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Food & Recipes

This Simple Hack Will Make Shucking Fresh Corn Super Easy and Mess-Free


Corn on the cob is a summer grilling season staple we can’t get enough of. But trying to remove those husks before you throw them on the barbecue can be a messy and tedious task. Why is that silk so sticky? Luckily, the days of struggling with those strands will be a thing of the past with this easy microwave corn-shucking hack!

Although fresh corn is often a side dish for steak, burgers, and hotdogs, the vegetable stands out in a BBQ spread during its peak season (May to September). You just can’t beat that natural sweetness — especially when smeared with plenty of butter. And with a simple shucking tip from Heather Ramsdell, food writer for The Spruce Eats, we don’t have to worry about settling for frozen or canned corn instead just because we dread getting rid of those husks.

First, place one or two ears of corn on a plate and microwave them for two minutes to loosen the silk fibers. Next, let them cool for a minute and then cut the bottom end (the widest part) of the cob with a sharp knife. Afterwards, hold the corn with the cut side facing down and give it a squeeze. The corn should come right out of the husks without any remaining silk strands clinging on.

Repeat with the remaining ears of corn until they’re all clean. Watch how this hack works in the video below:

Then it’s up to you how you want to cook the corn. Grilling it gives it a nice smoky flavor and slightly charred color. Carrie Parente, recipe developer for the TODAY Show, suggests placing the cobs directly on the grill and cooking them for about 10 minutes (you can also add a little vegetable oil or butter to prevent sticking). Rotate them every three to four minutes to ensure that the corn doesn’t burn and place them on a serving platter once they’re done.

If your grill is already a little crowded with other items like chicken or veggie kebabs, then boiling the corn is great way to go, too. Marion Cunningham, author of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (Buy on Amazon, $24.49), has a foolproof method for cooking corn.

She recommends first bringing a large pot of water to a boil, then adding in the ears of corn, covering the pot, and turning off the heat to let it gently cook. Let the corn sit in the hot water for five minutes before taking them out to serve. If you need to keep them warm for a little longer, allow them to stay in the pot for no more 10 minutes — otherwise the texture will become tough and chewy.

Regardless of how you cook it, this hack makes preparing corn on the cob for your next BBQ so much easier!

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