- Place corn on a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave on high using the guidelines for fresh corn. I don't find it necessary to add any additional time. But, the time frame for cooking will vary depending upon the microwave.
- 1 ear – 2 minutes
- 2 ears – 4 minutes
- 3 ears – 5 minutes
- 4 ears – 6 minutes
- Cut about an inch off the end of the corn that does not have the silk exposed.
- Grab hold of the end of the corn with the silk and pull off the husk and the silk.
- Enjoy on the cob or remove the kernels to use in recipes like Mexican Street Corn in a Cup, Shrimp Tortilla Soup and Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salsa!
If you try this method, drop us a comment with your result or tag @DinnerMom or #DinnerMom on social media. We love to see what you are cooking up!
How to Freeze Corn on the Cob in the Husk
- Plastic Freezer Bag
- Permanent Marker
- 4 each Corn on the Cob Do NOT remove the husk
- Place fresh corn on the cob with the husk in place in a plastic freezer bag.
- Seal bag, removing excess air.
- Use a marker to place a label and date on the bag. Store in freezer for up to 4 months.
- When ready to enjoy, remove from freezer and prepare using favorite cooking method for frozen corn.