Step 1

Remove Husks and Silks

Clean the ears of corn by prepping them as you would as if you were going to eat them. Break the husks in half.

Step 2

Blanch Ears

Treat the corn to remove bacteria and pesticides by following a blanching process. Boil water on the stove and drop each ear into the water for two minutes. When you remove the ears, transfer them into a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.

Step 3

Dry Ears in Oven

Set the oven to 175 degrees and allow ears to bake on a flat cooking sheet for 8-10 hours. Baking the ears at a low temperature helps to dry not only the kernels, but the inner core of the cob too. You’ll be tempted to boost the temperature to help speed things along, but heating over an extended period of time helps to dry the core. If the core doesn’t dry completely, the ears may rot by wintertime.

Rotate the ears halfway through to allow all kernels the opportunity to dry.

Step 4

Air Dry Ears

After eight hours, the kernels should appear shriveled. There will still be some moisture in the kernels, but the cob itself should be dried by this point. Remove them from the oven and set them on a drying rack for 3-5 more days to allow remaining moisture in the kernels to evaporate.

Step 5

Corn dried on the cob can be used to feed birds and squirrels all winter long.

Dry corn as a wintertime treat for wildlife in your backyard.

Corn dried on the cob can be used to feed birds and squirrels all winter long.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2015

Emily Fazio, 2015

Store Ears

Store the dried ears in an open bushel (out of reach from wildlife) or enclosed in a breathable paper bag. Toss them into the yard during the winter when less food is accessible for squirrels and birds.