Can You Really Use Your Microwave to Shuck Corn?

Putting Tips to the Test in The Kitchn

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Yesterday we talked about the quick and easy method of how to cook corn on the cob in the microwave. So, now that you've got the cooking part down, let's talk about the dreaded task of shucking corn. This is easily one of my least favorite cooking tasks of all time. I inevitably make a mess every single time and no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to get all those darn silks off.

Well, I recently discovered a ridiculously easy and nearly hands off method of shucking corn on the cob using a microwave. I decided to put this tip to the test and see if using the microwave to shuck corn actually works.

The Original Tip

There are more than a few videos and articles around the web that talk about this tip. This video from America's Test Kitchen was the first one to really catch my eye.

In it, an ATK chef suggests cutting off the stalk end of the corn a couple inches from the bottom, leaving the husk intact, then microwaving it for 2 to 4 minutes. After removing the corn from the microwave, all you need to do is hold the top of the husk (the un-cut end) and shake. The steam created during cooking causes the corn and husk to separate, so not only should the ear of corn slide right out, but it should also be silk free.

Watch the original video tip: The Easiest-Ever Way to Shuck Corn from America's Test Kitchen

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The Testing Method

As recommended, I started by cutting off the stalk end of the corn a few rows from the bottom. Cutting through the cob can be a little tough, so make sure you use a strong and sturdy knife.

The original tip suggests microwaving the corn for 2 to 4 minutes. Four minutes seemed a bit long to me, since I wasn't actually looking to cook my corn. I placed the cut ear of corn in the microwave, and cooked it on high for 2 minutes.

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The Results

After 2 minutes was up, I removed the ear of corn from the microwave, held the un-cut end with a kitchen towel and gave it a little shake. Tada! A freshly shucked ear of corn, with no silks.

While the kernels were softer after being in the microwave, the corn was definitely not cooked through.

Verdict: This is a mind-blowing tip!

Final Notes

Gone are the days of shucking corn by hand!

One more thing to mention is that the corn is very hot when it comes out of the microwave. It's best to use an oven mitt or kitchen towel when handling it.

Have you ever husked corn in the microwave?

More posts in this series

Tip Tests

(Image credits: Kelli Dunn)

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