Pickled Corn

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Preserve summer's golden ears of corn by pickling it in a spicy brine.

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine 2 small dried chiles, 1 seeded thinly sliced jalapeño, 1/4 thinly sliced medium red onion, 2 cups corn kernels (from about 2 ears), 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper in a heatproof 1-quart jar. Bring 1/2 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 3/4 cup water to a boil; pour over corn. (Add water to cover, if needed.) Seal jar. Let cool; chill. Will keep up to 1 month.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 20 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 5 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 1 Protein (g) 1 Sodium (mg) 400Reviews Section


Okay I tried this actually for the first time.. it is something I have found after starting that the “finished product” is according to the taste of whoever is eating it.. LOL. MOST older folks I have talked to like it REALLY PICKLED, like “ZOWA”, and some, like my neighbor likes it milder… so you just have to find that honey spot for you and your family.. the longer you pickle it stronger it gets.. also the amount of salt you use can be adjusted to “your” perfection once you do it a few times..

Pickled Corn is pretty simple as far as what you need…. you need pickling salt and corn , you do it a lot like you do your kraut, only it is a lot easier, and less back breaking.. Like your Kraut, it will have to ferment at LEAST 12 -14 days, about 21-30 days for some… for mine to reach perfection it took 30 days . it is according to the weather conditions, how much salt to begin with you used, humidity plays a big role in your process.. you want to keep it at a steady cool temp.. and it depends on your desired taste that you want to reach!!

I have heard a lot about salting the corn.. from my mom, my mother inlaw, an old friend at church who makes it every year and also my neighbor Thelma who is in her late eighties.. they all have a difference of opinion on the salt.. =) Sooooo I did NOT overly salt it on my first try, I explain more about that as you read the recipe… Remember, you can always add more salt if you need it but it is a lot harder to take the salt away if you over do it. And if your one of those who really really like that tart taste then you can let it go longer till you get it to where you like it.. this way everyone wins.. as you get used to making it, like any recipe you will begin to know what to add and how long to leave it to your liking. .. lets get started.

Ingredients and tools you will need:

  • 4 gallons of water(I used Paul’s Granny’s old water bath canning pot to do most of my corn in, it held 4 gallons of water WITH 2 dozen ears of corn, then I had my stock pot with the last dozen ear of corn and only used about a gallon of water from that pot)

  • CANNING Salt to taste(about 4-5 heaping tbsp, can use more later after you test your corn)
  • NOTE_ My father in law makes a big churn of it and when he makes his he reaaallly likes his to have some tart.. some tang they call it.. so he will add hot water to his crock and then add the salt.. he said he adds enough to where an egg will float..

  • a saucer plate that will fit inside the mouth of your churn, and a clean boiled rock that you will use for a weight, a light towel, or cheesecloth to keep bugs out, (if cutting corn off cob use a clean white pillow case to hold corn in)

DAY ONE – Clean your churn first .

Shuck your corn and get all the silk off

I use a soft brush to get the silk that sticks in the kernels, you can use a corn brush,

you can also use a potato brush, if you have a potato brush just use lightly as not to burst the kernels cause it is harder bristles

you cook your corn like your going to eat it on the cob. 5 minutes on unsalted boiling water.

Take out of water and put into a pan or your clean sink to cool.

After the corn is cooled decide if your canning your pickled corn or just eating it straight off the cob.. If you cut it off the cob you can pack more corn in there, so if you want at this point cut off the corn from the cob and pack into the crock or into a clean white pillow case, then into the CLEAN churn. if doing on the cob you will just simply fill the churn with the cooled corn

Then you salt the water that you boiled it in.. use Canning Salt (do not overly salt just enough) , Let the salt dissolve in the water .. stir. I am using a 6 gallon churn, filling it 3/4 of the way filled, and I am doing 3 dozen ears of corn today so I have salted about 6 heaping tbsp of canning salt in my water.

  • .. it should have a salty but not over bearing taste) but if you already know what you want then go for it.. but remember you can always add more salt later..
  • you may hear many people who will tell you to use a LOT more salt than this, but that is because people used to keep the corn in their churns all the way through winter.. the salt helped keep the corn longer, some would have to soak their corn in water just to be able to eat it cause it was so salty.. so no matter what you hear, Don’t overly salt your corn unless you are planning on keeping it in the churn for a long period of time or if you really really enjoy it that strong, remember you can start out mild and work your way as strong as you like , like I said earlier though.. some know exactly what they like, they have it down to a science.. My father in law for one.. he uses enough salt to make a raw egg float.. and he is done with it till it is pickled so play with it.. make it your own)
  • And if you do plan on keeping your corn remember you can always CAN IT, one of two ways, you can cut it off the cob before or after it is pickled, and you can take some of the smaller ears of corn and put in large mouth jars with brine and can it that way. So no need really to keep it in the churn, take this advice from my neighbor and mentor Thelma, who is 87 years old and makes this every year!

Tbsp X 6 to start out with

Let your salted brine cool completely (as to not continue cooking your corn and making it tough) and pour that water over the corn in your crock

your corn should be covered completely

put your hand down in the churn or crock your using and push down on the corn to see if it is covered well

put saucer plate in and the clean rock to weigh it down

cover with dish towel or cheese cloth with top on to keep bugs out as it goes through fermentation process

Leave it in a cool place like cellar .. I have a cellar but my churn is so heavy and big I am putting mine in the living room in a dark corner by the couch where it wont be bothered, right where I do my kraut every year, it is directly in the path of my air conditioner.

  • 1st- make sure to take out any scum that has settled on top of water. put in plastic bag, and take you a clean dish cloth and wipe the rim carefully , try not to let any drop into your brine, don’t worry if it does, you will be straining it later anyways.. don’t worry your corn is edible.. people been doing this for years and years

  • I take my canning pot and put my milk strainer on top of it and cover that with a cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel

and I pour my brine over,

straining out all the bits and chunks of scum that I do not want in my brine.

  • if you did yours off the cob you can now Can your corn, you can cut it off the cob using a corn zipper or an electric cutting knife..

  • if you want to can whole cob you can, about three cobs cut to size will fit in a wide mouth quart jar

  • after you pack pint or quart jars, you will cover with the brine leaving 1/2 inch head space

  • then adjust hot lids and process by bringing to 10 lbs pressure and turning off the canner and letting the pressure drop to normal before releasing pressure…


When ready to eat you can eat your ears.. most just eat it off the cob with brown beans and cornbread

or you can cut it off the cob and put a little bacon grease, or pork fat and butter in the iron skillet and heat it up a little by frying it.. really good with fried potatoes and onions..

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Recipe: Pickled Corn on the Cob

On Monday’s Wild Chef thread a few readers asked about a recipe for pickled corn on the cob, and so ye shall receive. I’ll admit to never having heard of pickled corn until I read about it in a recent issue of Bon Appetit, but after some research, it seems this really is a thing. It’s particularly popular in the South where you can apparently find jars of pickled corn on the cob alongside the pickled eggs in dive bars and backcountry gas stations.

I can’t stake my reputation on the edibility of pickled corn, as my first batch is still fermenting away in the basement. I plan on giving it a taste test in a week or so. Until then, here’s a recipe so you can take advantage of all the corn being sold on street corners and at farmer’s markets around the country.

A couple of notes before starting:

1. In reality, this is fermented corn, rather than a vinegar pickle. If you want something along those lines, check out this quick-pickle recipe from–and this is a first for the Wild Chef–Martha Stewart.

2. You’re going to need a large jar with an oversized opening or other big vessel for the pickling process. If you have an old pickling crock, that would be ideal. I used a gallon pickle jar that was just the right size.

Pickled Corn on the Cob

– 6 to 8 ears of sweet corn, husked and silk removed
– 10 cloves of garlic
– 3 jalapeños, seeded and sliced into rounds
– 1 tsp. black peppercorns
– 6 Tbsp. kosher salt for brine
– 2-plus quarts of water

1. Cut the ears of corn into 1 1/2-inch lengths. You should get about four to five pieces per cob.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the corn.

3. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the corn to an ice-water bath.

4. When the corn is cool, add them to the jar or crock, along with garlic cloves, jalapeños, and peppercorns.

5. Whisk salt into 2 quarts of water until it is dissolved. Pour brine over the corn, adding more water if necessary to cover the cobs completely. If you’re using a pickling crock, weight the corn down with a plate or other heavy object to keep it submerged. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and set jar in a cool, dark room or cellar.

6. Let the corn ferment for one week at room temperature. Like sauerkraut, the longer it sits, the sourer it should get. When you’ve reached the desired taste, seal the jar with tight fitting lid and refrigerate. The corn should last up to three months.

How to make and can pickled corn salad

This sweet-and-sour salad is one of my favorite pantry staples. It can garnish smoked salmon and crackers, quickly season a cabbage salad, accent bean soups or burgers, and accompany grilled or roasted meats. A row of this sunny yellow relish in your pantry brightens dark days throughout the year and brings the sweet scent of summer to winter meals.

For more information about these and other food preservation methods with recipes for all types of foods, buy the book The Home Preserving Bible by Carole Cancler.

Canned Pickled Corn Salad


  • 4 cups diced red or green bell peppers, stemmed and seeded (5 to 8 medium)
  • 2 cups diced celery (6 medium ribs)
  • 1 cup diced onion (1 to 2 medium)
  • 1 qt. white vinegar (5%)
  • 11⁄3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 TB. canning or pickling salt
  • 2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 TB. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 8 cups fresh corn kernels* (10 to 16 medium-size ears), or 5 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen corn, thawed completely
  1. Prepare boiling water-bath canner, pint jars, and lids. (If you are new to canning, read How to get started with the canning preservation method.)
  2. In a large stockpot, combine peppers, celery, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, dry mustard, and turmeric. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add corn to simmering mixture, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium low, but keep mixture hot while filling jars.
  4. Ladle hot product into hot jars, adjusting headspace to ½-inch. Remove air, wipe jar rim clean of any canning liquid, and secure the lid and screw band on the jar.
  5. Process pint jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely, test the seal, label, and store jars. Use within one year for best flavor.

How to prepare fresh corn

Remove husks and silk from ears of fresh corn. Scrub gently with a vegetable brush to remove all fibers.

In canning recipes, blanch the corn to deactivate enzymes as quickly as possible. To blanch, steam ears over boiling water for 7 to 9 minutes. Alternatively, cover ears with water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover and let stand 15-20 minutes.

Cut whole kernels from the cob. Tip: Stand an ear on end in the center of a Bundt or other tubed cake pan and slice down the side with a chef’s knife. The kernels will fall neatly into the pan.

Shop for cooking tools and equipment on the Amazon marketplace. You can quickly find what you need to prepare and preserve any type of food. Then simply order and pay using your safe and secure Amazon account.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 ¼ pounds pearl onions, peeled
  • ½ cup salt
  • 3 cups malt vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mixed pickling spice
  • 2 dried chile peppers, crumbled (Optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves

Place the peeled onions in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with cold water. Drain the water into a saucepan and stir in the salt. Bring just to a boil so that the salt dissolves, then cool slightly and pour over the onions. Cover the bowl with a heavy plate so all of the onions stay submerged. Leave onions to stand for 24 hours.

Measure the vinegar into a saucepan. Tie the pickling spice into a cloth and add to the vinegar along with the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Rinse the onions and pat them dry. Add to the saucepan with the vinegar. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Pack the onions into sterile jars and ladle the brine over them until they are covered. Add a dried chile pepper to each jar if you like. Seal with sterile lids and rings and store in a cool dark place for at least 6 weeks before opening.

To peel the onions, trim off the root end but leave the onion layers attached. Cut a thin slice from the tops and place onions in a non-reactive bowl then cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 4 minutes, then drain. Skins should be easier to peel with a sharp knife.

Quick Pickled Corn is an easy-to-make condiment that will perk up burgers, tacos, and salads…and it tastes great by the spoonful, too!

Corn on the cob is the quintessential summer vegetable. Who doesn’t love biting into a hot, buttery ear on a warm summer night? It’s a little package of perfection that requires very little to make it truly shine.

As if that first bite isn’t enough, leftovers can be turned into light, healthy, mouth-watering salads in short order. ⇩⇩⇩

Of course, fresh corn can also be frozen for a taste of summer all winter long. And now this…

When I saw this idea from Grant Melton via Food 52. I was eager to try it–and did in short order. There’s hardly a vegetable that my family doesn’t enjoy in a pickled state, yet I hadn’t tried pickling corn and couldn’t ignore the utter ease of this recipe.

Now every time we buy a dozen, I pick out a few ears and whip up a fresh batch of this simple recipe, which will perk up burgers, tacos, and salads (pasta, potato, macaroni, basic green are all fair game). It’s pretty awesome by the spoonful, too, so I’ve doled out small servings as a delightful, impromptu side dish. (Try it with grilled meats and fish!)

Since this is a new-this-summer recipe, I’ve just started to play around with the ratios and add-ins. I’ve found that, like every good pickle recipe, it’s endlessly adaptable. For example, you could go up or down on the sweetness scale according to personal preference. We enjoy the ratio of vinegar to sugar as the recipe is written, because the light sweetness provides a lovely counterpoint to the heat of the hot pepper. Even if you don’t like things spicy, I encourage you to add just a few slices of jalapeño pepper (seeds and all!) and see what you think.

I reduced the amount of salt in the original recipe and replaced the white wine vinegar with rice vinegar, which I so love in these Pickled Red Onions. (Feel free to use what you have on hand.)

For further tweaking, we enjoy the addition of red pepper, which I chop to a similar size as the corn kernels. The color provides added visual appeal and makes this condiment more versatile in a relish-y sort of way. That said, you could use a green, yellow, or orange bell pepper or omit it entirely.

So far I’ve always sliced the hot peppers, since some people like to eat them whole and some prefer to avoid them. The slices add a pretty pop of green, too. But I’m finding most of the people I cook for these days enjoy the heat, so I might mince them next time for more even heat throughout. I’ve used jalapeños and serranos–and most recently a fresh sriracha pepper, a new treat from our garden this summer.

Notably, I have made this recipe with both fresh and cooked kernels. My preference is to use fresh as the texture is crisper and the corn flavor shines through just a bit more. (One friend who enjoyed the pickled corn over an impromptu lunch mentioned that the cooked corn likely absorbs less brine.) If you find yourself with a few leftover ears of cooked corn, however, it would be worth trying. The smoky flavor from grilled corn could play well with the sweet and spicy elements.

The pickled corn will taste good after a 24-hour rest, but after three to four days, the flavors come together and really shine. So, if possible, try to wait.😀

Pickled Corn Relish

Prior to last Summer, I had never canned before. I watched my Mom process and can many different fruits and vegetables, but had never tackled it myself. With many of our vegetables finally coming on in the garden after unusual weather this year, we decided it was time to try our hand at canning again.

Last year we made Apple Pie Filling and found out that canning is not really as difficult as it seems. I think for many cooks, at least for us, we were nervous about the outcome of the canned food – would it be okay to eat – would it seal good enough – how long before the food goes bad.

There are several great things about this Pickled Corn Relish – 1) if you don’t want to can it, you can keep it in the refrigerator, 2) the recipe makes a large batch, 3) the ingredients can easily be found year round in the produce section and of course 4) the taste.

This Pickled Corn Relish is perfect as a side dish or add to the top of burgers, hot dogs or even chicken. When I first tasted it, the flavor was a bit sour for me but after it sat over night, it was fine. Doug loved it from the beginning, straight from the pot.

The original recipe is from The Repo Woman, we followed most of the recipe although she prepares her corn relish for the refrigerator. But we decided to can ours instead.

The recipe goes really quickly, especially after all the chopping is done. We used canned corn, but I think you could certainly use frozen or fresh. You also need – onions, red and green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar, salt, mustard seed, celery seed and apple cider vinegar.

Add all the vegetables to a large pot on the stove, then whisk together the seasonings, sugar and cider and add to the vegetables.

While the corn relish is cooking, prepare your jars and lids. We found everything we needed at Walmart. These jars are half pint size, which is perfect for this relish, and also great for giving as gifts.

New to canning? We have information in our Apple Pie Filling post, and Jenn from Frugal Upstate teaches you how to can using a hot water bath.

Preparing the Jars

  • Lay a towel in the bottom of a deep stock pot, place jars inside the pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then carefully remove jars using tongs, let drain on towel.

Be sure to wipe off the jar rims very well. You don’t want any food or residue on them at all.

Directions for Making Canned Pickled Corn Relish

Yield: About 9 pints


  • 10 cups fresh whole kernel corn (from 16 to 20 medium-size ears, or six 10-ounce packages of frozen corn)
  • 2-1/2 cups diced sweet red peppers
  • 2-1/2 cups diced sweet green peppers
  • 2-1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1-1/4 cups diced onions
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar or Stevia (in a prepared form like Truvia, it measures same as sugar if you use another form, you'll need do your own conversion) - or Splenda, if you prefer,
  • 5 cups vinegar (5% acidity), white or apple cider
  • 2-1/2 tbsp canning or pickling salt
  • 2-1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 2-1/2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1-1/4 tsp turmeric


  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)
  • Jar funnel ($2 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates)
  • At least 1 large pot
  • Large spoons and ladles
  • Ball jars (Publix, Kroger, other grocery stores and some "big box" stores carry them - about $7 per dozen pint jars including the lids and rings)
  • 1 Water Bath Canner OR a pressure Canner (a large pressure pot with a lifting rack to sanitize the jars after filling about $75 to $200 at mall kitchen stores and "big box" stores, but it is cheaper online see this page for more about pressure canners).

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