Canning Corn Without a Pressure Cooker: Exploring Alternative Methods

by iupilon

Pressure canning is the go-to method for long-term storage of corn. This popular method ensures that your corn remains fresh and flavorful for extended periods. But what if you don’t have access to a pressure canner or pressure cooker? Are there other ways to store corn effectively and safely?

In this article, we will explore an alternative method for storing corn without a pressure cooker, known as the water bath method. This technique is less efficient than pressure canning but offers a viable option for those without access to specialized equipment. We’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to execute this method, ensuring you can preserve your corn without any hassle.

Additionally, we will cover another alternative, pickling corn. This method not only helps in preserving corn but also adds a unique flavor to the produce. By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of these alternative methods, their pros and cons, and how to choose the best option for your needs.

Water Bath Canning: A Step-by-Step Guide

The water bath method is a viable alternative to pressure canning, though it’s not as efficient. It requires less equipment and is relatively easy to execute. Here’s how you can can corn using the water bath method:

Items Needed
  • Jars
  • Large pot
  • Cooktop
  • Salt
  1. Sterilize and fill jars: Sterilize the jars, then fill them with corn and salt water. Close the lid securely.
  2. Heat jars in a large pot: Place the closed jars in a large pot filled with at least a couple of inches of water. You can place multiple jars in the pot.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes, then open the lid: Bring the water to a boil and let it continue boiling for 5 minutes. After that, open the pot’s lid and continue boiling for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove jars from the pot: Carefully extract the jars from the pot.
  5. Cool the jars: Allow the jars to cool overnight without opening the lid. The cooling process will vacuum seal the corn inside the jars, ensuring a longer shelf life.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Water Bath Canning

Before deciding to use the water bath method, it’s essential to weigh its pros and cons.

  • Minimal air exposure: By filling the jars with corn up to the brim, the water bath method ensures minimal air exposure, which helps increase the shelf life of canned corn.
  • Requires basic equipment: Unlike other canning techniques, water bath canning doesn’t require specialized equipment, making it a more accessible option.
  • Extended shelf life: Canned corn stored using this method can last up to 12 months in unopened jars. Once opened, consume the corn quickly to prevent spoilage.
  • Easy to execute: With just five steps, the water bath canning process is simple and quick, making it suitable for bulk storage.
  • Incomplete bacteria elimination: Water bath canning doesn’t kill all bacteria present in corn, potentially leading to illness with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, body pain, and an upset stomach.

Alternative Method: Pickling Corn

If you’d rather not use the water bath method, pickling corn is another viable option. Although it alters the taste of corn, the additional ingredients can enhance its flavor, making it suitable for use as a garnish or snack.

Items Needed
  • Mason jars and lids
  • Large bowl
  • Non-reactive pot
  • Cooktop
  • Spoon
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Crushed garlic
  1. Sterilize jars and lids: Begin by sterilizing the mason jars and lids.
  2. Place corn in a large bowl: Transfer the corn intended for pickling into a large bowl, allowing for easy mixing.
  3. Prepare pickling liquid: In a non-reactive pot, combine sugar, vinegar, water, crushed garlic, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Add corn and boil: Once the pickling liquid comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved, add the corn and bring the mixture back to a boil.
  5. Fill jars and cool: Remove the pot from heat, fill the sterilized jars with the corn mixture, and seal them shut. Allow the jars to cool before proceeding to the next step.
  6. Refrigerate: Store the cooled jars in the refrigerator for up to eight weeks.

Though pickling corn changes its taste, the added ingredients can enhance its flavor profile, offering a unique and delicious twist to your corn dishes.

Additional Tips and Considerations for Canning Corn

To ensure the best results when canning corn without a pressure cooker, it’s crucial to keep in mind some essential tips and considerations. These suggestions will help you make the most out of your chosen canning method.

  • Choose fresh corn: Always select fresh, high-quality corn for canning. By using the best produce, you’ll ensure better flavor and texture in your canned goods.
  • Follow proper sterilization procedures: To minimize the risk of spoilage or contamination, always thoroughly sterilize your jars, lids, and utensils before use. This practice is vital for both water bath canning and pickling methods.
  • Monitor cooking time: Pay close attention to the recommended boiling times for each method. Overcooking or undercooking the corn can result in suboptimal preservation and may negatively impact the corn’s taste and texture.
  • Label and date your jars: To track your canned corn’s shelf life, always label and date your jars. This practice will help you quickly identify the contents and ensure that you consume them within their optimal time frame.
  • Store jars in a cool, dark place: Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the quality of your canned corn. Keep your jars in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or basement, to maximize their shelf life.

By following these tips and carefully considering the advantages and disadvantages of each canning method, you’ll be well-equipped to preserve corn without a pressure cooker. Whether you opt for water bath canning or pickling, both methods offer a convenient and effective way to enjoy corn all year round.


Canning corn without a pressure cooker is entirely possible, thanks to alternative methods like water bath canning and pickling. Each method has its pros and cons, so consider your needs and preferences before choosing the best option for you. Regardless of the method you choose, these techniques will enable you to store and enjoy corn throughout the year.

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