Urban Food Garden

Processing Corn Cobs

The main problem with harvesting corn is that the cobs mature at the same time.  The period between when the first cobs ripen and when they become overripe and begin to harden is only about a week to ten days.  So to avoid wastage you will have to process your surplus.


Corn can be left on the cob to fully mature then be ground into corn flower, but this is best done using maize corn varieties.

Corn needs temperatures higher than boiling point to preserve it, otherwise you run the risk of contracting Botulism.  In order to safely can corn you will need a specialised canning pressure cooker.

 Is easy to do and requires no specialised equipment (other than a freezer), though you will be limited by the freezer space you have available.

  1. Remove the husks and chop off the base of each cob.

  2. Chop the cobs up into five centimetre pieces.
    They can be left whole but they pack down better if cut up into smaller pieces.

  3. Fill a large pot with water and heat on a stove top until the water is boiling.
    Use the biggest flame under the pot as possible.

  4. Place the chopped up cobs in the pot until the water has started to boil again.
    An alternative method is to put the cobs in cold water and remove as soon as the water begins to boil.  This avoids the risk of being scolded by hot water when adding cobs to boiling water.

  5. As soon as the pot starts boiling again poor the contents into a colander and rinse with cold water to rapidly cool the cobs.

  6. When the cobs are cold place them in plastic bags, seal and store in the freezer.

Corn frozen this way, while not tasting as good as fresh corn, tastes pretty good and should last months, rather than the ten day window of opportunity you have to eat it freshly picked.

If freezer space is limited you can strip the kernels and just blanch and freeze the kernels.  Though nothing beats corn on the cob.

Corn stripped of its husks and cut into cobbettes.

Corn cobbettes after they have been blanched then cooled with running cold water.

Frozen corn cobbettes (left) and corn kernels (right).


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