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If you don't have room in your freezer, but you want to be able to enjoy the corn from your garden this winter, then home-canning your corn is the easy way to do it. Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The corn will taste MUCH better than any canned corn you've ever had from a store. Frozen corn, of course, retains flavor better. If you want directions for freezing corn, click here. One other important note: you will need a pressure canner. Corn is a low acid food, so you cannot use a boiling water bath canner. It must be a pressure canner. Pressure canners cost more than water bath canners, but they are more versatile and last a lifetime, and your children and grandchildren may be using it. See this page for more information about pressure canners.
See this FAQ for more details: Can I use a water-bath canner instead of a pressure canner for low acid foods like corn?
Hot Pack v. Raw Pack? Raw pack means it is placed into the jars without heating, and then the jars are processed in the canner. Which is better? Not much difference. Food safety experts prefer the hot pack method, because you can stir the corn the ensure it gets evenly and thoroughly heated. I usually use the "hot pack" method. Hot pack instructions are here, should you prefer them.
Ideal ear - ripe but not bloated. the kernels are still tender (easily punctured with your fingernail) and the juice is milky). White, yellow or bicolor types are all fine!
Start with fresh corn on the cob - as fresh as you can get. If there is a delay between harvesting and canning, put it in the refrigerator or put ice on it. The sugars break down quickly at room temperature. According to the USDA, about 32 pounds (in husk) of sweet corn is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 20 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. Note that a bushel weighs 35 pounds and yields 6 to 11 quarts of canned corn, which is an average of 41/2 pounds of corn in the husks per quart of finished canned corn.
Get the medium sized pot filled with water.
This is also a good
time to get the c
Husk the corn and pick off as much of the silk as you can.
A soft vegetable brush is the fastest and easiest way to get the remaining silk off - just don't be too rough with it.
Obviously, if you are canning the corn on the cob, skip this step.
Whole Kernel Corn - Cut kernels from cob about 2/3 to 3/4 the depth of the kernels. I hold the ear by the small end, and slide the knife down the ear. See the next photo.
Cream Style Corn - Cut kernel tips about 1/2 deep and scrape the cobs with the back of a knife to remove the juice and the heart of the kernel.
Another way to prepare cream style corn for canning is to cut and scrape the corn from the cob without blanching. Place the cut corn in a double boiler, and heat with constant stirring for about 10 minutes or until it thickens; allow to cool by placing the pan in ice water.
You don't need a special tool, just a very sharp knife! Some folks use an electric carving knife and report this is the easiest method, and a few use a meat slicer.
However, a number of people wrote in to point out that they prefer one of the tools below, as do I, often because it is easier for them due to arthritis, or simply faster.
As the corn piles up in your bowl, it will look like this!
Close up, the corn comes off in strips. As you put these in the bag, they will easily separate into separate kernels.
You'll need this to fill the jars after you pack them with corn.
Fill jars with corn leaving 3/4 to 1 inch headspace (corn tends to expand more than other vegetables).
Be sure to include enough hot water from step 7 to cover the corn and jostle out any air bubbles that may be trapped. You may add additional plain boiling water, if you are short on liquids from the heated corn. Still leave 3/4 to 1 inch headspace.
Wipe the rims of the jars, put the lids on and then the rings on snugly, not not TOO hard.
Processing time for corn in a dial-gauge pressure canner
|Raw Pack||Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Jar Size||Process Time||0 - 2,000 ft||2,001 - 4,000 ft||4,001 - 6,000 ft||6,001 - 8,000 ft|
|Pints||55 min||11 lb||12 lb||13 lb||14 lb|
Processing time for corn in a weighted-gauge pressure canner
|Raw Pack||Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Jar Size||Process Time||0 - 1,000 ft||Above 1,000 ft|
|Pints||55 min||10 lb||15 lb|
When the processing time is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure canner to cool and the pressure to drop to zero before opening the canner. Let the jars cool without being jostled.
Later, when you are ready to serve the corn, it just takes about 3 or 4 minutes in the microwave (from frozen) or in the top of a double boiler. The corn doesn't need to be "cooked", just heated up!
This occurs most often when too high a temperature is used causing caramelization of the sugar in the corn. It may also be caused by some minerals in the water used in canning.
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
This is usually about $80 PLUS SHIPPING. (which is a GREAT price for a pressure canner). There is also a 16 quart version for about $69. Click on the links at left or above for more info and current pricing. It is also available from Amazon .com (click on the box link at left) (and below from Target)
All American Pressure Canner and Cookers - In 3 Sizes
5-Piece Canning Accessories Kit
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours