Getting Corny:  Storing Corn, Cornmeal , and Cornstarch

Getting Corny: Storing Corn, Cornmeal , and Cornstarch

Posted by Ola Griffin on Jul 9th 2024

Often known as maize, corn is a staple in many pantries throughout the world. From Native Americans to Hispanic cultures who often make tortillas, tamales and more. Corn is very versatile and many people each day eat frozen corn or canned corn. In the summer fresh corn on the cob is a favorite in American picnics and BBQ’s. Dried corn is also great to store and use later for animals and bird feed, or for milling to make cornmeal.

It is always best to store the grain versus the processed flour or meal. That is also true for wheat and other foods like corn. But having some processed flour and cornmeal available is a good idea. Since milling can be time consuming and energy usage, having the handiness of it ready to use is a good idea. But how long can you store cornmeal, corn products like cornstarch, and of course corn?

Varieties of Corn

There are 5 main types of corn grown in the United States. Dent Corn or also called Field Corn is the most planted variety. This is used to make animal feeds, ethanol (fuel), corn oil and corn syrup. Sweet Corn is the type of corn most people eat. I grow this variety in my garden. It is a sweet flavor and is used in canning, freezing, and on the table as corn on the cob. Popcorn is a hard-shelled corn variety that has a starch that pops when cooked. It comes in a variety of colors from white, yellow, and red. Flour Corn used to make masa for Hispanic tortillas, cornmeal and other traditional meals are usually white or yellow in color. Flint Corn (Indian Corn) used in decoration but can be used for masa.

There are 12 other varieties of corn; Baby Corn (used in a lot of Chinese stir-fries), Black Aztec Corn, Bloody Butcher Corn, Blue Corn, Oaxaca Green Dent Corn, Floriani Red Flint Corn, Painted Mountain Corn, Glass Gem Corn, Pod Corn, Purple Corn, Strawberry Corn, and Waxy Corn. Some are really colorful like the Glass Gem and Painted corn.

Storing Corn 

Dry corn can last for 30 years under the ideal food storage temperatures 75 degrees or less. Using Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is the best way to store food like corn for the long-term. You simply pick your Mylar bags size, fill them up, add your oxygen absorber and seal the Mylar up. 5-gallon Flour Storage Quick & Easy #viral #food #prepping #fyp #survival @packfreshusa - YouTube

How to pick the best ears of corn!

When picking corn for storage either from your home grown or store bought it is important to pick the freshest corn as possible. When harvesting homegrown corn, take it directly from the field to the pot to blanch. If you can process the corn right away the best natural sugars remain, you will get the best end result by processing your corn quickly. So, from plant to pot. You will need to blanch the corn for storage.

Whether from the garden or store look for corn that has light green husk with the silks looking free from decay or bugs like worms. Pick corn that is not too yellow, underdeveloped, dried up, and/or too large of kernels. Fresh is the key to having the sweetest corn, since the sugars in the corn are the first things to break down. Fresh is best. If you cannot use it right away, refrigerate the corn immediately.

Blanching your fresh corn - it is easiest to blanch the entire corn on the cob. Place a large pot on the stove with water and bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile remove the husks, silks, and the ends or top if needed. Rinse in water. Add the corn to the boiling water, once the water starts to boil again, cover it and let it boil for 5-8 minutes (depending on the size of the corn).

I first remove the corn into a bowl or the sink full of just cold tap water, this allows the corn to cool for several minutes. I then add the corn to the ice bath for 5-8 minutes.

(TIP - put water in containers like Tupperware style into the freezer to have big ice cubes for the ice bath.)

Dehydrating - taking pre frozen or just blanched corn and place on your dehydrator trays in a single layer. Put in your dehydrator at 125 degrees Fahrenheit. These took about 13 hour - 15 hours to fully dehydrate. You may vary based on heat and humidity and the size of the kernels. Dehydrating Corn ? #video #prepper #foryou #survival #mylar @packfreshusa

Freezing - You will need to blanch the corn. Once blanched, you can either store the whole corn on the cob or cut off the corn. I use Vacuum Sealer Quart Bags | PackFreshUSA and Oxygen Absorbers in 10-Packs | PackFreshUSA 100cc (optional) to store my froze corn, whether on the cob or cut off. To learn how to blanch and storing corn I made two videos on how easy it is to blanch and then vacuum seal the corn for use later.  Storing Corn on the Cob Vacuum Sealing and cutting the corn off the cob Storing Corn ? cut off cob in freezer #video #prepper #foryou @packfreshusa #vacuumsealer 

Freeze-drying- Using either pre-froze bagged corn or freshly blanched corn. Place on trays and I always like to pre freeze, it saves time in the freeze-drying process. Then once done, I like to place in the pint gusset or quart gusset mylar depending on the size of people you are storing for. Two cups fit in a pint and that is perfect for two people. You can always fully cook the corn and season it, so all you have to do is reconstitute it and enjoy. Storing Corn Freeze Drying

Popcorn - Since this is not fully dried, I like storing my popcorn in either mason jars or Mylar bags without oxygen absorbers, or in airtight containers. Popcorn has about 14% moisture and they have 3% to 4.6% fat. That is rather high in moisture, so rotating and proper storage of your kernels is the best way to have that snack when you have that salty and savory desire. 

Store bought dried corn for feed, or your dried corn can be placed in the Mylar with the correct size oxygen absorber for your mylar bags.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has done lots of research on long-term food storage and I feel very comfortable saying that I have learned a lot about food storage from their website. Longer-Term Food Supply ( Corn that is properly dried can be stored for 30 years or more.

11.5 kg./ 25 lbsWheat, white rice, corn, and other grains30+ years
2.5 kg. / 5 lbsDry beans30+ years

(*Longer-Term Food Supply (


Cornmeal is made from dried corn and is classified into two different categories, bolted and unbolted. The longevity of storing cornmeal will vary based on what type of meal it is.

Bolted cornmeal, also called degerminated cornmeal, has the hull and germ mostly removed. This removes most of the oils in the meal and allows for longer storage. These are ground and go through a sieve, to remove the hull and germ.

Unbolted cornmeal is ground and the hull and germ is still in the meal, so there is oil within the meal. It will not store for long, a few months to ½ a year.

Cornmeal when it is finely ground is often called cornmeal flour or corn flour. Almost all commercially sold cornmeal or flour is bolted. If you store it in just an airtight container then you can store it for 1 to 2 years. Bolted cornmeal can last for about 10 years or more if stored oxygen free. Using Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers will not only make the meal last longer because your food becomes oxygen free, no bugs, mold, and most bacterias can not survive. As long as the food you are storing is low in moisture, then going oxygen free is the keep to being able to store your cornmeal for years.

Recipe (from Using and Storing Cornmeal | MU Extension (

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of fluid milk
  • ¼ cup oil

Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar (if used). Set aside. Beat egg. Add milk and oil. Add fat or oil. Add to cornmeal mixture and stir just enough to mix. Fill a greased 9-by-9-by-2-inch pan half full. Bake at 425 degrees F (hot oven) 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned.

Makes 6 servings.

Cornmeal muffins

Use the recipe for cornbread. Fill greased muffin pans half-full of cornmeal mixture. Bake at 425 degrees F (hot oven) 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

Cheese cornbread

Use 2 eggs in the recipe for cornbread. Stir 1½ cups grated cheese into the batter before putting in the baking pan.

Storing Cornmeal - the best way is to store your cornmeal in a vacuum sealer bag and then storing in the freezer. However, since moisture will greatly affect your meals, make sure you have a good seal on your vacuum bags. Regular plastic containers are not recommended. But again, you can store corn for 30 plus years, so learning to grind your corn into meal is the best for long-term For items like cornmeal, using OA in sealed,


Cornstarch is a byproduct of milling corn. It is the starch that comes from grinding and processing corn. It is a byproduct of manufacturing corn into cornmeal. It becomes a fine, powdery stable pantry item that is used in many different foods. Using it to coat chicken for making fried chicken, orange chicken, beef and broccoli, and other fried foods, this helps create crispy coating. Cornstarch is used to thicken soups, stews, sauces and gravies, by making a cornstarch slurry, 1 tablespoon cornstarch to 3 tablespoons of water, and mix it well. Add to your soups to thicken. For desserts it is used in puddings, fruit fillings, and custards.

Cornstarch slurry can also be used as an egg substitute in vegan cooking. Use the cornstarch slurry recipe will equal 1 egg. The slurry mimics the binding properties of the egg.

Did you know that cornstarch is one of the forever foods? If you store it protecting it from moisture and bugs, your cornstarch will last decades.

Tips to storing cornstarch

Cornstarch is very absorbent, so once you open the store-bought container, you need to store it to keep it from absorbing moisture.

Place in airtight containers

  1. Mason jars
  2. Mylar bags

Keep in a cool place - no direct heat, don’t store near the stove or oven. Do not store it in the fridge. Do not use oxygen absorbers. If vacuum sealing then use the cupcake liner at the top of the cornstarch, this helps keep the fine powder to not get sucked up into you vacuum sealer.

Keep in dark place - away from direct sunlight

Moisture is the enemy of cornstarch and will cause it to get clumpy. Bugs also like cornstarch, so keeping it sealed so pantry moths don’t invade into original box packaging. Airtight packaging to keep those flying bugs at bay.

Fun projects and crafts using cornstarch.

Play Cloud Dough

2 cups cornstarch

1 cup baby lotion

Food coloring (optional)

Get the full details for the Make Cloud Dough Using 3 Ingredients - Crafty Morning

It is always best to store the grain versus the processed flour. That is true to wheat and other foods like corn.

Uses for cornstarch

Cornstarch is great to use on the body, to help with areas where chaffing can happen. It can be used on your face in a slurry and it

Researched Using and Storing Cornmeal | MU Extension ( and Longer-Term Food Supply (, Using and Storing Cornmeal | MU Extension (

Happy prepping,

Ola D Griffin

Long-term Food Storage Expert

Customer Service, Safeguard Brands, Inc. dba PackFreshUSA

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