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If you don't have room in your freezer, but you want to be able to enjoy the corn from your garden this winter, then home-canning your corn is the easy way to do it. Here's how to do make home-canned creamed corn, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The corn will taste MUCH better than any canned creamed corn you've ever had from a store. Frozen corn, of course, retains flavor better. If you want directions for freezing corn, click here. And if you didn't know it, there is no cream in creamed corn; that referes to the texture and released juice or "milk" from the corn! One other important note: you will need a pressure canner. Corn is a low acid food, so you cannot use a boiling water bath canner. It must be a pressure canner. Pressure canners cost more than water bath canners, but they are more versatile and last a lifetime, and your children and grandchildren may be using it. See this page for more information about pressure canners.
See this FAQ for more details: Can I use a water-bath canner instead of a pressure canner for low acid foods like corn?
Hot Pack v. Raw Pack? Hot pack means the corn is heated to boiling before we put it in the jars. Raw pack means it is placed into the jars without heating, and then the jars are processed in the canner. Which is better? Not much difference. Food safety experts prefer the hot pack method, because you can stir the corn the ensure it gets evenly and thoroughly heated. Raw pack instructions are here, should you prefer them.
Ideal ear - ripe but not bloated. the kernels are still tender (easily punctured with your fingernail) and the juice is milky). White, yellow or bicolor types are all fine!
Start with fresh corn on the cob - as fresh as you can get. If there is a delay between harvesting and canning, put it in the refrigerator or put ice on it. The sugars break down quickly at room temperature. According to the USDA, about 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. Note that a bushel weighs 35 pounds and yields 6 to 11 quarts of canned corn, which is an average of 4 pounds of corn in the husks per quart of finished canned corn.
This is also a good time to get the canner filled (about 2/3 full) with water and start it heating.
Husk the corn and pick off as much of the silk as you can. A soft vegetable brush is the fastest and easiest way to get the remaining silk off - just don't be too rough with it.
Cream Style Corn Cut kernel tips about 1/2 deep and scrape the cobs with the back of a knife to remove the juice and the heart of the kernel.
You don't need a special tool, just a very sharp knife! Some folks use an electric carving knife and report this is the easiest method, and a few use a meat slicer.
However, a number of people wrote in to point out that they prefer one of the tools below, as do I, often because it is easier for them due to arthritis, or simply faster.
As the corn piles up in your bowl, it will look like this!
Close up, the corn comes off in strips. As you put these in the bag, they will easily separate into separate kernels.
You'll need this to supplement the water in step 10 to fill the jars after you pack them with corn.
Dump the cut kernels into a measure cup (so you know how much you have) and then put the corn into a saucepan or pot. Add 1 cup of hot water for each quart of corn. Heat the corn to boiling and simmer 5 minutes.
Fill pint jars* with corn, leaving 3/4 to 1 inch headspace (corn tends to expand more than other vegetables). * - Ball and the USDA say to use pint or small sized jars.
Be sure to include enough cooking liquid to cover the corn and jostle out any air bubbles that may be trapped. You may add additional plain boiling water from step 7, if you are short on liquids from the heated corn. Still leave 3/4 to 1 inch headspace
Wipe the rims of the jars, put the lids on and then the rings on snugly, not not TOO hard.
Follow the directions with your pressure canner and process the jars for the times and pressures below depending upon your altitude, type of pressure canner and jar size. My canner is a dial-type, shown at left.
Once the gauge hits 10 or 11 pounds (depending on the type you have), start your timer going - for 25 minutes. Adjust the heat, as needed, to maintain that pressure.
Note: the chart below will help you determine the right processing time and pressure, if you have a different type of canner, or are above sea level.
It is important to learn how to operate your pressure canner by reading the owner's manual that came with your particular canner. If you cannot find your owner's manual, you can obtain find one online: Here is where to find some common manufacturer's manuals:
or by contacting the company that made your canner. Give the model number to the manufacturer, and they will send you the right manual. More information about pressure canners and a variety of models you can order.
Processing time for corn in a dial-gauge pressure canner
|Hot Pack||Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Jar Size||Process Time||0 - 2,000 ft||2,001 - 4,000 ft||4,001 - 6,000 ft||6,001 - 8,000 ft|
|Pints||85 min||11 lb||12 lb||13 lb||14 lb|
Processing time for corn in a weighted-gauge pressure canner
|Hot Pack||Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Jar Size||Process Time||0 - 1,000 ft||Above 1,000 ft|
|Pints||85 min||10 lb||15 lb|
When the processing time is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure canner to cool and the pressure to drop to zero before opening the canner. Let the jars cool without being jostled.
Later, when you are ready to serve the corn, it just takes about 3 or 4 minutes in the microwave (from frozen) or in the top of a double boiler. The corn doesn't need to be "cooked", just heated up!
This document was adapted
from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin
No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.
Revised November 2010.
This occurs most often when too high a temperature is used causing caramelization of the sugar in the corn. It may also be caused by some minerals in the water used in canning.
If you want to can low-acid foods such as red meats, sea food, poultry, milk, and all fresh vegetables with the exception of most tomatoes, you will need a pressure canners. These foods fit into the low acid group since they have an acidity, or pH level, of 4.6 or greater. The temperature which must be reached and maintained (for a specified amount of time) to kill the bacteria is 240 F. Pressure canning is the only canning method recommended safe by the U.S.D.A. for low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats, and fish. Ordinary water bath canners can only reach 212 F and cannot to kill the types of bacteria that will grow in low acid foods. This temperature can be reached only by creating steam under pressure as achieved in quality pressure canners.
There are several manufacturers of pressure canners. The two leading ones are Presto and All American (Wisconsin Aluminum). They are more expensive than water bath canners, but extremely well built - I bought mine in 1988 and it still looks and works like new!
|BUT, with a pressure canner it's easy. And although a pressure canner costs $100 to $200 (see this page for pressure canners models, makes and prices), they last a lifetime, and your children and grandchildren may be using it. You can also find free information from the USDA in this PDF file (it will take a while to load!) about selecting and using canners here!|
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
This is usually about $80 PLUS SHIPPING. (which is a GREAT price for a pressure canner). There is also a 16 quart version for about $69. Click on the links at left or above for more info and current pricing. It is also available from Amazon .com (click on the box link at left) (and below from Target)
All American Pressure Canner and Cookers - In 3 Sizes
5-Piece Canning Accessories Kit
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours