All About Canning Corn

Corn is a favorite vegetable that you can grow in your home garden. Although it is an easy plant to grow, it does take up a fair amount of room and is somewhat labor intensive until the crop is well-established. Since so much is work involved in raising corn, why not plant a few extra rows to can your corn for winter?


What Kind of Corn is Best for Canning?

There are only three different types of corn: field corn, sweet corn, and popcorn. Although you can eat field corn, it is typically only used for processed food like corn flour or corn syrup. Popcorn is in a different category in that it is eaten popped.

Therefore, the only kind of corn that is suitable for canning is sweet corn. There are many different varieties of sweet corn, so which type you plant is primarily based on personal preference.

Tip: Some super-sweet, early-ripening varieties do not taste as fresh when canned, so it is best to eat those particular hybrids directly off the stalk.

Do You Need a Pressure Cooker to Can Corn?

Unless you are freezing your sweet corn, you do need a pressure canner to put up your corn. It is essential to use this method to be sure your corn stays well-preserved and safe to eat.

Most home and garden centers and cooking stores sell pressure canners, and there are multiple kinds you can choose from. Many people prefer to purchase a pressure canner that can also be used to cook meat or other foods quickly.

What Other Tools Do I Need to Can Corn?

Although there are many gadgets available to help you can your corn more efficiently, there are only a few absolute necessities:

  • Pressure Canner
  • Clean, sterilized canning jars and lids
  • Sharp knife
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Tongs for removing jars from canner

Tip: One tool people often find helpful is a corn cutter, specially designed to cut the corn from the cob. You can find this tool anywhere canning supplies are sold.

What is the Process for Canning Corn?

There are two methods used for canning corn, the hot pack method, and the cold pack method. With the hot pack method, you cook the corn for a short time before putting it in the jars. For the cold pack method, you do not. Again, this is a matter of personal preference.

With each method, you use the sharp knife to cut the ripe sweet corn off the cob, rinse, and place in the prepared jars. Follow the instructions on your pressure canner and cook the jars for as long as the recipe indicates. Once the jars are cool, you can store them in a cool place.

Although canning corn does take more time than buying a can of corn from the grocery store, the flavor of home-canned corn makes the additional work well worth it!