If you love fresh corn in the summer, preserve it by learning how to can corn using the raw pack method.
I love summertime when fresh corn is everywhere. Ohio is corn country, and I drive pass corn fields every single day. So, you bet that I love to can corn at home and enjoy the taste all year long.
Nothing compares to local, sweet corn!
I tried canning corn years ago for the first time with my grandmother. We grabbed several dozens of corn from a local farmers market, and I made Mexican corn with peppers and onions mixed.
It was good, but my kids don’t like peppers, so I needed jars of plain, sweet corn.
Whether you grow corn at home or grab it for a deal at your local farmer’s market, don’t let this season go to waste and try learning how to can corn at home.
How to Safely Can Corn at Home
Learning how to can corn safely is easy, but we have to start with the most important fact.
You need to have a pressure canner to safely can corn at home because this veggie is a low-acid food.
Acidity plays a huge role in how to safely can any food, and all low-acid foods, like green beans and corn, need to be canned at a high temperature under pressure to preserve the foods inside the jar.
Can I Can Corn without a Pressure Canner?
No. While your grandmother might have used methods like water bathing for three hours to can corn, that’s not what is recommended by professionals.
How Much Corn Do You Need to Can?
In general, you need four medium ears of corn for each pint jar. A quart jar needs eight ears of corn to fill.
That estimation will vary based on the corn you have. Larger ears will have more kernels than smaller ears. However, I simply use this as a guideline to know how many jars I need to have on hand to can all the corn that I have.
You’ll need around 32 pounds of corn per canner load of seven quarts. If you want to use pints, you need 20 pounds for a load of nine pints.
The Supplies Need to Can Corn at Home
Before you decide to can corn, you need to gather the supplies you need. Luckily, if you’ve canned anything before, chances are you have all of these things on hand.
Here are the supplies you need to have for canning corn.
- Canning Jars and Lids
- Pressure Canner
- Corn Cob Stripper or a Sharp Knife
- Canning Funnel
- Canning Salt
- Jar Lifter
- Headspace Measurer and Bubble Popper
Do You Have to Blanch Corn Before Canning?
You don’t have to blanch the corn before canning, but some people swear it helps with the flavor and ease of cutting the kernels off the cob.
Here’s how to blanch corn.
- Boil a large pot of water and prepare an ice bath near, typically in your sink.
- Once boiling, put each cob in the boiling water for two to three minutes and remove carefully with tongs.
- Transfer the cob immediately into the ice bath.
- Once cooled, cut the kernels off the cob.
Since you cook the corn in the pressure canning, blanch is NOT required. If you decide to freeze your corn, blanching is recommended.
Raw Pack vs Hot Pack When Canning Corn
There are two methods for canning corn (and many other veggies) – hot pack and raw pack. I typically select the raw pack method, and that’s what I’m going to show in the step-by-step directions, but let’s talk about the differences for a moment.
Raw packing is what it sounds like – filling jars with raw vegetables. The veggie needs to be packed into the hot jars loosely with one-inch headspace. Never pack or press the corn down into the jar.
Then, boiling water is poured into each jar, keeping the same headspace.
I use raw packing for most recipes because it’s faster and easier. I like fewer steps.
When you hot pack a vegetable, you start by putting the veggie into a large pot with water. For corn, you add four cups of corn kernels and one cup of water. Bring this to a boil under medium-high heat, and once boiling, let it simmer for five minutes after reducing the heat.
Ladle the hot corn into jars and leave a one-inch headspace.
How to Can Corn: A Step-By-Step Guide
1. Prep the Corn
The worse part of canning corn is prepping the corn. It takes forever; my daughter and I prepped 12 DOZEN ears of corn in one afternoon.
We were tired of corn by the end of the day.
Start by removing the husks and corn silks to the best of your ability. Do this outside; trust me. Those corn silks stay on your floor forever.
Don’t ask me how I know!
Rinse off the corn ears, and use a sharp, serrated knife to cut off the kernels into a bowl. This process takes time, and everyone has their own method that works for them.
Some people love using corn cob peelers that slide down the ear and removes all the kernels. I’m going to try that next time because using a knife takes time. I put the ear of corn in the middle of a bundt pan and use a knife to remove them.
The bundt pan collects the kernels perfectly. Honestly, you simply have to find a method that works for you.
2. Fill the Jars with Corn Kernels
Fill a pot with water and put it on the stove to bring it to a boil while you work on filling the jars. I also fill the pressure canner with the needed amount of water and set it on low heat on the stove, putting the lid on top.
After cutting all of the kernels off the cobs, start to fill the jars. I leave this job to my kids – my five-year-old loves to sneak bites of the corn. It’s his favorite veggie.
When filling the jars, never press or tightly pack the jars with veggies. The boiling water and pressure canning will cause the corn to plump up slightly, so it needs room to expand in the jar.
Add 1/2 tsp of canning salt to each jar of corn. This step is optional, but I find it leads to the best flavor.
3. Add Boiling Water
Once you fill all the jars with corn and add the salt, it’s time to fill your jars with boiling water. I use my canning funnel to make this easier, and use your headspace tool to make sure you leave a one-inch headspace above the water.
Turn the headspace tool over and move it around inside of your filled jar to pop any air bubbles.
4. Close Up The Jars
Wipe the rims of the jars off with a clean rag; some swear that dipping the rag in white vinegar helps create a better seal.
Once the rims are clean, put on the new lid and finger tighten the rings. Make sure you don’t overtighten because that could cause a seal failure or the lids to buckle.
Carefully load all of the hot jars onto the rack on the bottom of your awaiting, prepared pressure canner. Lock the lid, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
5. Process The Jars in a Pressure Canner
Let the steam vent out of your pressure canner for 10 minutes (or whatever your pressure canner manual says), and then put the weight on the vent.
Keep the heat at the same level until the pressure canner reaches 10 lbs of pressure (or 11lbs if your location is above 1,000 ft altitude). I use 11lbs!
At this time, you’ll need to gradually lower the temperature to keep the pressure the same. Start the timer at 10 pounds.
Process pint jars for 55 minutes and quart jars for 85 minutes at 10lbs pressure.
6. Let the Jars Rest
When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let the pressure canner gradually lose pressure. This takes plenty of time. When the canner unlocks, open the lid facing away from you.
NEVER ATTEMPT TO OPEN THE LID UNTIL THE PRESSURE IS 0 AND THE LID UNLOCKED.
Wait 10 minutes, and remove the jars and place them on a towel on your countertop. Let the jars rest for 12-24 hours before checking the seal and labeling your jars.
FAQs about Canning Corn
Why Did My Corn Turn Brown After Canning?
Yellow or bicolor corn doesn’t typically stay that corn during canning. If your corn turns brown after canning, don’t be surprised. Typically, it turns a deep, golden color. Sweeter varieties are more likely to turn brown.
However, browning may be because you processed the corn too long or at a too high of a pressure.
Typically, it doesn’t indicate that anything is wrong!
Why is the Processing Time for Corn So Long?
Compared to canning green beans, corn takes significantly longer to process. The extended processing time is recommended by the USDA because corn contains more starch than other veggies. That changes the time needed to safely can this veggie.
Try Canning Corn at Home!
Corn is one of my favorite veggies to can. Despite having a lot of prep, learning how to can corn means I can ditch the store-bought cans at the store and use local or homegrown corn only to feed my family.
Have you ever tried canning corn at home?