The Absolute Best Ways To Keep Corn On The Cob Fresh

Nothing says summer like a sweet ear of corn on the cob. Whether you decide to grill, boil, or roast it, corn on the cob tastes best when it is fresh. But what can do you if you buy corn on the cob and you can't prepare it right away?

Time matters when it comes to enjoying your corn on the cob, which is best eaten within 72 hours of it being removed from the cornstalk, advises The reason why comes down to science. After three days of being harvested, the corn begins to lose its sweetness as the sugar in the kernels starts to break down and turn to starch. Keeping it at room temperature for a short time is OK, but you should be aware of the process taking place. 

To store your corn, keep the husks on and only shuck it once you are ready to cook it, recommends Taste of Home. This way those sweet kernels won't become dry and lose the refreshing juiciness you love to sink your teeth into. If you're short on space in your cooler or fridge, however, Taste of Home says it's acceptable to remove some of the outer husks, while leaving a few on to maintain the ideal moisture level for storage.

Long-term storage

Sometimes cooking corn on the cob within 72 hours is just not doable. If you know that you will not get to cook the corn for weeks or months, you could try freezing your corn. This option will keep your corn tasting sweet and delicious until you're ready to eat it — even for up to 52 weeks! Rural Living Today advises that corn on the cob can be stored in the freezer for up to a year, due to its hardiness. Here are a few additional tips to make sure your corn tastes just as fresh when you take it out of the freezer to cook and eat as when you put it in there.

To get your ear of corn ready to be stored, the University of Minnesota Extension says blanching it first is critical. They recommend you blanch the corn in a pot of boiling water for just 4 minutes, and then submerge the ears in a bowl of ice water for another 4 minutes. They go on to explain that this step is essential in preserving the corn because it deactivates a natural enzyme found in the corn that is responsible for converting the sugar into starch, which can render your ear of corn mushy rather than crisp and juicy. So whether you cook your corn on the cob mere hours after it's been picked or months later, you can still enjoy this summer vegetable's taste as if you've just harvested it.