Find a local pick your own farm here!

Looking for All You Need to Know About Fresh Corn, Corn on the Cob: Picking, Storing and Cooking in 2018?  Scroll down this page and  follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know!  

All You Need to Know About Fresh Corn, Corn on the Cob: Picking, Storing and Cooking

Fresh Corn, Corn on the Cob: Picking, Storing and Cooking

The difference in flavor between fresh, home grown or farm-picked corn and the usual grocery store ear of corn is profound - if - you know how to handle, store and cook it properly.  Mishandled, even the best, freshest corn loses its flavor and sweetness.  So, here's what you need to know!

Choosing and Picking Corn

Corn reaches it's peak sweetness and flavor when the kernels are full, and just touching each other, like a good set of teeth!  They should not be bloated and smushed so tightly that there is no space left at all. The bloated overripe ears will have a bland, starchy taste.

 If you break a kernel with your fingernail, the liquid should be slightly milky in color. The tips of the silks coming out of the ear should be a light brown.

Harvesting

 To harvest, snap off the ears by hand with a quick, firm, downward push; then twist and pull.

Storing the corn

Corn is at its prime eating quality for only 72 hours before becoming over mature. The most important factor is cooling it as soon as possible after harvesting it.  Get it into the fridge or cover it with ice! Many farmers say you should remove the shucks right away, too.  I've found that removing most of the shuck, but leaving a few leaves to cover each ear is best to prevent the kernels from drying out.  See this page for more about storing corn before using it.

Cooking:

The worst mistake people make is overcooking corn.  In fact, corn isn't really cooked; it's just heated up. If you cook it form more than a few minutes (3 minutes), then you are simply breaking down the sugars and turning a nice, crisp sweet ear into bland mush. It's not a pot roast; the purpose of heating it is NOT to break down the cells, just to heat them to bring out the flavor and melt the butter!

Here's how to cook the corn:

  1. Fill a large pot (large enough so the shucked ears can fit inside, laying down) about 2/3 full of water and start bring it to a boil
  2. Shuck the ears, and snap off the stalk end and the very tip of ear (especially if you will use "corn stickers" , (handles) to hold the ears.
  3. When everyone is sitting down at the table and you are serving the rest of the meal, put the corn in the boiling water and set the time for 3 minutes.
  4. After 3 minutes, using tongs, retrieve the ears and serve them with butter (Corn boats are wonderful for corn!

 

Freezing Corn

You can easily freeze the sweet corn and have that great taste in the dead of winter! 

Canning Corn

This too, is easy... but it DOES require a pressure canner.  You cannot safely do this with a water bath canner.  Food poisoning is no joke!