The Easy Way to Can Corn


Did you grow corn in your garden this spring and summer? Well, harvesting your crop at just the right time is important to maintaining flavor and crispness of the corn. According to the National Gardening Association, “Corn is ready to be picked as soon as the ears have completely filled out. This goes for sweet corn and roasting ears. You can tell when this happens by feeling the end of an ear. If it’s rounded or blunt rather than pointed, the ears are ready. The silks also dry up when the ears are almost ready to be picked.” So, if your corn is showing these signs, you can also pull back the husks just a bit to see the kernel for even better judgement. 

After you have picked all of your ears, what to do with it all?! If you don’t have room in your freezer, but you want to be able to enjoy it all year, then canning your corn is an easy solution!  This corn tastes MUCH better than the canned corn you’ve had from the store! Check this out and get ready for your own harvest!!

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Supplies Needed


  • Corn– {32 pounds (in husk) of sweet corn is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 20 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.}
  • Canning salt (non iodized salt)- 1/2 tsp per pint, 1 tsp per quart


Step 1- Start with Fresh Corn on the Cob.

The ideal ear of corn is ripe but not bloated.  The kernels are still tender which means you can easily punctured them with your fingernail and the juice is milky not clear.  White, yellow or bicolor varieties of corn are all fine!

Step 2 – Remove the husk and silk from the corn.

Using a soft vegetable brush very gently, helps to easily remove the silks from the corn.

Step 3 – Cut the Kernals From the Corn.

Simply cut kernels from cob about 2/3 to 3/4 the depth of the kernels. I hold the ear by the small end, and slide the knife down the ear.  I do this over a cookie sheet or shallow pan.  You could also use a corn stripper to remove the kernals (my Mom has a corn stripper and it does make life easier).  You can also use a bundt cake pan with the ear of corn balancing on the center and the corn falling into the pan.  I’m not a big fan of the bundt cake pan method, for me it is a little clumsy, but many people like it.

I use the raw pack method of canning corn- Raw pack means it is placed into the jars without heating, and then the jars are processed in the canner.  You could blanch it first and then cut it and put it in the jars (Hot Pack Method)  but I figure it is getting so hot in the canner that it will kill everything so why not skip a step!

Step 4 – Fill the Jars with Corn.

Fill jars with corn leaving  1 inch headspace (corn expands as you cook it).

Step 5- Fill the Jars with Boiling Water.

Add enough boiling water to cover the corn.  Jiggle the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.  Be sure to still leave  1 inch headspace.  Add salt to the jars ½ tsp. per pint, 1 tsp. per quart. Salt is for seasoning purposes only so it is optional.

Step 6 – Put the Lids and Rings on the Jars.

Wipe the rims of the jars and make sure they are clean and not cracked.  Place the sealing lid and ring on securely.

Step 7 – Process the jars

Pints – process for 55 minutes
Quarts – process for 1 hour 25 minutes 

This chart shows how many lbs of pressure you need to can at according to your elevation. (this the the number on the gauge that your pressure cooker needs to reach when you start timing).

Canning  low-acid foods like many vegetables such as corn — requires pressure canning to kill microorganisms that are harmful if not destroyed before ingesting the food. Pressure canning at 240 degrees kills the botulism bacteria. If this temperature isn’t achieved and the bacteria isn’t destroyed, one taste of this spoiled food can kill you. Simply boiling food on the stovetop will not kill any botulism and should not be considered a safety step.

Follow the pressure canning operation instructions that come with your canner.

Step 8- Finish

When the processing time is up turn off the heat.  Wait for the pressure gauge to return to zero before opening the canner.  Use a bottle lifter to lift the bottles out of the canner and place in a draft free location where the bottles will not be bumped.  When the bottles are cooled check the seals.  If the lids pop when touched then they are not sealed.  On the sealed bottles write what the contents are and the date bottled.  Wash them off if necessary and place them on the shelf where you will be storing them!  ENJOY!

Back to Basics 286 5-Piece Home Canning Kit $12.97 (was $19.99) + Free Shipping!!

Thanks National Gardening Association!


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