How to Blanch Corn in the Microwave Before Freezing

To keep corn's freshness and flavor when you freeze it, you'll want to blanch it first.
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If you've collected too many ears of corn for you to eat in a reasonable amount of time (and before the corn loses its sweetness!), you might consider freezing it.

Freezing corn will help you cut down on food waste and it'll allow you to enjoy sweet summer corn year-round. If you're planning to freeze corn for a later date, you'll definitely want to blanch the corn first in order to stop the enzymes from aging the corn, which will lead to bland flavor and an undesirable color and texture.

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How to Blanch Corn in the Microwave

Although corn is safe to eat if frozen without blanching, the National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends blanching vegetables to preserve their flavor and color.

While blanching in boiling water or steam is recommended, you can also blanch corn in the microwave for what may sometimes be a more convenient alternative.

Here's how to do it:

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  1. Husk the corn and snap off any excess cob at the base of the ear. Wipe down the outside of the ear of corn with a soft cloth to remove any remaining silk. Rinse the ear under cold water and pat dry.
  2. Microwave the corn ear on high for 7 to 11 minutes, depending on the size of the ears of corn, turning the corn halfway through the cooking time. Water should boil during the blanching process.
  3. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Add a tray of ice cubes to the water.
  4. Drain the corn and plunge the ears into the bowl of ice water. This cools the corn quickly and stops the cooking process. Keep the corn in ice water until the entire ear, including the cob, feels cool. As a rule, blanched vegetables require the same amount of time to cool as it does to blanch — so if you cook the corn for 7 minutes in the microwave, you'll want to blanch it for 7 minutes, too.
  5. Remove the corn and pack in zippered freezer bags, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Squeeze out the excess air in the bag and freeze immediately.

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Tip

Blanching corn in the microwave isn't as precise as other methods. It's possible that the food won't be blanched as evenly, which may detract from its flavor, texture or color during the freezing process. If you do have the time and tools to blanch corn on the stovetop, learn the best practices for doing so as well as how to freeze corn on the cob here.

Once the corn is blanched, you may want to cut the kernels off the cob — this will give you more space in the freezer, and it'll make meal-prep a whole lot easier when you're ready to cook with the corn.

How to Freeze Corn

How to​ ​Freeze​ ​Whole Kernel Corn

To prepare whole kernel corn, stand the blanched and cooled ear on end its end and slice down the ear, at approximately 2/3 the depth of the kernels. Fill a zippered freezer bag or another freezer container with the kernels and freeze immediately.

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How to Freeze Creamed Corn

For creamed corn, cut the entire kernel from the ear with a sharp knife, scraping the milky juice from the cob with the back of the knife. Seal the creamed corn in freezer containers and freeze immediately.

Alternately, you can make creamed corn by cutting the kernels from fresh corn and cooking in a double boiler for 10 minutes. Cool the creamed corn by placing the pan in a bowl of cool water. Pack in freezer bags or containers, leaving 1/2-inch headroom and freeze immediately.

Warning

Use caution when removing corn from the microwave as the escaping steam can burn your skin quickly.

Keep in mind, one of the best ways to prevent bacteria from invading your food is to keep your appliances at the proper temperature, according to the FDA. For the fridge, make sure the temp is set at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer temperature should be set to zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Once your corn is properly frozen, you'll have up to a year to dream up the many ways you can cook up your sweet corn. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

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