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How to De-Kernel Corn

July 1, 2011 • 48 Comments

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There is something extremely dangerous about standing an ear of corn on end and slicing down. And, oh how the kernels fly! Kristen tipped Merrill off to a new (and obvious?) way to denude an ear more safely. What now? Two words: Rhonda's Succotash.

This week's videos were once again shot and edited our videographer Elena Parker (who now produces our bi-weekly Dinner & a Movie column as well!).

 

Jump to Comments (48)

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Comments (48)

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over 1 year ago Joslyn

I use a bundt pan - just place the stalk end in the center hole and run a knife top to bottom around the ear and all the corn ends up contained in the bundt pan - so fast and so easy.

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over 2 years ago JSCooks

I learned this trick from Joey Altman when we were writing his cookbook, Without Reservations. I've used it ever since then, and when I do cooking demos that involve corn I always show it, almost always eliciting the response: "why didn't I think of that!" (And with the utmost respect, I do concur with others re: "hi guys" -- not only is it a throw-away, but most of us aren't guys. Otherwise, love your great site!)

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over 2 years ago wcl

this kernel cutting technique sure seems to reduce the corn flying all over the kitchen. however the problem i have (that is more disconcerting) is when i scrape the cob to get all that juicy goodness that is left after the cut. the juice flys all over (predominantly on my glasses) and is really a pain to get off of things due to its sugar/starch content. any ideas for that ?

Mejan08

over 2 years ago Martin69

Can you still afford corn???!!!

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over 2 years ago JanetFL

Many thanks to Kristen and Merrill for an easy and great tip that I never would have thought up myself. This is now my technique for stripping corn.

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over 2 years ago pepperoncini

Also another note, I to had terrible lagging when trying to view this video, that was disappointing.

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over 2 years ago pepperoncini

Great idea!
I always blanch my corn first then cut it off the cob. I've tried corn shredders but they seem to mush up the corn to much so I went back to cutting it with a knife.

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over 2 years ago dragonladyevelyn

This video didn't work for me...awwww...I wanted to see it

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over 2 years ago Rosemary Martinez

I use the CORN ZIPPER from PRINCESS HOUSE.
Please visit my website at www.princesshouse.com/rmartinez109...

•Use the brush side of the Corn Zipper to quickly brush silk off your corn on the cob.
•Use the sharp blades on the other side to easily remove the kernels from the cob a few rows at a time.

•Features a soft-grip, BPA-free nylon handle and scalloped, serrated stainless steel blade that’s positioned away from your hand for safety.


•Includes blade protector for safe storage.


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over 2 years ago forget it

Lose the "hi guys" please. I'm so tired of hearing that said to us that I reduce the amount of the tip after the 3rd time I hear it. Hi is plenty. It' way overdone in about all the food service business.

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

If you have feedback, there's a more constructive way to offer it. Just as you "reduce the amount of the tip after the 3rd time I hear it," I'm less likely to take your recommendation seriously because of its tone.

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over 2 years ago forget it

Lose the "hi guys" please. I'm so tired of hearing that said to us that I reduce the amount of the tip after the 3rd time I hear it. Hi is plenty. It' way overdone in about all the food service business.

Saucy

over 3 years ago meetsaucygirl

I use a microplane! It works perfectly and is super quick.

Saucy

over 3 years ago meetsaucygirl

Oops, I meant so say a mandolin. It works perfectly. Just put in on a 1/2 or less setting. Amazing!

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Wow, great idea!

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over 3 years ago jay-j

The best way to de-kernel corn is to use your fingers. It's the best and safest method. With the knife, you leave the germ behind. With your finger, you get the whole kernel, germ and all. Try it.

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over 3 years ago Laura Yee

Great tip!

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over 3 years ago f52otf

Video not working?

Sodium_girl

over 3 years ago Sodium Girl

um...wow, I can't believe that this technique never crossed any of our minds before! Ingenious! One of the many many many reasons I LOVE THIS SITE! Thanks ladies.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're very welcome!

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over 3 years ago Kensington Annie

Ingenious!
But -- please drop the Hi Guys and 'guys" patter.
Anne

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over 3 years ago MissLindyS

I am with you all the way on the "guys" thing.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

As am I. Emphatically. ;o)

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over 3 years ago annieb

Great idea, why didn't I think of that one!

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over 3 years ago chez_mere

So glad I watched this. I work at a summer camp and there is always leftover corn from our Sunday night grill out. Finally an effective way to get it off the cob and into the salad bar!

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over 3 years ago thecrabbycook

Love this. Using the old method, I end up with half the corn on the floor, which makes my dog ecstatic, but makes me very irritable. I'm changing methods! (The dog will have to cope.)

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I have always used the more conventional method of cutting down, into a large bowl. I tried it this way last night, to make my corn relish (recipe posted last week), using a nice, sharp 10" chef's knife. It's a far superior technique. The kernels are nice and clean + there's one less bowl to wash! Thank you so much for posting this. I will think of the food52 team with gratitude every time I cut corn, from now on. ;o)

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over 3 years ago cookie74

Use an Angel Food Cake pan and secure the cob in the center tube. Works great as you slice and the kernels fall into the pan not all over the kitchen! Love it!

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over 3 years ago lgs

Agree!

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over 3 years ago cookie74

Use an angel food cake pan and put the corn in the center tube which holds it steady and the kernels fall into the pan as you slice....works GREAT!

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over 3 years ago ChefHef

first cut is awkward, but after that, I see this beats holding a whole cob vertically. HOWEVER, here's my method: Break the cob in half so you have more control- shorter pieces and flat ends. Hold the half-cob vertically, and use a SERRATED bread knife. The teeth grab in nicely at the top and you can get in close to the cob without slicing the kernels in half and losing a lot of juices.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sounds like a nifty trick too.

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over 3 years ago Wini Moranville

My Midwestern grandmother is somewhere in the great beyond going, "In all my 101 years on this earth, why didn't I think of that?"

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Duh!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

In the words of current parlance, genius.

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over 3 years ago skittle

Complete ah-ha moment! Why on earth have I been standing it on end all these years?

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And chasing it all over the kitchen!

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Why have we all?

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over 3 years ago cyndin

Corn stripers cost next to nothing and do this in 1/5 the time, with less waste. I might use a knife for one or two cobs, but for prepping a large box of them for the freezer, a knife is insanity. I can do 2 dozen cobs of corn in a couple of minutes, once they are shucked and washed. Yes, I have scraped my knuckles on the striper now and then but that video was scary, watching her cut a round slippery object without any stabilization of cob or hands. I have decent knife skills but still.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Actually, the corn becomes totally stabilized once you make the first cut. Corn strippers are great, but not everyone has one.

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over 3 years ago EmilyC

This falls under the category of simple yet genius techniques!

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over 3 years ago wssmom

ah-HAH!!!

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over 3 years ago carol_tanenbaum

I think this must qualify as the DUH moment of the day in the kitchen! Something soooo simple, and who'd have thunk it? THANKS!

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

All thanks to Kristen!

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over 3 years ago tanager

With two kids in braces, I can't serve fresh corn without stripping the kernels. This looks like a much better method!

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I remember those days...

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over 3 years ago phyllis

Thanks for tip. Maybe I won't dislike the task so much anymore!!!

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope it helps!