Corn Basics

This information has been reviewed and adapted for use in South Carolina by P.H. Schmutz, HGIC Food Safety Specialist; J.E. Campbell, graduate student; and E.H. Hoyle, Extension Food Safety Specialist, Clemson University. (New 10/01. Revised 02/05.)

HGIC 3530

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Getting Ready to Preserve Corn

  • Select only tender, freshly-gathered corn in the milk stage.
  • Husk and trim the ears, remove silks, and wash.

Canning Corn

  • Wash ears and blanch 3 minutes in boiling water.
  • Cut corn at about three-fourths the depth of the kernel. Do not scrape from cob.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of salt to pints or 1 teaspoon to quarts, if desired.

Hot Pack:

  • Add 1 cup of boiling water to each 4 cups of corn.
  • Heat to boiling and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Pack corn hot, leaving a 1-inch headspace.
  • Fill jar to 1 inch from the top with boiling hot cooking liquid.

Raw Pack:

  • Pack corn into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Fill jars to 1 inch from the top with boiling water.

Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process hot or raw pack in a dial-gauge canner at 11 pounds pressure or in a weighted-gauge pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for altitudes up to 1,000 feet. Process pints for 55 minutes and quarts for 85 minutes.

Freezing Corn


  • Blanch small ears (1¼ inches or less in diameter) for 7 minutes, medium ears (1¼ to 1½ inches in diameter) for 9 minutes and large ears (over 1½ inches) for 11 minutes.
  • Cool promptly and completely to prevent a "cobby" taste.
  • Drain and package. Seal, label and freeze.

Whole Kernel Corn:

  • Blanch for 4 minutes. Cool promptly, drain and cut from cob.
  • Cut kernels from cob about two-thirds the depth of the kernels.
  • Package, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze.

Cream-style Corn:

Option # 1:
  • Blanch for 4 minutes. Cool promptly and drain.
  • Cut kernel tips and scrape the cobs with the back of a knife to remove the juice and heart of kernel.
  • Package, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze.

Option # 2:

  • Cut and scrape the corn from the cob without blanching.
  • Place the cut corn in a double boiler, and heat with constant stirring for 10 minutes or until it thickens. Allow to cool by placing the pan in ice water.
  • Package, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze.

For more information on preserving foods at home,  request HGIC 3240, Beans, Corn and Peas, or HGIC 3040, Canning Foods at Home.


Reynolds, Susan and Paulette Williams. So Easy to Preserve, Bulletin 989. Revised 1999 by Elizabeth Andress and Judy Harrison. Cooperative Extension Service, University of Georgia.

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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.