At the farmer's market, the best corn is:- Bright green and tightly wrapped around the cob,- Golden and silky tassels at the top,- Heavy and firm,- Plump kernels inside,- Free from wormholes/bugs.
How to Freeze Corn on the Cob
Shuck: Use a sharp knife to cut off ½ inch from the root end of each corn cob. Firmly hold the top of the cob (where the tassels are) either with your hand or a kitchen towel for better grip. With your other hand, hold the bottom of the cob and twist and pull the corn to free it from the husk. The corn should slide easily free. If wanted, cut the cobs in half now.
Blanch: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and carefully drop the corn in, ensuring it's fully submerged (I like to use heat-proof tongs for this). Leave to boil for exactly 4 minutes with the lid on. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath - a large container filled with water and plenty of ice.
Cool and Dry: As soon as 4 minutes is up, use the tongs to remove the corn and place it immediately into an ice bath. This stops the cooking and cools it quickly. Leave in the ice water until fully cooled (around 10 minutes). Use a kitchen towel or paper towels to thoroughly dry the corn.
Freeze: Spread the blanched dried cobs on a freezer-safe tray and flash freeze until solid (a few hours or overnight). Transfer the cobs to a Ziplock freezer bag or tightly wrap them individually. Label with the date and keep in the freezer.
How to Freeze Kernels (Corn off the Cob)
Shuck, Blanch, Cool, and Dry: Follow the same instructions as above. You could remove the kernels before blanching, but I recommend doing so after. Note: If you remove the kernels before blanching, they will only need 2 minutes in the hot water.
Remove the kernels: I find a Bundt pan very useful. If you don't have a Bundt pan, try using an inverted small container/bowl in a large bowl.Place the corn upright in the hole in the middle of the pan. Using a small, sharp knife, slice downwards, shaving the corn. The kernels will drop into the Bundt pan, avoiding mess.
Freeze: Spread the kernels in a single layer across a baking sheet. Freeze until solid (for a few hours), then transfer to a Ziplock bag, squeezing out any extra air. Label with the date and keep in the freezer.
How to Store and Thaw/Reheat
Properly stored blanched corn (kernels or on the cob) can last for up to 8-12 months in the freezer (ideally at 0°F/-18°C). If your freezer temperature is not that low, make sure to consume the corn within the first 6 months.To thaw frozen corn on the cob, transfer it to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. Then you can reheat it by boiling it for a few minutes or oven-roasting it at 375°F/190°C until heated through.Kernels off the cob can be added directly to the skillet/pan to heat in the last few minutes of cooking. Or defrost in the fridge overnight and heat through on a skillet with some butter.If you have any leftover thawed corn, it should not be frozen again and is best consumed within a few days for optimal quality.
Use fresh corn: The fresher the corn, the sweeter and juicier it will be. Use organic where possible, too, for the most flavor.
Don't salt the water: This can pull moisture from the corn and cause it to toughen. You could add a pinch of sugar, though, to enhance the sweetness of the corn.
Work in batches: I recommend blanching up to 4 cobs simultaneously. Otherwise, the blanching time may vary.
Ensure the corn is dry: If you try to freeze corn that's still wet, this will encourage ice crystals to form over the corn.
Don't discard the cobs: You can use them to make vegetable stock, corn chowder, or corn cob jelly.
Label the bags: Use a permanent marker to label the freezer bags with a use-by date, and avoid waste.