How To Store Corn On The Cob If You're Not Using It Right Away

Sweet, milky, fresh corn on the cob is one of the joys of summer. As the old saying goes about this fabulous vegetable, "Stroll out to the garden to pick it, but run back to the kitchen to cook it." That's because as soon as an ear is picked, the sugars in the kernels begin to turn to starch, per The University of Missouri. Food scientists also say that newer varieties of corn are as much as three times sweeter than corn grown years ago. And because there's more sugar to begin with, the corn will stay sweeter longer.

Before you learn how to store the corn, you should know how to buy it. Look for corn that is firm, with a husk that is firmly attached; the corn shouldn't feel mushy if you press on it gently. The silk should be moist and, well, silky, per MasterClass.

Still, there are right ways and wrong ways to store fresh corn on the cob. After all, you want every tender bite of this summer favorite to be as sweet as possible. Here's how to store raw corn that's still on the cob if you're not using it right away.

How to store corn on the cob

The best way to store corn on the cob is in the refrigerator is to keep the husk on and store it loosely, not packed into a sealed plastic bag, especially if you aren't going to cook it the same day you buy or pick it, according to Southern Living. The silk and husk protect the kernels, keeping them moist. 

You can put the ears in a plastic bag, but keep it open so moisture doesn't collect in the bag. And the refrigerator will slow the conversion of sugar into starch, per Eckerts. If you want to shuck the corn first, each cob should be put into a sealed plastic bag in the fridge.

To freeze corn on the cob, you can remove the husk and silk, blanch if it you'd like, per the Pioneer Woman, dry it, and freeze the cob with the kernels still attached. Wrap well in freezer wrap or put the cobs into a freezer bag, label it, and date it. You can also remove the kernels from the cob, blanch them, then freeze.

How to cook your sweet corn

To cook corn on the cob, bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, then add the shucked and de-silked cobs. Bring the water back to a boil, then boil for about 4 minutes, per Food Network. If the cob is frozen, boil for 5 to 8 minutes. Drain, slather with butter, and dig in. 

You can also roast the corn in the oven or grill the ears (with the husk on). Or you can cut the kernels off the cob and use them in recipes, such as a classic and comforting corn pudding or grilled pizza with corn, prosciutto, and tarragon.

Corn the cob with feta and herbs is fantastically flavorful. Bacon, tomato, and tomato skillet corn showcases two of the best summer produce choices: tomatoes and corn. Finally, sweet corn and maple ice cream is an unexpectedly delicious sweet treat.