These 4 Simple Hacks Will Change How You Shuck Corn

Buh-bye corn silk!

It's a struggle familiar to anybody who has ever shucked a raw ear of corn. Those pesky blond strands of silk that are nearly impossible to pry from those neat rows of yellow kernels have been frustrating corn eaters for years.

It seems impossible to remove every silky string from an ear of corn. No matter how careful you are during the shucking process, bits of these threads still end up in your meal and eventually between your teeth. But there's hope for a future free from these clingy annoyances. Here are four simple ways to remove corn silk.

Ears of Fresh Corn
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Rub With a Gripper Pad

According to the brilliant folks at Lifehacker, a gripper pad is all you need to easily remove stray strands from an ear of corn.

Gripper pads, like the ones used to open jars, are cheap and easy to find. (This pack of 12, for example, is available for just $7.99 on Amazon.) All you have to do is rub your ear of corn with a clean gripper pad to remove even the most stubborn silk. Grippy shelf liners reportedly work just as well.

Wear Rubber Gloves

The same method behind the gripper pad also applies to disposable rubber kitchen gloves. Remove the husks and, with one glove on, rub the cob to remove the silk. Rinse under water to remove any small pieces left behind.

Use a Brush

If you already have a vegetable brush, this tool works well at removing silk from corn. Even a clean toothbrush will do. Just brush the shucked corn in the same direction with the brush, and the silks will come right off.

Apply Heat

Instead of removing the silk before cooking, try doing it after. Place the whole unshucked corncob in the microwave or in boiling water, and cook for five to eight minutes. The cooking process will do the work for you. After cooking, carefully cut off the stem—it will be hot. The husk and silk will easily slide off.

If you need to remove the silk without cooking the corn, cut off the stalk. Microwave the corn for 30 to 60 seconds. Hold the corn at the uncut end and shake until the corn slides out, husk and silk free.

Buh-bye wisps!

Get Cooking

Now that your corn is smooth and strand-free, use it in a corn salad to show off its fresh taste, or pop it on the grill for a nice char and smoky flavor.

To remove the silks while keeping the husks intact for grilling the corn, gently pull back the husks and remove the corn silk. Use a gripper pad or rubber gloves to remove any remaining strands. When all of the corn silk has been removed, pull the husks back up for soaking and grilling. Or grill the whole cob, and the silk will slide off when you remove the husks.

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