Canning corn doesn’t just mean plain kernels in a jar. There are plenty of creative corn canning recipes for both water bath and pressure canning.
While freezing vegetables is popular these days, I’ve always been a huge fan of home canning, especially since power outages are common year-round here in the northeast. There’s always something taking out the electricity, whether it’s thunderstorms in the summer or ice storms in the winter.
Putting all your summer’s hard work in the freezer, seems too much like putting all your eggs in one basket. All it takes is one storm to defrost everything, ruining a whole freezer’s worth of food.
When we moved to our off-grid homestead I really went all in looking for canning recipes. While we do have off-grid appliances, including DC freezers that run straight off our batteries, our freezer space is very limited.
Believe it or not, with batteries off-grid, our freezers are actually more dependable than they were before, but you can only store so much in the freezer.
There are other food preservation methods, beyond canning and freezing, but I don’t think they’re the best for corn. Dehydrator recipes work better for smaller crops, that don’t come in by the bushel full.
It takes many hours to dehydrate corn, yields are low, and it’s hard to feed a big family even when you have one of the biggest dehydrators available. They only hold a few ears worth of kernels at a time.
Lacto-fermentation has its place too, and it’s lovely for homemade sauerkraut, but you can only use so much fermented corn.
When it comes to corn, canning is my are my favorite way to preserve the summer’s bounty. Sometimes it’s nice to just be able to pull something off the pantry shelf and have a ready-made meal, condiment, or side dish.
Corn Canning Recipes
Fresh sweet corn is usually considered a vegetable, but it’s actually technically a fresh grain. However you classify it, corn is low in acid and it’s generally not safe for water bath canning. At least, it’s not safe to water bath can straight corn or creamed corn.
If you add enough high acid ingredients, the corn basically gets pickled in the jar and the pH drops enough for safe water bath canning. You’ll want to be careful here, only using tested recipes that have enough acidic ingredients included to drop the pH to safe levels. That usually means vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice.
Corn canning recipes like corn relish and pickled corn have enough vinegar added, and some (but not all) corn salsa recipes are approved for water bath canning. There’s also corn cob jelly, which can be safely preserved in a water bath canner.
Those are the exceptions though, and most corn canning recipes are going to require a pressure canner. Especially if you’re adding other low acid ingredients to make soups and stews.
Pay careful attention to the recipe, and always double-check that it’s a safe, tested, and approved canning recipe.
If you’re new to canning, I have these resources to help get you started:
- Beginner’s Guide to Water Bath Canning
- Beginner’s Guide to Pressure Canning
- Canning Supplies and Equipment Guide
Canning Corn (Whole Kernel & Creamed Corn)
Probably the most popular (and versatile) corn canning recipe, plain canned corn simply preserves corn kernels as they are. The natural sweetness and fresh flavor is locked into the jar, and it can be enjoyed on its own as a side dish or incorporated into another dish.
Plain canned corn requires pressure canning, and that’s not optional. Do not attempt to can corn in a water bath canner, no matter how many well-meaning people on the internet tell you it’s safe.
Corn salsa can be processed in a water bath canner or pressure canner, depending on the recipe. If there are enough acidic ingredients and the recipe is tested, then it may be possible to just do a quick water bath canning recipe.
There are only a few corn salsa recipes approved for water bath canning, and I’ve tried several. The one linked below is the only one that I think is worth making.
If you’re up for pressure canning, there’s also an absolutely delicious recipe for corn and blank bean salsa. With the black beans in there, it absolutely must be pressure canned no matter how much acidity is added.
- Corn & Tomato Salsa (Water Bath Canning)
- Corn & Black Bean Salsa (Pressure Canning)
The sweet flavor of fresh corn works wonderfully against the salty tart notes in traditional relish. Diced up with other summertime vegetables like cucumber, peppers, and tomatoes, a homemade corn relish is like summer in a jar.
Though it has other ingredients, corn definitely takes center stage, and the other veggies add lovely color, and texture, as well as helping to balance the flavor.
Since there’s plenty of vinegar added, corn relish is safe for water bath canning. No need to pull out the pressure canner for this one!
Homemade soups are a great way to use fresh sweet corn, and soup canning recipes are easy to put up in a pressure canner.
Many of them are ready to eat right out of the jar, while some, like chowder, will require a few extra ingredients added at serving time. Thickeners like flour, as well as butter and milk, are not safe for canning, so they have to be added at serving time.
Still, it’s perfectly fine to can homemade soup bases where you just add the dairy and thickeners when heating them up.
- Chicken and Corn Chowder Soup Base
- Chicken Soup with Corn
- Spicy Tomato Vegetable Soup (with corn)
- Vegetable Soup with Corn
- Beef Stew with Corn
- Canning Roasted Corn Stock (corn broth)
Corn Cob Jelly
Corn cob jelly is an old-fashioned preserve that turns all the extra flavor left on corn cobs into a delightful summer jelly.
It’s basically the flavor of fresh sweet corn, concentrated into a jelly. It’s perfect on your morning toast, especially in the wintertime when memories of fresh summer corn are long gone.
Summer Canning Recipes
Looking for more ways to stock your pantry this summer? I have hundreds of canning recipes to keep your canning pantry full.
Canning Recipe Guides
These canning recipe collections cover all the bases!
- Apple Canning Recipes
- Rhubarb Canning Recipes
- Cranberry Canning Recipes
- Zucchini Canning Recipes
- Vegetable Canning Recipes
- Soup Canning Recipes
- Pressure Canning Recipes
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