Friday, May 14, 2010

Frugal Tips: Freezing Corn

My last post on freezing was for bacon. Today's topic: Corn on the Cob

I had the revelation for this because Lowes Food has corn on the cob on sale right now - 8 cobs for $2.00. That means $0.25 per cob! That is a great price. Corn on the cob is not really expensive anyway, but if you can find it for that price you might as well buy it and save it for the rest of the summer. I bought 4 cobs of white corn and 4 of yellow corn. We will use a couple this weekend when we grill out, but the rest I wanted to freeze so we can pop them out at any opportunity and have them with dinner. Yum! Freezing corn on the cob is really easy, just make sure you have the time for it. It doesn't take much more time than baking a cake or cooking dinner, though.

Items you will need:
  • Corn (any quantity)
  • 1 large pot of boiling water (bring to a rolling boil)
  • plenty of ice, in a large bowl of water
  • a vacuum food sealer OR freezer bags
First of all, start with corn as fresh as possible. If you can't freeze it as soon as you get home from the store, stick the cobs in the refrigerator until you can do it. Sugars on corn break down very quickly at room temperature.

Husk the corn and pick off as much silk as possible. I like using a vegetable brush but you obviously don't have to do that.

Get the largest pot you have, fill it 3/4 of the way with water, put it on your largest burner, and bring it to a rolling boil. Next, get a large bowl filled with LOTS of ice and cold water. I was doing four cobs and you can see the size of the pots I used:

If you were going to do a dozen cobs or more you may need to actually buy a bag of ice and use a canner or stockpot.

So what you're going to do now is blanch the corn. You want to do this so that when you eat the corn later the corn still has the same color, flavor, and texture as if you were eating it fresh. Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you put the corn in the boiling water. Cover the pot and boil at high temperature for the required length of time. You can use the same water a few times in a row if you need to. Just be sure to keep adding water if the level decreases too much.

Blanching times for corn on the cob:
  • Cobs smaller than 1 1/4 inches in diameter - 7 minutes
  • Cobs 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter - 9 minutes
  • Cobs over 1 1/2 inches in diameter - 11 minutes

After the corn is blanched, you have to cool it quickly to prevent overcooking. Put the corn into the ice-cold water. Cool for the same amount of time you blanched. (If you had it in the boiling water for 9 minutes, leave it in the ice water for 9 minutes). Drain thoroughly.

If I could afford a real vacuum sealer I would buy one, especially since I hope to be freezing a lot of things this summer. If you're lucky enough to have one, use it! If you don't have one, you can get pretty much the same outcome by wrapping each dry corn cob in saran wrap, and then put it in the freezer bag. The corn should be good for about a year.

All done! Now you want to eat them? Just heat them up! Use a microwave for 3-4 minutes, boil them for 5-6 minutes, or thaw them and grill them as usual.

Now go get some corn! I feel like getting the grill heated up already....

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