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 a 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 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 the microwave?
Microwaves steam blanch vegetables, which means it uses comparatively lesser amounts of water (yay…another win for planet Earth) 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. The microwave bell will DING when the corn is done blanching (Just kidding!!)
Finding the right balance between over blanched and under-blanched is crucial, because:
- Under-blanching- may stimulate the activity of enzymes and is worse than not blanching at all.
- Over-blanching- 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 cool.
- 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 two ways to defrost and 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 is a process that is usually done before freezing, canning, or drying vegetables 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 veggies stay and look fresh for a longer time
- It will allow you to save all the nutrients from your food
- 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. 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.
Besides if you use a microwave to blanch your veggies then your effort and time are reduced to a bare minimum.
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, 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.