Some meals have the taste of summer. Bright tomatoes, sweet melons, fresh corn on the cob with butter, and crisp lettuce are some of our favourite foods. However, it’s important to store the corn properly before cooking it. How you store your corn could mean the difference between delicious corn on the cob and tasteless, starchy corn.
Here’s how to store corn properly to stay tasty and fresh:
Both a vegetable and cereal grain, corn is. In the culinary world, sweet corn on the cob is typically regarded as a vegetable, although the dry seeds used to make popcorn are categorized as whole grains.
More than 9,000 years ago, in Mexico, corn was given the name “maize,” and now, it is grown worldwide. Native Americans cultivated and gathered this crop as their primary food source.
It’s one of the world’s most often consumed cereal grains today. However, it also appears in red, purple, and blue, and corn is often white or yellow.
Sweet corn, popcorn, tortillas, polenta, chips, cornmeal, grits, oil, syrup, and other meals and cuisines are all made from it.
Additionally, it is frequently utilized as fuel and animal feed. In actuality, 60–70% of maize produced globally is used to feed animals, while 40% of corn grown in the US is utilized for fuel.
Why Should I Store Corn on the Cob?
Fresh corn should ideally be eaten soon after harvesting, whether you grow it yourself or buy it at a market or grocery. Raw corn loses some sweetness as it ages because the natural sugars turn starchy. Corn can be kept in the fridge or freezer if you don’t intend to eat it immediately after purchasing it. For making recipes like creamed corn or corn chowder in the cooler months, it is ideal for storing fresh summer corn for a long time.
Three Tips for Storing Corn on the Cob
Follow these guidelines for the best freshness while storing corn on the cob in the refrigerator:
- Select fresh corn. The corn should be completely encased in a green husk that is securely bound. If dry corn silk protrudes from the ends, the corn is too old. Instead, there should be moist, silky corn silk. Additionally, the corn needs to be solid and free of mushy areas.
- Leave the corn’s husks on. Leave the husk on to keep the corn moist and prevent it from drying in the refrigerator.
- Put the corn in a produce bag made of plastic. To prevent the corn from drying, store it in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper. To encourage airflow, keep the bag partially open. For up to two days, corn can remain fresh in the fridge.
Instructions for Freezing Corn on the Cob
To freeze fresh corn for long-term storage, follow these instructions:
- Shuck: Take off the corn husks from the ears.
- Boil: Fill a big pot with boiling water and add the full ears of corn.
- Blanch: To preserve the texture of the corn, blanch it in a dish of ice water. If you want to use the corn in a recipe that calls for kernels, you can cut the kernels from the cob once it has cooled.
- Flash freeze: To stop corn kernels from adhering together in a plastic bag, you can flash full freeze ears of corn or cut kernels on a baking sheet.
- To store, empty the freezer bags of extra air before sealing them with the corn inside. In the freezer, frozen corn can keep for up to a year.
How to Tell if Corn on the Cob is Bad and Storage Advice?
Meat, poultry, and dairy products are frequently connected with maintaining flavour and freshness and adhering to correct food safety rules. However, how you prepare and store veggies like maize is equally crucial.
Checking the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer should be your first order of business. According to the FDA, keeping your appliances at the right temperature is one of the greatest methods to stop bacteria from contaminating your food.
Ensure the refrigerator temperature is set at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Zero degrees Fahrenheit should be the setting for the freezer.
If the corn has been in the refrigerator for more than three days, check out for anything that seems or smells off. According to the FDA, watch out for changes in the corn that could mean it’s ruined, such as:
- Black or brown pieces
What is the Shelf Life of Raw Corn on the Cob?
Raw corn on the cob can last for one to three days if properly preserved. According to Still Tasty, you may use a few methods to increase the fresh corn on the cob’s shelf life. Before keeping raw corn on the cob, remember not to remove the husks. The corn will survive longer if the husks are left on.
If the husks have already been removed, the uncooked corn can be wrapped in foil or plastic. As a result, the corn on the cob will remain fresh for the same time as if the husks were still on.
What is the Shelf Life of Cooked Corn on the Cob?
The anticipated shelf life of corn on the cob that has already been cooked is different from that of corn that is still fresh and uncooked. Prepared corn should be consumed within the following four to five days, just like most other cooked vegetables.
Store your cooked corn in the refrigerator in an airtight bag to ensure it lasts as long as possible (you can also wrap it tightly in saran wrap if you prefer). According to Shelf Life Advice, plucking the corn’s kernels from the cob and only eating the kernels may also extend the edible portion’s shelf life.
How to Select a Corn?
Look for corn with husks that are a vibrant green hue, still tightly attached to the ear, and have not dried out when purchasing it from the grocery store or a farmers’ market. The tips of the silks that are sticking out should feel moist, too. Before moving on to the next ear, look for any tiny holes in the husks that might be insects or wormholes.
One more thing: give the ear a strong squeeze from the bottom. It should have a substantial feel and be completely covered in hard kernels. Please do not remove the husks to inspect them for worms or determine their freshness, however tempting it may seem. Why?
Corn starts to dry up after being harvested, and the natural sugars convert to starch. The process speeds up more when kernels are exposed.
Which Type of Corn Can be Stored?
- Worldwide, corn is regarded as a staple crop, and it is grown for various uses in addition to human use. Due to its significant protein and carbohydrate composition, corn is a favourite food among survivalists. It has many different types, and there are numerous food possibilities for each, making it quite adaptable. Here are the several varieties of corn:
- Dent maize, so named because of its distinctive “dented” look, is the most popular kind farmed in the US and is largely utilized for ethanol production, corn syrup, and animal feed.
- A hardy crop that can endure extremely low temperatures is flint corn. The majority of flint corn is grown in Central and South America.
- Pod corn has distinctively elongated kernels and a variety of colour patterns, making it more decorative than its cousins mentioned above.
- Popcorn is a hard-shelled variety of flint corn. Growing primarily for human use
- Because of its soft kernels, flour corn is simple to grind and is used in many baked items; however, it should not be mistaken for cornmeal.
- The most prevalent variety of corn in supermarkets is sweet corn, with a significant sugar and carbohydrate content.
- Corn that is dented stores typically well over time. It can be kept for up to 30 years when properly dehydrated and stored in food-grade buckets or mylar bags. Additionally, you can keep some flint corn.
- Additionally, you can keep some flint corn, which can be ground to create cornmeal, producing delicious cornbread. Additionally, you can prepare tortillas and corn grits.
- Since sweet corn is eaten fresh as a vegetable rather than a grain, it is typically not a good choice for long-term storage. Corn can be used for biofuel and animal feed in addition to food.
What are the Nutrition Facts about Corn?
Corn is a highly nutritious food that is rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, as well as carbohydrates, and it also has a comparatively low protein and fat content.
Various nutrients are found in one cup (164 grammes) of sweet yellow corn:
- caloric intake: 177 caloric
- 41 grammes of carbs
- 5.4 grammes of protein
- 2.1 grammes of fat
- 4.6 grammes of fibre
- 17 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin C (DV)
- Thiamine, a vitamin B1, contains 24% of the DV.
- Vitamin B9 folate: 19% of the daily value
- eleven percent of the DV for magnesium
- 10% of the DV for potassium
The majority of the carbohydrates in corn come from starch, which, depending on how much you eat, can quickly spike your blood sugar. However, it also has a lot of fibre, which can help regulate your blood sugar.
Most people can benefit from consuming whole corn and popcorn as a balanced diet because of their outstanding nutritional profile. Additionally, it is a naturally gluten-free dish, so individuals who avoid gluten can consume it.
On the other hand, processed corn products may not be especially nutrient-dense since, during manufacture, healthy fibre and other nutrients are removed from refined oil, syrup, and chips. Additionally, many processed foods have a lot of extra fat, sugar, or salt.
What are the Health Benefits of Eating Corn?
Eating corn has a variety of health advantages. However, the advantages vary a little depending on whether you’re consuming popcorn or sweet corn.
Whole grains include corn, and the complete grain is what is meant by the term “whole grain.” The most nutrient-dense grains are whole grains, a source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and vitamin A levels in corn are significantly higher than in other cereals. Additionally, it is a fantastic antioxidant source.
Corn is regarded as a starchy vegetable as well. It contains less sodium, sugar, and fat than certain other starchy vegetables.
Other advantages of corn for health include:
Due to the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin, which improve eye health, as well as a variety of beneficial antioxidants and a high fibre content that lowers LDL and prevents diverticular disease.
For best results, blanch your corn on the cob. First, put the cobs in a pot filled with water that has been boiled until it’s hot but not boiling. After four minutes, remove the cobs with tongs and plunge them into an ice bath. Let the cobs sit for five minutes before draining and patting them dry with paper towels. The moisture that remains on the cob will turn into frost as it freezes.
Another option is to use freezer bags. You can use gallon zip lock freezer bags to store the corn and close the top tightly to keep air out. You can reuse the freezer bags by sliding the corn kernels out of the bag. This method is best for short-term storage because it prevents cobs from becoming soggy. Moreover, it prevents the corn kernels from becoming soft and mushy.