Anyone who has taken frozen corn out of the freezer may have hesitated when opening the bag and wondered just how much cooking frozen corn needs in order to be edible. Do you need to boil frozen corn as you would uncooked corn, or is it just a case of thawing it out?
Does frozen corn need to be cooked? You don’t need to boil frozen corn, or indeed cook it in any way. Prior to being frozen, corn has been thoroughly cooked by the manufacturers and there’s actually no need to heat it at all if you want to eat it cold. If you would rather eat it hot, a quick burst in hot water or the microwave should be sufficient.
Do You Need to Cook Frozen Corn?
You do not need to cook frozen corn because it has been cooked prior to freezing. If you thaw corn in the fridge, it is ready to eat as soon as it has defrosted, so this is a great option if you want it for salads or other cold meals.
If you would rather eat your corn hot, you don’t need to heat it to a certain temperature or for a certain amount of time to make it fit for consumption. The corn is perfectly safe to eat at any stage between chilled and hot, so you can just warm it to whatever temperature you prefer.
Frozen corn is a great way to enjoy this vegetable all year round, and it is super convenient, especially if you are a bit short on time when it comes to making dinner.
How Should You Thaw Frozen Corn?
You can thaw frozen corn however it suits you. Many people choose to put it in a bowl in the fridge and let it defrost slowly, but you can also run it under cold water, heat it on the stove, or microwave it until it has defrosted.
You can also defrost corn at room temperature, but if you are going to do this, you should spread it out into a single layer so it can defrost quickly. If you leave a huge pile of frozen corn clumped up, it may take a long time to defrost.
Given that most foods should be refrigerated within two hours, this could be unsafe. Bacteria will grow rapidly in corn that is over 40 degrees F, and if the inside of the pile of corn takes a long time to thaw, this could result in the outer pieces getting contaminated before you are ready to use them.
Overall, however, small amounts of corn can safely be defrosted at room temperature because they will defrost quickly. Spread them on a tray to ensure this happens. You can then use what you want and refrigerate any leftovers to slow the bacterial spread.
How Should You Heat Frozen Corn?
If you would rather have your corn hot, you have lots of options. You can tip corn into a bowl and microwave it, boil it on the hob, or fry it in a skillet. A lot of people favor the microwave because it is fast, simple, and energy efficient.
Other people find that frying corn in a skillet is the best way to make it crispy and sweet, while some prefer to boil it. Any of these methods should work well. Corn takes very little time to defrost, so you shouldn’t need to spend long, whichever you choose to use.
Be careful not to over-cook corn when you heat it up from frozen. Because it has already been fully cooked, it’s easy to overdo it, but this will spoil the texture and sweetness of the vegetable, so be cautious.
If you are going to microwave the corn, simply tip it into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it for short bursts of a minute or thirty seconds. Stir it in between each burst to encourage even heating and break up any frozen pockets. When the corn begins to steam, it should be ready to eat.
If you are going to heat it with boiling water, be aware that you don’t actually need to boil it – you can just douse it in boiling water. It will quickly defrost and become hot without you needing to bring the water to a boil again.
Frying it in a skillet can similarly be quick. Simply toss the corn around in the pan for a few minutes, until it is sizzling. Remember, you aren’t cooking it – you are just heating it up.
Should You Thaw Corn Before Cooking It?
Some people think that they need to thaw corn out before they cook it, but this is unnecessary, and could make the corn soggy. If you are using the corn in a meal like a stew, simply toss the frozen corn in and it will defrost as it cooks.
If you are using corn for a salad, you will need to let it thaw, but otherwise, use corn straight from frozen. It will make your life simpler and may even improve the corn!
Do You Need to Cook Corn With Anything?
If you want, you can add butter, salt, pepper, or even sugar while heating corn, and this will increase its flavor. However, you can also keep the corn plain if you prefer. Frozen corn should retain most of its flavor and texture, so there’s no particular need for strong seasoning.
This is one of the biggest advantages of frozen vegetables; they are very similar to their fresh counterparts. Frozen corn may not be exactly like perfectly fresh corn on the cob, but it’s a good substitute and usually has a comparable flavor and texture.
If you are not cooking corn, feel free to add any seasoning or dressing that you would be adding to your salad anyway, but don’t worry if you prefer your corn plain; it doesn’t need any additional ingredients!
Frozen corn does not need to be cooked to be edible; it simply needs to be defrosted. Put frozen corn in the fridge or on the counter to defrost, or speed things up by microwaving, frying, or heating the corn in boiling water.