Can You Really Use Your Microwave to Shuck Corn?

updated Aug 22, 2022
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Ears of corn on a blue and white towel
Credit: Kelli Foster

Let’s say you’ve already mastered how to cook corn on the cob in the microwave. Don’t turn away from the appliance just yet. As it turns out, you can also use your microwave to shuck corn.

Shucking corn 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 how to shuck corn in a microwave. This video from America’s Test Kitchen was the first one to really catch my eye.

In it, an ATK chef lays out the steps:

  1. Cut a couple of inches off the stalk end of the ear, leaving the husk in tact.
  2. Microwave the trimmed ear for 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Remove the corn from the microwave.
  4. Hold the un-cut end of the ear in one hand and shake. The steam created during cooking causes the corn and husk to separate, so, not only will the ear of corn slide right out, but it will also be silk-free.

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

The Testing Method

Inspired by this video, I decided to conduct my own test, following these steps:

  1. I started by trimming the corn a few rows from the stalk end.
  2. Cutting through the cob can be tough, so I used a strong and sturdy knife.
  3. I placed the cut ear of corn in the microwave and cooked it on high for 2 minutes. (The original tip suggests microwaving the corn for 2 to 4 minutes, but the latter seemed a bit long to me since I wasn’t actually looking to cook my corn.

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.

And this method of shucking corn also performed well in our side-by-side Skills Showdown of nine ways of shucking corn and removing all the silk.

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?