Looking for All You Need to Know About Fresh Corn, Corn on the Cob: Picking, Storing and Cooking in 2020? 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.
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!
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.
To harvest, snap off the ears by hand with a quick, firm, downward push; then twist and pull.
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.
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:
You can easily freeze the sweet corn and have that great taste in the dead of winter!
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!