How To Freeze Corn

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Corn is a non-negotiable staple in the freezer, and fresh sweet corn is a non-negotiable fixture of summer. It only makes sense that one should lead to the other. As summer draws to a close and corn continues to be sweet and cheap, freeze what you can’t eat in just four simple steps.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Selecting Corn

While folklore dictates that for truly sweet frozen corn, the corn must be boiled and frozen right in the corn field, any fresh, blemish-free corn can be frozen. Look for clean, brightly colored cobs without dark or dry patches. Avoid black silks. Pick the cobs up and give them a gentle squeeze. They should be firm and free of soft spots. Peel back a small section of the husk and peek at the cob, avoid dry or moldy kernels. Leave the corn in its husk until just before preparing for the freezer.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Yes, You Really Must Blanch It

Every single kernel of corn in the grocery store freezer aisle has been cooked before freezing. Blanching — giving the corn a quick boil before eating or preserving — not only removes surface dirt (from the field or our hands), but it also deactivates enzymes that lead to spoilage. To blanch corn, you’ll need a wide pot, tongs, and a bowl full of equal parts water and ice (also known as an ice bath).

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Using Frozen Corn

You can basically use frozen corn anywhere you’d use fresh corn, which is everywhere. Fold it into cornbread or muffins. Sprinkle corn into tacos or, better yet, turn it into salsa. Add frozen corn to mac and cheese or turn it into creamed corn.

How To Freeze Corn

Makes 2 to 4 cups of corn

What You Need

4 to 8 corn cobs

Wide pot
Medium bowl
Chef’s knife
Cutting board
Zip-top freezer bags


  1. Shuck the corn: Remove the corn’s husk and silk. Trim dry ends or tops. Bring a wide pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. While the water boils, fill a large bowl with equal parts water and ice.
  2. Blanch the corn: Use tongs to add the corn cobs 2 to 4 at a time, depending on what your pot will hold. Boil for 4 minutes.
  3. Shock the corn: Remove the corn from the boiling water and place in the ice bath. Repeat blanching and shocking the remaining cobs.
  4. Cut the kernels from the cob: Remove the corn cobs from the ice bath. Cut the corn kernels from the cob by slicing from the top to the bottom of the corn cob, cutting between the kernels and the cob.
  5. Freeze the corn: Transfer the corn kernels into zip-top freezer bags, remove as much air as possible, seal, and label. Freeze the bags flat.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: The corn can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Yield: One ear of corn usually yields about 1/2 cup kernels.
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