Looking for How to store freshly picked corn in 2023? 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 are having a hard time finding canning lids, I've used these, and they're a great price & ship in 2 days.
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If you just picked up some corn at a farm market or farmstand or just picked it yourself off the cornstalks, the clock is ticking to ...
Corn is at its prime eating quality after being picked from the cornstalk for only 72 hours (3 days) before becominglosing it's sweetness. The most important factor is cooling it as soon as possible after harvesting it. Get it into the fridge or cover it with ice!
Modern corn varieties have been bred to have very high sugar levels, which gives those ears the crisp sweetness. But outside of a refrigerator or being covered in ice, enzymes present in the kernels quickly turn those sugars into bland starch.
Although some farmers say you should remove the shucks right away; most of the research say to leave a covering of at least 2 leaves deep. That has been my experience, 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. That makes them neater and easdier to store in the fridge with less space taken up, but still keeps the kernels from drying out.
A loose fitting bag, like a grocery store bag is perfect to put the partially shucked ears in, in the fridge. If you use a tightly sealed bag, like a ziploc bag, you may get mold forming quickly from all the moisture. Something that reduces drying but still breathes, like a grocery store bag (plastic or paper) works well.
See these pages for illustrated step by step directions:
Water bath canner with a jar rack
Pressure canner for gas, electric and induction stoves
Canning scoop (this one is PERFECT)
Ball Blue book (most recent version)
most recent version of
the Ball Blue Book