Thursday, November 12, 2009

Freezing and Dehydrating Corn: Choose Your Own Adventure

You know I could post this as two posts, but the only difference between freezing and dehydrating corn is the last step, so for simplicity I'm just doing one post with two possible endings.  Kind of like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books.  You read those didn't you?  I really liked the original #8 if I remember right.  I figured out how to get through the wild west town, I believe it was Deadwood City, without dying and then just chose the same adventure every time I read it so I never died.  Yep, I'm that adventurous.  Anyway, back to corn.

First thing you'll need is a bunch of corn.  However much is fine.  Depending on the variety of corn you grew, it can lose it's sweetness pretty quick after it's picked.  There's an old saying that goes something like "don't pick the corn until the water's boiling".  That never works around here, so we just get what we get when we get it.  It's also best for flavor to pick your corn first thing in the morning or late in the evening, not the middle of the day.  Ummm, yeah.  I pick it after I get the kids to school.

Shuck your corn and wash off all the little stringy corn silks as best you can.  Some folks are real particular about getting the strings off (me) and some don't really care much about getting every little string (my kids).  Then boil up some water and blanch the corn on the cob by dropping it in the boiling water for 6-8 minutes.  Mine didn't want to stay down so I put a bowl on top of it to keep it in the water.  (this new blogger typing thing is going to take some getting used to)

Pull the corn out of the boiling water (I use tongs) and put it into some cold water.

Once it's cooled off, you can cut it off the cob.  There are some fancy tools out there to get the corn off the cob.  I'd like one.  I just use a knife and cut down the cob in strips.  I do it on a cookie sheet so it will kind of hold the cut corn kernels and I can get a pile of them before moving to the next step.  Don't cut too deep or you get nasty tough cob bits in your corn.

Now you have your corn cut off.  If you'd like to store it in your freezer, continue reading.  To dehydrate it and store it on a shelf, scroll down a little more.  (You won't die with either choice, I promise.)


Scoop the cut corn into freezer bags or vacuum seal bags in a quantity that looks like one meal's worth for your family.  A little less for a couple, a bunch for a big family.  Or you can measure and do each bag at about 2 cups and have around a pound of corn per pack.  Whatever works for you.  Seal your bag, sharpie your date on it and put it in the freezer.  Easy.


Put your cut corn on your dehydrator trays and dry until it's hard and crispy.  Remove and store in a jar, vacuum pack bag, bucket, whatever you like to use to store your dehydrated goods.  Mark the date on it.

This dry corn is for rehydrating in soups and whatnot, not for grinding into cornmeal.  If you want to dry corn for cornmeal, just let it dry on the cob without doing any blanching like this.

There you have it.  Choose Your Own Adventure #379: Corn ;)


FernWise said...

My old but still working dehydrator has plastic shelves with too-large spaces on them for corn. And I'm having trouble finding stainless steel woven mesh to cover them with for small stuff. If you made your own dehydrator trays, where did you get the screening?

Frondly, Fern

Momnerd said...

As you know I have always loved to read, but I never could stand those choose your adventure books, they drove me crazy. I wonder if that says something about me? I wish we'd seen this post a year ago when we tried freezing corn. We didn't know how and it tastes nasty. Oh, well.

marci357 said...

Tip for cutting the corn off: A friend shared with me that he uses his electric carving knife! I tried it! Sooooo much easier than the manual knife - just watch your fingers!

Peggy said...

Okay, I was wondering what your thoughts are on drying already frozen corn. It looks like we are moving it January and I figured I may as well take whatever we have left. Right now we are eating out of the freezer using up what we have. I do have a lot of canning of wild berry jams and jellies ahead of me. We have something like 6 gallon bags of various types of berries/rosehips..

By the way I love the solar oven!! I may invest in one once we are settled in Indiana. With the amount of sun they get during the summer it could work great there! Keep us in prayer as we are preparing to sell our house, move over 3000 miles, and look for a new home in the dead of winter. Alaska to Indiana in January!! Talk about an adventure! I don't need to pick one when I am living one! :)

Take care now!!

From the blustery frozen north,

Angela said...

Fern-my sheets are the ones that came on my dehydrator (Excalibur) but as a dealer for their products I can get just the sheets for $4.00each. They are about 14"x14" square.

Momnerd-yep, that one old west one was the only one I really liked. The ripeness point at which you pick your corn really affects the flavor as well. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you do the whole procedure right if you picked your corn late and it's all old and starchy it still isn't any good frozen.

Marci-great idea! If I had an electric carving knife I'd definitely give that one a try.

Peggy-Yes, you can dehydrate corn out of the freezer. Just pull it out and let it thaw enough to separate the kernels then start drying. Good luck with the move!

lindaharper said...

If you grow corn, a corn cutter is definitely worth the little cost (less than $10). I've had mine for probably 20 years and dozens of ears of corn are cut in minutes. You can even have a setting for creamed corn. Yum!!!! I may have to get some out of the freezer for tomorrow.