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Easy Techniques for Shucking Corn

It's that time of year when the gardens are being harvested.  Whether you were able to pick corn from your own garden, or maybe you bought corn from a farmer's market or store, at some point, you will need to shuck the corn.  Are you wondering if there are any tips for shucking corn? If so, you have come to the right place.  Today I will be going over tips for shucking corn, as well as some other ideas for cooking corn.  I hope this article helps make your life easier when it comes to shucking corn.  Let's get started.

What Is Shucking Corn?

First, let's be clear about what shucking corn actually is.  Shucking corn, also called husking corn, is when you remove the corn shuck/husk from the corn.  The husk is the outside shell of corn, and can actually refer to any shell on a vegetable or fruit. Most people try husking corn by hand, but this process can take a while and is messy.  In this article, I'll be going over better techniques for shucking corn.

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Easy Tips for Shucking Corn

Microwave Corn Husk Trick

Let's start with a popular and easy way to shuck corn, which involves the microwave.  This is probably the most popular way to shuck corn because it is easy and quick.  Here's how to do it:  First, cut off the stalk of each ear about one inch above the last row of kernels.  Microwave the corn for two to four minutes.  Once two to four minutes as gone by, take it out of the microwave.  Hold the uncut end and shake and squeeze the husk until the corn slides out.  If you pulled the corn out of the microwave too early it may be difficult to take the husk off.  However, when heated properly, it shouldn't take much effort to get the husk off the corn.  You may be wondering, how does this corn shucking method work?  The microwave creates just enough steam to allow the kernels to separate from both the husk and the silk.

How to Easily Shuck Corn by Hand

Although the microwave corn husk trick is fast and easy, there are also various methods for shucking corn by hand.  It is important that you choose ears of corn with firm, fresh husks that hold tightly to the corn.  The ends of the husks should look freshly cut.  After selecting corn that looks fresh and firm, it is time to begin shucking the corn.  While most people husk corn by pulling off the leaves one or two at a time, that method can take a while.  It is easier if you go to the top of the ear, separate the silk in half, and start pulling.  First, you'll want to pull down just enough so that you can see the corn kernels.  Then, starting back at the top where the silk tassels are, pull down another section of husks.  Once all the husks are pulled back to reveal the ear of corn kernels underneath, rip off the husks from the cob.  Look over the corn to see if there is any silk.  Remove the silk, and you are then done shucking corn!

Shucking Corn with a Corn Shucking Brush

Once you have your corn shucked, you will need to remove the silk.  Although a lot of the silk should come off when you shuck the corn, you may still find some silk clinging onto the ear of corn.  If you are struggling with getting the silk to come off, try using a corn shucking brush.  Also called a vegetable scrubber, the corn shucking brush will scrape the silk off of the corn so that no silk is left.  If you don't have a corn shucking brush, you can use a nail brush or toothbrush.

Quickly Remove Silk with a Corn Silk Remover

Similar to a corn shucking brush, a corn silk remover is a circular brush that slides down your corn.  Because you actually push the entire corn into the brush, all the silk on the corn comes off.  This saves you time from re-positioning your corn and having to brush the silk off of every side.  You can buy a corn silk remover on Amazon by clicking here.

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How to Cook Corn

Once you have successfully shucked your corn, it is time to cook your corn.  Just like there are many methods for peeling corn, there are also many methods for cooking corn.   Let's take a look at some creative and tasty ways that you can season and cook your corn.

Different Ways to Cook Corn

Steamed in the Microwave

Not only is the microwave great for shucking corn, but it can also be used for cooking corn.  To steam corn in the microwave, place four ears of corn or less in the microwave on high until the kernels are crisp-tender (you’ll need to pull the husk down to check).  This should take about 4 minutes.  Cool slightly, then remove the husks and silks.  This cooking method is a great way for cooking corn on the cob without removing husks from the corn.  It saves you time because as the corn is cooking, the husks begin to separate from the kernels.

Poached in a Pot

Another method for cooking corn is to cook it in a pot of boiling water.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the husked corn, cover the pot with a lid, and remove the pot from the heat.  Keep the corn in the pot until it is crisp and tender, which takes about 5 minutes.  What's nice about this cooking method is that it allows you to cook a lot of corn at once.  It also allows you to keep the corn hot until you are ready to eat it.

Grilling Corn

This is one of the most popular ways to cook corn, especially during the summer.  To cook your corn on a grill, prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) charcoal or gas grill fire for direct grilling.  Grill the shucked corn, turning occasionally until charred in places and crisp-tender, which takes about 8 minutes.

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Different Flavors to Try

Barbecue Glazed Corn

Want your corn to taste like barbecue sauce?  Go ahead and add some.  Brush the corn with olive oil and grill it.  Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt.  Pour the mixture onto the corn during the last 3 minutes of grilling.

Olive Oil, Garlic, and Parmesan Seasoned Corn

In a small bowl, combine 2 grated garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.  Pour the mixture onto the cooked corn while they are still hot.  Sprinkle on the grated Parmesan.  This recipe will become a favorite in your household.

Basil and Tomato Flavored Corn

Remove the seeds from 2 ripe tomatoes, then grate and drain them.  Mix the tomato pulp with 2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese along with 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil.  Season with salt and spread on cooked corn.

Tarragon and Lime Corn

Tarragon is the perfect herb to add to your corn if you are wanting a unique flavor.  Mix 1 stick of softened butter with 2 to 3 tablespoons of minced fresh tarragon and the zest of 1 large lime.  Spread this mixture on hot, cooked corn.

Honey and Butter on Corn

We all know that butter and corn go together like peanut butter and jelly.  But what you may not know is that honey can add a tasty flavor to corn as well.  Combine 1 stick of softened butter with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of honey.  Spread it on hot, cooked corn.

Guacamole

Looking to add a little extra flavor to corn?  Consider adding guacamole to your corn on the cob.  Spread homemade or prepared guacamole over hot, cooked corn.  If desired, top with a squeeze of fresh lime.

Spicy Hot Sauce Spread of Corn

Add some spice to your corn by mixing hot sauce with your corn.  Mix 1 stick of softened butter with 2 tablespoons of hot sauce.  Spread it on hot, cooked corn. Garnish the corn with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro.

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Final Thoughts

Shucking corn can be a difficult task, but with the right tools and tips, you can easily shuck corn like a pro.  In this article, I went over some easy techniques for shucking corn.  As you saw, there are many different methods for shucking corn.  One such method is using the microwave to shuck corn.  By putting the corn in the microwave for just a few minutes, the husk separates from the kernels and therefore will slide off the corn when you shake it.  But if you don't have time to use your microwave, there are many methods for how to shuck corn without a microwave. 

There are also many tools that can be handy to have, such as the corn silk remover and corn shucking brush.  Once you have successfully removed the husk and silk from the corn, you can begin cooking it.  In this article, I went over the three different ways to cook corn.  I also went over some tasty ways to flavor your corn.  I hope this article has helped you learn how to shuck corn. Once you are done shucking corn, don't throw the husks away.  Keep them for making corn husk dolls, which you can learn how to make by clicking here.  Have fun!

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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