Aw, shucks. The bane of shucking corn has always been the price we have to pay for the delicious golden nuggets inside a corn husk. We have some good news though, as this odious chore can be simplified with a few key tips. Read on for our guide to cleaning corn, sure to sweeten your summer season. How a-maize-ing!

How To Shuck Corn Like A Pro

field of corn

What You'll Need

  • garbage bag for discarded husks
  • fresh corn right off the stalk
  • a willing attitude
  • large stock pot

Classic Shuck

Our first method for easy corn prep is a classic approach that involves a quick head start then a few simple steps.

Step #1: Micro Magic

Before you start, microwave your corn on medium power for a minute or two. This results in fewer strands of pesky corn silk for you to remove. This pro tip is designed to save you time and frustration.

Step #2: Leaves In Layers

Peel off the outer couple layers of leaves so one thin layer remains. Next, slightly peel the last layer until just a few rows of kernels can be seen. Tightly grasp the remaining layers of corn husk (the leaves) in one hand while the other hand steadies the base of the corn. Rip straight down to the bottom of the cob. The goal is to grasp the entire remaining husk and corn silks and remove in one fell swoop, just a single pulling motion.

Step #3: Break Up Time

Break off the leaves and tassels by snapping them off the end of the cob. Discard into a garbage bag.

Step #4: Clean Up Crew

Now that the majority of leaves and tassels have been removed, carefully run your fingers up and down the corn cob and remove the straggler corn silk. It's okay not to get every last one. Repeat these easy steps on every other piece of corn.

Two-Pronged Shuck Approach

hands shucking corn

Our second approach differs from the first as it's two large pulls instead of one smooth motion. Please note: for larger ears of corn, this is the best way to shuck.

Step #1: Happy Halvsies

Begin by separating the tassels and husks at the top of the corn into two halves. Pull one section down all the way to the base, then repeat with the other half section. This includes all layers of leaves, tassels, and silks.

Step #2: Break It Off

Once all the husks have been peeled back to reveal your corn, break them off near the base of the cob. This may take a couple pulls to remove both large sections.

Step #3: Silk-less

Lastly, using just your hands, carefully comb the corn searching for any remaining fibers. Remove and discard accordingly.

Pre-Boil Method

flat lay of partially shucked corn

Our third process for shucking corn is perhaps the most convenient of all and makes the formerly tedious task of corn prep easy peasy.

Step #1: Heat Water

Fill a large stock pot half full with salted water. Heat on high until it's at a full, rolling boil.

Step #2: Corn Dip

Drop corn (in husks) into boiling water. Cook for six minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, carefully remove from water and set aside.

Step #3: Husk Happy

Now that the husks have softened from boiling, simply remove and discard. There should be no pesky strands of corn silk left anywhere, which saves us time and lets us skip a step. Bonus? The corn can now be immediately served since it's already cooked. What could be "butter"?

Other Info

cooked corn

Now that you feel comfortable tackling your corn in multiple ways, we have a few more pointers to throw your way.

  • To maximize the benefits of corn consumption, don't be so quick to discard corn silk. It can actually be made into tea and has been linked to some health advantages and contains a surprisingly high amount of the mineral potassium. To reap these benefits, you'd have to use our second shucking method since there are no heating steps.
  • If you don't want to save your corn silk and are sick of removing them by hand, consider trying a dry paper towel for that step in your favorite shucking method. Simply rub a dry paper towel down the corn after the husks have been removed. Some swear by this tip, so we wanted to pass it onto you via our shucking guide. This is most pertinent when paired with our first method.
  • Want to skip the shucking process completely? Grill your corn in the protective husks then let cool. The husks will basically fall apart when you open to consume the corn. Just make sure your grill has been properly cleaned before using it.

We are so happy to share three easy ways to shuck corn, plus some extra tips and tricks. You may not have grown up on a farm, but you're sure to become a shucking master with our foolproof guide to sweet corn success. And that's not one bit "corny".

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