How to Store Corn on the Cob? (And Keep It Fresh and Sweet)

Being a sweet corn pro, you’ve already mastered discerning the fresh corn from the canned and grew to love only the former. And now you are wondering, is there a way to keep a steady stash of corn on the cob and have it always fresh for all of your meals and cravings?

The best way to store corn on the cob is by keeping them in the husks as much as possible, placing them inside air-tight containers and bags, and storing them in cold storage like the refrigerator and freezer, which will preserve their natural taste, texture, and of course, shelf life.

In this post, we will go over how to ensure your corn stays fresh, whether it be right off the supermarket shelves, without the husks, or cooked. We will also give you some tips on how to buy the freshest corn possible, and what to do if you accidentally buy some corn that is less the fresh.

Store Properly to Stay Fresh

The key to keeping your corn fresh longer so you can enjoy it in a lot of your meals is proper storage.

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Fresh Corn on the Cob

As soon as you get home, put your fresh corn cobs immediately inside the refrigerator. The cool temperature inside can keep the freshness for about 1 to 3 days, which helps retain the sugar component of the corn. Otherwise, the corn will be starchy at room temperature, causing it to lose its freshness faster.

Meanwhile, as much as you can, keep the husks intact. They help retain the natural moisture in the corn so it stays fresh longer. Some may find the husks bulky to keep, so, you can peel some layers and just retain one or two.

Corn on the Cob Without Husk

Now, if you already peeled the corn because you were not able to read this article first. Or, you have less space on the refrigerator to keep the husks, then fret not.

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You can still help the corn retain its moisture by covering it with plastic wrap. Just poke a few holes in the plastic to allow for air circulation and avoid mold growth. And then, proceed on storing it inside the refrigerator.

If you are planning to store corn longer than a week or is looking for a way to store a huge stash, then you can freeze it instead.

Before freezing, blanch the corn first to help it retain its natural texture and taste.

Before freezing, blanch the corn first to help it retain its natural texture and taste. You can either blanch and freeze the corn on the cob or just the kernels. Blanch the corn in under 3 minutes and then dunk it into icy cold water to stop the cooking process immediately.

Store only room-temperature corn inside the refrigerator or freezer.

Storing only the kernels inside the freezer can keep fresh corn longer, even up to a year. And this also saves you precious space, allowing you to store more in the space. You can now have enough stash to last you the whole year or until the next harvest season.

Cooked Corn on the Cob

Cooked corn on the cob should be consumed immediately, especially when the climate is hot or humid. Leaving cooked corn at this temperature for longer than 2 to 3 hours will accelerate bacteria growth, causing spoilage. Unconsumed cooked corn should be immediately put inside the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, cooked corn on the cob will thrive in the cold environment of your refrigerator. And since it is already cooked, the texture and taste are already preserved so you do not need to worry about losing them when you reheat it.

The key to keeping corn fresh is to retain its natural moisture. And the best way to do so is by leaving it inside the husks.

You can also keep cooked corn longer than fresh ones inside the refrigerator – around 3 to 5 days. More so, if you keep it in airtight containers or freezer bags. You can also wrap it in aluminum foil before putting it inside the ref.

These materials can help keep the corn’s natural moisture intact so it will not dry out and lose its freshness. Moreover, they keep unnecessary moisture out as well so it will not grow molds.

Freezing can further increase the lifetime of your cooked corn on the cob to about 10 months to a year at 0 degrees Celsius. Just thaw it slowly at ambient temperature when you are ready to consume it. Meanwhile, thawed frozen cooked corn left inside the refrigerator can still last up to 3 days more.

In general, as soon as you harvest the corn, it starts to dry out. The key to keeping it fresh is to retain its natural moisture. And the best way to do so is by leaving it inside the husks.

Putting the corn on the cob with the husks intact inside freezer bags or airtight containers can help it stay fresh longer. And then, storing it in cold, or if possible, in freezer storage can prolong its life for up to a year.

Know Your Corn – How To Make Sure You Buy Fresh Corn

When it comes to keeping your corn fresh, actually, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have fresh corn in the first place.

Fresh corn has bright yellow and plump kernels; you should not spot brown or black ones. However, peeling the cob will accelerate the spoilage so it is not advisable to do this, especially when buying from the market.

The good news is, you can spot good corns from the bad ones even by just looking at them. The presence of bright green husks that are wrapped tight around the cobs means they are fresh.

Meanwhile, you can also check the hair or tassel-like strands at the end of the corn ear. If they are brown and sticky, then the corn is fresh. Do not get those with black or dry ones. 

Now that you have a stash of fresh corn in your hands, it is time to take the necessary steps to store them properly to keep their freshness.

I Bought Bad Corn. What Should I Do?

You will inevitably pick sad corn; whether you’ve just grabbed a pre-packed stash at the market or have harvested all of your crops.

Before you toss them out, check if there are good kernels left then scrape them off the cob. Toss them on the stove with some fat – yes, go ahead lather that in your best butter so they regain some moisture back.

You can still keep the leftovers in the refrigerator, but since they are cooked with other ingredients, they should be consumed in no more than 3 days.

Aside from cooking them in fat, pairing the kernels with dairies like cheese and milk can also mask the dryness. Your kids will surely enjoy them in their nachos, tacos, or dip. And so you are.

Parting Thoughts

If you are dealing with a hearty harvest from your own crops or are planning to maximize the season sale in the grocery, then investing in a big refrigerator or a freezer is worth it.

But you can still store a generous stash with your own cold storage space by just getting only the kernels and keeping them in airtight containers or freezer bags before storing them.

Congratulations! You can now enjoy your corn fresh and sweet all year round. You now know how to properly store your corn whether with the husks still on, on the cob without the husks or cooked. You can now start making your list of corn recipes to try and whip.


Sam is an outdoor enthusiast, who loves spending time in the garden and learning about animals. His motivating forces are his wife and 5 beautiful children. When he doesn't get it right, he will go and try again!

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