Hey, are we two peas in a pod by planning to blanch corn in the microwave? (or two humans with too-many-corns-in-their kitchens)
Did you just buy too many pieces of corn in the hopes of enjoying it well past the summer season? (psst…not judging, but so did I! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to enjoy this summer bounty for as long as you can)
If I’m right, then and you’re actually stuck looking for a way to blanch corn in microwave, then you’ve found the right guide. In this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know about blanching corn in the microwave so that you can have delicious and sweet corn all year long!
How to blanch Corn in the Microwave?
While corn is one of those vegetables that does freeze nicely even if it is not blanched, you might still want to consider blanching it before freezing for that added guarantee that things will stay as fresh and juicy as possible for later use.
While typical blanching methods involve boiling water or using steam, you can also just as easily blanch corn in the microwave for an easier alternative.
Here’s how to do it:
- Husk the corn and wipe down the outside of the ear of corn with a soft cloth to remove any remaining silk.
- Rinse the ear under cold water to wash away any surface debris.
- Place the ears of corn in a large microwave-safe casserole dish, with a lid. Or a big bowl with a plate will work just as well.
- Add a splash of water.
- Microwave the corn ear on high for 7 to 11 minutes, depending on the size of the ears of corn, turning the corn halfway through the cooking time. Make sure the water has started to boil and steam during this process.
- Fill another large bowl halfway with ice cubes and water.
- Remove the blanched corn from the microwave using oven-safe mitts and tongs and immediately plunge it into the bowl of ice water. This will cool the corn quickly and stops the cooking process.
- Keep the corn in ice water until the entire ear feels cool.
- Remove the corn and pack it in zipper freezer bags, and freeze immediately.
How long should my corn stay in the ice bath after blanching in the microwave?
A good rule of thumb to remember is that blanched vegetables require the same amount of time to cool as it does to blanch.
So, if you cook the corn for 7 minutes in the microwave, you’ll want to cool it for 7 minutes, at least, or until cool to the touch.
The cooling time might also vary depending on if it was an ear of entire corn on the cob or just the kernels.
How much water will I need to blanch corn in microwave?
Microwaves steam blanch fresh corn, which means it uses comparatively lesser amounts of water compared to the conventional stovetop boiling method, which requires around 1 gallon of water per pound of your vegetables.
However, the exact quantity of water can vary depending on how you have prepped your corn. A rough estimate of water quantity is:
- Corn on the cob – 1 quart of water
- Cut corn from 4 ears – 1 /4th cup of water
How do I know my corn is done blanching in the microwave?
That is a good question, and an important one as well. In this section, I’ll share with you the 3 telltale signs that your corn is done blanching.
Finding the right balance between over blanched corn on the cob and under-blanched corn is crucial, because:
- Under-blanching raw corn may stimulate the activity of enzymes and is worse than not blanching at all.
- Over-blanching fresh corn may cause a loss of vitamins and minerals along with flavor.
To test if your corn is done blanching:
- Take out a piece from the microwave and give it a quick dip into the icy-cold water
- Take a bite, it should easily snap between your teeth, but not be mushy, it should have some of its raw crunchiness.
If you feel your corn hasn’t reached this stage, repeat the blanching process in 30-second intervals, depending on how raw the corn was during the testing phase.
Can I blanch cream corn as well in the microwave?
Sure, you can.
- Blanch the creamed corn in the microwave by cooking it on high for 3-4 minutes.
- Let it cool for about 1 minute.
- Portion into 2-3 cup servings, depending on your needs, and vacuum seal to preserve freshness.
Does corn need to be dry before freezing?
Yes, make sure you have thoroughly dried the corn after removing it from the ice bath because any remaining moisture will form a layer of frost on the cob.
Drying helps to keep ice crystals from forming.
How should I prepare my corn to eat after blanching & freezing?
There are three ways to defrost and/or use the corn you just saved after blanching and freezing.
- Put the frozen corn in some warm water to thaw it out.
- Alternatively, heat it in the microwave or on the stovetop with a dash of water.
- You can also directly cook frozen corn without any worries.
Then use it in whatever way or dish you prefer to eat.
Isn’t blanching the same as boiling?
A common misconception, but NO, it’s not the same. Both boiling and blanching are two very separate methods for cooking.
- It is mainly used to cook food thoroughly till tender.
- It’s notorious for losing out on water-soluble nutrients.
- Food mainly tastes bland after being boiled.
- Can be time and resource-consuming if you need to boil large batches of food.
- It is mainly used as a food preservation technique.
- It can save nutrients and retain the original color and texture of food.
- Less time consuming
Why should I blanch before freezing?
For the uninitiated, blanching freshly picked vegetables is a process that is usually done before freezing, canning, or drying them to preserve their nutrients and stop any enzyme activity that may cause any color, taste, or textural changes as well as kill off surface bacteria and remove dust and grime.
To put it simply:
- Blanching makes sure your frozen corn stays and look fresh for a longer time
- It will allow you to save all the nutrients from your corn on the cob.
- Help you reduce food waste because instead of food getting spoiled and thrown away you can save it for later use (hello saving the planet)
Can’t I just chuck my produce in the freezer directly instead of blanching?
Well yes, you can freeze corn without blanching. But freezing without blanching may result in flavors and colors going off.
While blanching can seem like an extra time-consuming step in our already busy routines, its benefits greatly outweigh the extra effort you put in if you want perfect frozen corn.
Besides, if you use a microwave to blanch your corn on the cob, then your effort and time are reduced to a bare minimum when you are ready to cook the frozen corn.
How to freeze corn on the cob without blanching?
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to freeze corn on the cob, you don’t need to blanch it first. Simply remove the husks and silks from the ears of corn, then rinse them under cold water. Next, cut the corn into thirds or halves, depending on your preference. Place the corn in a single layer on a baking sheet or silicone mat, then put it in the freezer. Once the corn is frozen solid, transfer it to freezer bags or containers. Frozen corn will keep for up to six months if you use freezer bags or an airtight container.
When you’re ready to use the frozen corn, there’s no need to thaw it first. Simply cook it according to your recipe. For best results, add a minute or two to the cooking time to account for the fact that the corn is starting out cold. Enjoy your delicious frozen corn all winter long!
What happens if you don’t blanch corn before freezing?
If you don’t blanch corn before freezing it, the quality of the corn will suffer. Without blanching, the frozen corn will be less sweet and have a poorer texture. Additionally, the freeze-thaw cycle will cause the corn to loosen from the cob, making it difficult to eat. If you want to freeze corn on the cob, blanching is essential to preserving its freshness and quality.
Blanching is a simple process of boiling or microwave-heating the corn for a few minutes before plunging it into ice water. This brief exposure to heat helps to stop the action of enzymes that can cause color and flavor loss. It also sets the milk in the kernels, ensuring that they will be tender and flavorful when cooked. Whether you’re freezing fresh or store-bought corn, blanching is the best way to preserve its flavor and quality.
If you’re short on time, READ THIS!!
- Blanching in the microwave – very much possible
- You need:
- a microwave
- oven mitts
- a very large dish with a lid
- splash of water + separately ice cube chilled water
Microwave the corn with water in the dish, chill in the ice bath, and you are done.
However, if you prefer more details on every step to freeze unblanched corn, then you’ll need to scroll to the top, but yes don’t be intimidated its as simple as one, two, three and you are done.