How Long Does Corn On The Cob Last?

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It's that time of year. Crops are ready for harvest, and you're probably ready for a fresh mess of corn and other vegetables. You don't want to wait too long after harvesting to shuck and store your corn, and you don't want to acquire more than you can put up and eat before it goes bad. Therefore, you need to know how long corn on the cob lasts. We've done the research for you and outlined the answers below.

The amount of time corn on the cob will last depends on if it's shucked and whether it's cooked or raw. Corn that is unshucked and uncooked will last for approximately one to three days. If wrapped properly, shucked corn will stay fresh just as long. Once you have cooked your corn on the cob, it will last in the refrigerator for about five days. 

While these are general guidelines, there are ways to further extend the life of your corn on the cob. Keep reading for more information on the best ways to store corn on the cob to make it last longer, including ways to freeze your corn.

Sweet corn on the cob with one stalk peeled, How Long Does Corn On The Cob Last?

How Long Does Corn on the Cob Last?

Whether you're picking the corn yourself or buying from the farmer's market, you need to be ready to prepare it soon after getting it home. Unshucked corn will only last for about one to three days. Shucked corn that is left uncovered should be used the same day. However, if you wrap the shucked corn in plastic or foil, it should last for the same amount of time. Frozen corn will last longer and will be discussed later.

Corn on the cob kernels peeled isolated on white background

How to Tell if Corn Has Gone Bad

Top view of a rotten corn

Eating corn that has gone bad can make you very sick. Therefore, it's important to understand what makes corn go bad and how to tell if it has spoiled. Exposure to moisture allows bacteria to grow. Moisture can get underneath the husks, but it can also collect on shucked corn.

For this reason, you should not wash the corn before placing it in the fridge. If you notice discoloration of the husks, silk, or kernels, you should discard it immediately. Sometimes, the corn will have a foul smell but not show signs of discoloration. Corn that has been ruined will smell rancid and moldy.

Does Uncooked Corn on the Cob Need to be Refrigerated?

According to LiveStrong, uncooked corn should be refrigerated. The colder you keep it, the longer you will preserve the sweetness and freshness of your corn. However, you should avoid just sticking it in the fridge without preparation. Avoid rinsing the corn, and leave the husks intact.

You can remove most of the husks as long as the corn is still covered by one or two layers. This will keep the corn from taking up too much space. When preparing, balance is key. You want to wrap the corn tightly enough to keep it from drying out, but you don't want to wrap it so tightly that moisture gets trapped, causing mold to grow.

How Long Can You Keep Fresh Corn in the Fridge?

As mentioned above, fresh corn will last approximately one to three days in the fridge. If cooked, it should keep for about five days. The longer it stays at room temperature, the more sweetness it will lose. Colder temperatures help the corn retain that sweet taste that makes it so delicious. Avoid leaving the corn outside in hot temperatures.

How Far in Advance Can I Shuck Corn?

According to LiveStrong, you should avoid shucking corn in advance. If you do shuck corn in advance, do not leave it out. Shucked corn must be kept covered in the refrigerator. Leaving corn exposed without husks allows bacteria and moisture to collect on the surface, increasing the chances of the product making you sick.

Person husking a corn

How Long Does Corn on the Cob Last Unshucked?

While shucked corn cannot be left out, unshucked corn is safe to leave at room temperature for a short period of time before refrigerating. However, the longer it is left at room temperature, the less sweet it will be and the less fresh it will taste.

However, if you are not picking the corn straight from the stalk, remember that it has already been sitting on the shelf at the farmer's market or grocery store for some time. Therefore, if you aren't picking it yourself, you should store it as soon as you get it home. Corn can lose up to half of its sweetness after just a few hours of sitting at room temperature.

Corn on display on farmers market

How to Store Cooked Corn on the Cob

So far, we have only discussed storing corn in the refrigerator. If you prefer to purchase corn in bulk and store it for long periods of time, freezing is the best method.

Close up of frozen corn in bag into the freezer

Freezing Shucked Corn

One of the best ways to keep corn sweet and fresh is by shucking it before freezing. Don't just shuck the corn and place it in the freezer; there is a little more to it than that. You'll need to blanch the corn. Before blanching, take the following steps to prepare your corn:

  • Remove the husks
  • Remove silk
  • Cut any damaged ends from the cobs

It can be difficult to get all the silk from the cob. Many people use toothbrushes to help get more silk off; however, you can purchase a corn de-silker from Amazon. It makes the process very easy.

Get your corn desilker by following this link to Amazon.

How to Blanch Corn

Now that your corn is ready, it's time to blanch it to help preserve the flavor. Blanching is a very simple process. First, you will bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the ears into the boiling water for approximately seven to ten minutes. While it's boiling, prepare a pan of icy water.

Once time has elapsed, remove the ears from the boiling water. Transfer it immediately to the ice water, allowing it to soak for about four minutes. Make sure to let the corn dry before wrapping it. Once the blanching process is over, put the corn in freezer bags.

Ideally, you should write the date on the bag. As long as you keep your freezer below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, the corn should stay fresh for about a year. If you keep your freezer at 30 degrees, the corn will usually stay fresh for about ten months.

How to Freeze Unshucked Corn

If you are running short on time or simply don't want to take the time to shuck the corn, you can freeze it with the husks still attached. As with shucked corn, you will need to trim approximately one inch from each end of the cob. Do not leave all the husks intact. Instead, remove the first layer from each ear.

Once you finish that process, it's time to place the corn into freezer bags. Unlike the above method, you will need to seal the bags tightly, removing all air. Write the date on the bag, and put it in the freezer. When stored this way, corn should stay fresh for two to three months. When you're ready to cook it, you'll remove the corn from the bags, allowing it to thaw for easier shucking.

How to Remove Corn from Cob and Freeze

If you love fresh corn but don't want to eat it from the cob every time, you can cut the corn from the ears and freeze it in bags. You'll start by shucking and cleaning the corn as with other methods. Once you blanch the corn, it's time to remove the kernels from the cob.

You can use a knife to do this. Cut from top to bottom, using a sawing motion. However, you can use a corn stripper to make the process both easier and safer. Once the kernels are off the cob, place them in freezer bags. The corn will stay fresh for approximately eight to ten months using this method.

You can find a corn stripper on Amazon by clicking this link.

Summary

Fresh corn on the cob is sweet and tasty. However, once purchased, it must be stored immediately. When stored in the fridge, it only lasts for about one to three days. If you want to stock up on fresh corn before the season ends, there are several freezing methods that will keep it fresh from three months to a year.

Before you go, check out these other articles that may be of interest to you:

Can You Vacuum Seal Corn On The Cob? [And How To]

How Long Can You Keep Popped Popcorn?

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