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How Long Does Corn on the Cob Last? (And Does It Matter If It’s Cooked Vs. Uncooked?)

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One of the “advantages” of eating processed and canned foods is undoubtedly their extended shelf life. However, if it’s nutritional value you are looking for, eating fresh fruits and vegetables — though often more expensive — is certainly the better option. Fresh fruits and vegetables definitely spoil quicker though, thanks to a lack of preservatives and additives meant to make them last longer. While every fruit and vegetable might have a slightly varying timeline as far as how long it lasts before going bad, it usually takes only a few days — maybe even a week — for a fresh food to spoil.

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When it comes to corn on the cob, many of us don’t always know much about it. Sure, we know it tastes good, but unlike other vegetables – like bell peppers or tomatoes, for example – how corn on the cob can be stored (either uncooked or cooked) is not as clear. 

So you may find yourself wondering: How long does corn on the cob last if it’s cooked? What about if it’s uncooked? Plus, more answers to corn on the cob questions.

How long does raw corn on the cob last?

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Raw corn on the cob can last anywhere from one to three days if stored correctly. According to Still Tasty, there are a few techniques you can do to extend the raw corn on the cob’s shelf life. First, do not remove the husks before storing raw corn on the cob. Leaving the husks on will allow the corn to last longer.

However, if you already have removed the husks, you can wrap the uncooked corn in plastic wrap or foil. This will ensure that the corn on the cob will last just as long as it would with the husks on.

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How long does cooked corn on the cob last?

If you have previously cooked your corn on the cob and now want to store it, the expected shelf life of the corn is different than its fresh, uncooked counterpart. Similar to most cooked vegetables, cooked corn should be eaten within the next four to five days. 

To ensure that your cooked corn lasts as long as possible, store it in the refrigerator inside of an airtight bag (you can also wrap it tightly in saran wrap if you prefer). According to Shelf Life Advice, removing the kernels from the cob and just saying the kernels might also positively impact the shelf life of the edible parts, allowing it to last longer.

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Does unshucked corn need to be refrigerated?

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Unshucked corn should be refrigerated. After all, the chemical reaction that causes the corn’s kernels to lose their sweet flavor is actually slowed down by cold temperatures. The colder the temps, the sweeter (and fresher) your corn will taste.

According to Taste of Home, unshucked corn should be wrapped in a plastic bag — such as a grocery bag — then stored in the refrigerator. The bag should be wrapped tightly, but not too tightly; there should still be some room allowing for proper circulation surrounding the cob. A bag wrapped too tightly can trap too much moisture inside, having the opposite effect on the corn. Alternatively, you don’t want the cob to get too dry, either. It needs to “breathe.”

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How do you store fresh corn on the cob?

Fresh, raw, and uncooked corn on the cob should be stored in the refrigerator at all times. If stored properly in the refrigerator, uncooked corn on the cob can last anywhere from one to three days before spoiling.

To extend the life of your corn on the cob, be sure not to remove the husks before refrigerating; if you do, wrap the corn in either saran wrap or foil before putting it in the fridge.

How to store cooked corn on the cob:

To store cooked corn on the cob in the refrigerator, you’ll want to wrap it in an airtight plastic bag or use saran wrap or foil. Make sure to refrigerate the corn at least two hours after cooking it. You can also remove the kernels from the cob before placing it in the refrigerator. It should last anywhere from three to five days.

Cooked corn can also be frozen. Before freezing corn, make sure to remove the kernels. It should retain its freshness for about 10 to 12 months if stored properly in an airtight container.

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Can you freeze fresh corn on the cob?

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As with most vegetables (and even fruits), fresh corn on the cob can be stored in the freezer in order to maximize its shelf life. In the refrigerator, uncooked corn on the cob can last a maximum of about three days, whereas in the freezer, a whole corn on the cob could last for about eight months or longer. However, if corn on the cob has been kept at a consistent temperature of 0°F, then it should last indefinitely.

To freeze corn on the cob, start by husking the corn, removing its silk, and washing the corn on the cob. Next, blanch the corn. You can do this by plunging it into boiling hot water on the stovetop for seven to 11 minutes. Then, chill in ice cold water immediately. Make sure to drain the cob of excess moisture, then package it in airtight freezer bags, according to Still Tasty.

Whole kernel corn can also be stored in the freezer. To do so, husk the corn, remove the silk, and wash it. Blanch again – this time for four minutes – then immediately chill in ice cold water. Drain the cob, then cut the kernels away, packaging them in airtight freezer bags.

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