Tuesday, July 14

Canning Whole Kernel Corn

It's summer and along with many other warm weather activities, canning the vegetables that are ripe and in season is something I do every year.

When corn first comes in, it can be a little expensive but as the weeks pass the price per dozen is alot of times greatly reduced.
When buying sweet corn in the husk, look for bright green color snug husks and dark brown silk.

Sweet corn is a low acid food so must be pressure canned to avoid food poisoning and botulism.

I preserve corn in pint jar to closely match the commercially canned size for recipes.

The History of Corn:
Although corn is indigenous to North and South America, its exact birthplace is far less certain. Archaeological evidence of corn's early presence in the western hemisphere was identified from corn pollen grain considered to be 80,000 years old obtained from drill cores 200 feet below Mexico City. Another archaeological study of the bat caves in New Mexico revealed corncobs that were 5,600 years old by radiocarbon determination.

Although the word "corn" comes from a general Old English word for a cereal seed (related to "kernal,") the word "maize" has Native American origins.

Fresh sweet corn with green husks and dark brown silk

Most historians believe corn was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. The original wild form has long been extinct.
For the Europeans, the story of corn began in 1492 when Columbus's men discovered this new grain in Cuba and it was exported to Europe.

Like most early history, there is some uncertainty as to when corn first went to Europe. Some say it went back with Columbus's first trip, while others report that it was not returned to Spain until Columbus's second trip to North America.  

A beautiful ear of sweet corn

At first, corn was only a garden curiosity in Europe, but it soon began to be recognized as a valuable food crop. Within a few years, it spread throughout France, Italy, and all of southeastern Europe and northern Africa. By 1575, it was making its way into western China, and had become important in the Philippines and the East Indies.

Husk the corn and remove the silk, a good job for the kids and hubby

I had a hard time finding out how many ears of corn were needed for each pint because everything on line and in the Ball Blue Book uses pounds of corn.  I have never in my life purchased ears of corn by the pound, yikes. 
But here are the approximate corn equivalents.

Quantity, How Much Do You Need:
I found I needed approximately 2 to 3 ears of corn per pint jar, which would mean you need approximately 4 to 6 ears of corn for a quart. It all depends on the size of the ears of corn.

Here’s what it says online:
A bushel of ears weighs 35 pounds and yields 6 to 11 quarts of whole-kernel style, or 12 to 20 pints of cream-style corn.
An average of 31 ½ pounds (in husks) are needed for a 7-quart canner load of whole-kernel corn.
An average of 20 pounds is needed for a 9-pint canner load of cream-style.

I found this vintage corn cutter (photo) at a second hand store. I love old kitchen tools and canning gadgets but prefer a sharp knife when cutting corn from the cob. My daughter purchased a brand new one of these and is putting it in the mail to me.  Maybe the new one will work better than the "stripper or sharp knife.

Canning Whole Kernel Corn

You Will Need:
About 2 dozen ears per 8 pints or 4 dozen for 8 quarts
(About 2 to 3 ears of corn per pint and 4 to 6 ears per quart jar)
Canning salt, (optional)
Mason jars with lids and bands
Pressure Canner and canning tools

Blanch corn to preserve flavor and color

Directions For Raw Pack:
Prepare pressure canner according to manufacture’s instructions.
Sterilize jars and then keep jars heated in simmering water until ready to use. Do not boil lids and bands.
Husk corn then wash under cold running water and remove silk.
Some types of corn may discolor when canned.  You can blanch the corn before canning by placing the washed ears of corn in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. 

Wash ears, remove silk and cut corn from the cob

Cut corn from cob.  Start at the small end of the cob and cut downward to the stem end. Do not scrape the cob.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then reduce and keep hot.

Loosely fill jars with corn

Pack raw corn kernels loosely into hot jars.  Do not pack down or shake jar to pack.  Corn should be lay loosely in the jars.

Ladle hot water into jars
Ladle boiling water over corn. Remove air bubble and add more water if needed to leave a 1 inch headspace.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint jar or 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, if desired.
Wipe jar rim and apply the 2 piece lid.  Adjust just until fit is fingertip tight.

With lid on, process filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure, 55 minutes for pints and 1 hour and 25 minutes for quarts and following manufacture’s instructions for your canner.

Remove jars and let cool completely. Do not disturb for 24 hours.
Once cooled, lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Do Not Tighten Bands.  
According to the newest addition of the Ball Blue Book, bands may be left on or removed.  
Wash jars, label and store in a dark, cool, dry location.

Directions For Hot Pack
Remove corn from cob and place corn in a large saucepan. For each 4 cups corn, add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
PACK hot cooked corn and hot liquid into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace.
Follow directions about from this point.

Home canned corn ready for labels

Freezing corn is much simpler than canning corn and results in a product that may taste better to you.
Before freezing, corn must be blanched to destroy the enzymes that will cause flavor and color changes during storage.
Corn can be stored in the freezer at 0° F for about 10 months. It can be stored longer but may lose some of its flavor or become freezer burnt.

Water blanch small ears (1-1/4 inches or less in diameter) 7 minutes, medium ears (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter) 9 minutes, and large ears (more than 1-1/2 inches in diameter) 11 minutes.

Whole kernel corn:
For frozen cut corn, blanch for 4 minutes, cool, and cut kernels from the cob at about three -fourths of their depth. Fill pint, or quart-size freezer bags, to a level of 3 to 4 inches from the top. Squeeze out air, leaving a 1-inch headspace, label, and freeze. 

I am in the middle of making two large pots of vegetable soup to can for winter.  Many of my garden vegetables are ripe and this is one of the best uses for all the extra! Wonderful to open a quart of soup on a chilly fall day.


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Anonymous said...

We can corn every summer. I add it to soups and casseroles too. Love the blog. Kensie

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks Kensie. I usually can corn every year, but if there is a really good crop and it's cheap I can extra just in case the following year is not so great. That has happened to us a couple of times.