It can seem frustrating to try a new recipe and not know how much of an ingredient to purchase at the store. Sometimes they call for "1 cup of corn kernels" or "the kernels from two ears of corn". That's a fine description if you are using frozen corn or fresh corn respectively, but otherwise, exactly how much corn is on an ear of corn? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how much corn you need to buy.
To answer How many ears of corn kernels make a cup we went to the grocery store to check out the produce section. When talking about sweet corn, a small ear tends to measure less than 6.5 inches long and a large ear more than 7.5 inches. Therefore, a medium ear usually falls somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5 inches long and 2 inches across at the widest point. For our test samples we purchased medium ears of corn and headed home to the kitchen.
To answer the question How much corn is on an ear we removed the kernels from medium ears of fresh corn. While the yield of the corn kernels will obviously vary by the size of the cob, it was surprising to see a heavy 1/2 cup to a 3/4 cup result range within the "medium" size corn cobs. More often than not, our medium ears of corn produced 3/4 cup of kernels when cut from the cob.
So if your recipe calls for 2 ears of corn, you can now confidently know that it means about 1.5 cups of corn kernels. And "How many ears of corn do you need for 1 cup of corn kernels" is about 1 and a third ears of corn.
Did you know that corn is technically a grain, not a vegetable; it is a cereal crop that is part of the grass family. The ear is really part of the corn flower and each kernel is a seed. Corn will always have an even number of rows on each cob. Popcorn is a special type of corn grown that when heated it bursts into hot, fluffy kernels - yum! And corn is used to produce fuel alcohol which makes gasoline burn cleaner, reducing air and water pollution.
Now that you know how much corn is on an ear we hope this will take away some of the guesswork when trying to substitute fresh and frozen corn in your favorite recipes. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many corn ears in a... measurements you need. If you de-corn a lot of ears by just using a knife you should definitely look into getting a good corn stripper to greatly speed up the process. I feel comfortable recommending the Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper since it's inexpensive, easy to clean and I use it at home!
The sooner you use corn after picking, the sweeter it's going to taste. Corn's natural sugar turns to starch at an astonishing rate. Refrigerate corn immediately; do not leave corn sitting on the kitchen counter as the sugar turns to starch even faster during the heat of the day. However, corn is sensitive to chill-injury and should be placed in the front of the refrigerator where the temperatures tend to be higher.
If storing, wrap the unshucked corn in a wet paper bag to slow down the conversion from sugar to starch. Place the wet paper bag in an old plastic shopping bag and refrigerate. Corn will hold for 5 to 10 days.
Cooked corn kernels will keep for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Freezing: Remove husks and silk. Timing from the point when the water returns to the boil, blanch 4 minutes for small ears, 6 minutes for medium ears, and 8 minutes for large ears. Immediately cool in ice water for the same length of time as it was blanched. Drain; pack whole in bags. You can also blanch, drain, cut off kernels, and freeze in freezer boxes. Frozen corn will last up to a year.
Canning: Corn cans well, but because it is a low acid vegetable, it's essential to process it for an adequate length of time. See a good preserving book for instructions.
When possible, purchase corn with the husks still on; the convenience of shucked corn is not usually enough to offset the loss of quality.
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
We hope you enjoy Produce Converter and if you have any suggestions for how we can improve it and make your cooking easier please let us know.