Once a necessary task for winter survival, drying corn in modern life usually results in decorative cobs used for festive fall displays. But you can harken back to the old days and dry sweet corn kernels for convenient use in soups, side dishes, casseroles and cornbread. Corn dries fastest cut off the cob and in a low-temperature oven. Corn kernels differ in size and water content so drying time varies, but you can expect at least six hours of oven time.
Peel the corn husks and remove the silk strands. Rinse the ears under cool running water.
Set the oven to warm or the lowest temperature possible. Blanch the ears in boiling water for 4 minutes, then transfer them to a large bowl of ice water for 4 minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain the water and add more ice if it melts.
Cut the kernels off the cob and spread them on a towel. Pat the kernels with a paper towel, then let them air dry for about 30 minutes.
Spread the kernels on the baking trays in an even layer. Put the trays in the oven and prop the door open with a potholder.
Rotate the trays every 2 hours, moving those on top to the bottom and those on the bottom to the top. Slide the trays back and forth vigorously when you rotate them to stir the kernels.
Check the corn after about 6 hours of drying time. The kernels should feel brittle and firm to the touch. Return them to the oven if necessary until they reach this point.
Take the trays out of the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Store dried corn in an airtight storage container for up to 6 months.
You can also hang corn cobs in an area with good air flow and let them air dry, which takes 2 to 3 weeks.