If you’ve been following me all summer you know we planted quite a bit of corn. Roughly a quarter of an acre. We started eating it about two weeks ago, but the time has come to start preserving it for future use… because there’s a lot of corn.
We planted three different varieties with three different maturities, so luckily all of our corn isn’t coming due at once. We’re right in the midst of our earliest variety, and we just picked the first few ears from the second variety for dinner Saturday night. All of what we canned this time was harvested from the earliest variety.
First you need to pick (or buy) a bunch of corn.
Then shuck it and gently wash it to try to get all the silks off. Using a chef’s knife, my husband cut all the corn off the cobs.
Yes, my husband cut all the corn. What was I doing, you ask?
Since corn is a low-acid food, you need to process it in a pressure canner. No ifs, ands, or buts. Don’t make me get on my soapbox again. If you don’t have a pressure canner, I’d recommend freezing your corn. You can’t water bath can it because you’d have to add a substantial amount of acid for it to be safe. I’ve been wrong before, but I don’t think pickled corn would taste very good (Though the more I think of it, I have seen pickled baby corn. To each their own).
Before you start filling your jars, make sure your canning space is clean and sanitized. Clean your jars (and the rest of your utensils, for that matter) in hot soapy water or run them through the dishwasher. Add the recommended amount of water to your pressure canner and get another pot of water set to boil. Keep your jars warm by putting a little water in each and setting them in your canner or leave them in the warm dishwasher. Make sure your rings are clean, rust free, and not dented or otherwise misshapen, and have them nearby. Put your lids in a small pot of hot, but not boiling, water.
As you can see, we’re doing pints today.
I would like to pause for a moment to celebrate the fact that I was on top of things this summer and got my canning lids in bulk. Yay! I got these a few weeks ago during my last trip to our local bulk foods store. It comes out to about 15 cents a lid.
Back to canning…
We’re going to raw pack the corn. That means we’re not going to heat it before we pack it. Yes, it’s in a pot. That’s just the container my husband insisted on using for the cut kernels.
Scoop the corn into your warm jars leaving a 1-inch headspace. Loosely pack it, don’t shake or press the corn in the jar. You can also add some salt (optional, 1 teaspoon for quarts, 1/2 teaspoon for pints).
Add boiling water, leaving 1-inch of headspace. Measure it using a ruler or your headspace tool.
Use a non-reactive utensil to release any trapped air bubbles.
Then re-check your headspace and add more water if necessary.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a wet cloth or paper towel.
Position your lid and screw on the ring.
Repeat the process until the canner is full or you run out of corn. Never process any half-full jars. (If you want to get philosophical, they’d be half full because you’re adding contents. If you were removing contents they would be half empty. That’s my take on that.)
This is where you would normally see the quintessential “full jars in the canner, ready to go” photo, but I ran three batches and kept forgetting to take that photo.
Put on the canner’s lid and follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to how to pressurize the canner. I have a rocker weight on mine, other canners have a pressure gauge, so consult your users manual as to how to do it. If you have a Presto canner, the model number is stamped on the side under one of the handles and you can look up the manual on their website.
Process pints for 55 minutes or quarts for 1 hour 25 minutes. Again, following your manufacturer’s instructions regarding when to start the timing. Once time is up, follow your manufacturer’s instructions on how to depressurize your canner. NEVER try to remove the lid while the canner is pressurized, and don’t do anything to try to accelerate the cooling process.
When it’s time to remove the jars, carefully remove the canner lid. It’s hot and you’re going to have a puff of steam, so be sure to open the lid away from you.
Using the jar lifter, remove the jars and put them on a kitchen towel or old bath towel in a draft-free area where they can be left undisturbed for 24 hours to cool.
Then sit back and listen for the pops!
If by chance you have a jar that doesn’t seal you have two options: Store it in the fridge and use it within two weeks or put on a new lid and re-process for the full processing time.