Sweet Corn Harvest

Don't quit now, sister!  We're just getting started!

Don't quit now, sister! We're just getting started!

There’s nothing quite like fresh sweet corn on the cob in the summer… except, maybe, enjoying fresh sweet corn all year ’round! My little family is blessed to live near my aunt and uncle who raise corn. So blessed that we get to help them harvest it AND eat it! Here’s what we do…

Early in the morning, when the dew is heavy, all the worker bees head to the field to pick corn. Some do the pickin’, while others shag the full buckets to the pickup. When the pickup is full we head to the house where the real fun begins.

Lots of happy helpers make time fly.

Lots of happy helpers make time fly.

The shuckers and hairers (is that a word? that’s what we call them…) prepare the corn and load it into all available clean coolers, buckets, laundry baskets… whatever they can find. Inside, we start our assembly line.

Only the beginning...

Only the beginning...

1. Blanching — Boil the ears for about three minutes. Don’t forget to sort out all of the really pretty ears to eat for dinner!

Boil for three minutes.

Boil for three minutes.

2. Cooling — Take the hot ears out of the pot and immediately soak in ice cold water. This keeps the juice from splattering all over the kitchen when the kernels are cut off. Hint: We like to freeze big chunks of ice in plastic containers (sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.) in preparation for corn harvest. Ice chunks last a lot longer than cubes.

From the ice bath to the cutting pan.

From the ice bath to the cutting pan.

3. Cutting— When the corn is cool, remove it from the water and let it rest in a pan while you cut kernels. We used two cutting methods. The mandoline (in the picture) is only for the most experienced, brave slicers. That thing is sharp! I prefer to rest a cob vertically on a cutting board and slice down with an electric knife. I don’t have a picture of that due to my lack of ability to use an electric knife and a camera at the same time. It takes a few cobs to really get the feel of it. You want to cut deep enough to not waste corn, but not so deep that you cut into the cob.

Slice carefully.

Slice carefully.

4. Bagging — Dump the sliced kernels into a bowl. We measure 3 cups of corn for each quart-sized bag. You can use different bag sizes, but the quart size stacks nicely in the freezer. You could also add more corn or use less in each bag, but I feel like we’re wasting bags if we use less and they don’t seem to stack as flat if we use more. And if you’re curious, we figured it takes approximately one dozen ears to get three cups of kernels, given that some ears are fuller and some are sparse.

Three cups per quart-sized bag.

Three cups per quart-sized bag.

5. Freezing — Fold the open bag over and press down to get all the air out. Then seal the bag and squish the corn around to flatten it. Now they’re ready to freeze!

Ready for the freezer.

Ready for the freezer.

Try to spread the bags out in the freezer, at least until they’re cold, because it takes too long for them to freeze when they are stacked deep. There you have it. Fresh sweet corn all year!

You forgot some on this one!

You forgot some on this one!


For more kitchen tips, head over to Tammy’s Recipes.


10 Responses

  1. So yummy! I just got a dozen ears of sweet corn yesterday. I shucked them and today I am going to cook some and freeze some. Thank you for the tutorial. I love, love, love corn. Fresh or frozen is the only way to have it!

  2. Wow, that is SO impressive. And it looks like such a fun day having everyone working together like that. How awesome!

  3. We love fresh sweet corn (not yet ready here) but I have never frozen any – I think I’ll give that a try this year.

  4. I can’t wait for our corn. I know I won’t have enough so I’ll get some from a friend.

  5. That slicer looks pretty scary, but I never thought of using the electric knife. I’ll try it next time.

  6. Wow! You had a TON of corn! My daughter would have had a blast “worm hunting” in that batch! Thanks so much for sharing.


  7. soo cool!!! 🙂

  8. […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by mrdutch730 on 2008-08-23 Sweet Corn Harvest https://amysfinerthings.wordpress.com/?p=17 – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by viawang […]

  9. Thank you for posting this! I am trying to also find a way to dry corn for our chickens to eat during the winter. Do you know where I can find this info?

  10. Thank you so much for the great info and above all the great pics. I’m growing a small amount of corn for the first time in my life and so many sites describe what the corn is supposed to look like when ready for harvest but you are the only one that shows a picture of it just harvested. My 10 year old would eat corn every day if I gave it to him so I’m really excited. wish me luck!

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