How to Cut Corn Off the Cob (Without Making a Mess)
Take advantage of one of the summer’s most popular vegetables by learning how to cut corn off the cob.
Cutting corn off the cob after you’ve brought it home fresh from the market yields an amazingly sweet flavor that purchased frozen or canned corn can't deliver. Sweet corn season runs roughly from May through September, depending on where you live, so stock-up once you start seeing them at your market. Buying local is ideal with sweet corn because of its short shelf life. Choose ears with plump, milky kernels that run all the way to the tip in tightly packed rows. As soon as the ears are picked, the sugars start converting to starch, reducing the corn's natural sweetness. Cook or blanch and freeze corn the day it is picked or refrigerate up to 1 day. Here are our easy steps to get corn off the cob and ready for eating.
Prepping Your Corn
Prep the Corn
Pull the husks and silks off the ear of corn with your hands; do this section by section. Once the husks are removed, use a stiff brush (or this handy corn desilker, $8.87, Amazon) to remove the remaining silks. You can also do this by hand, but it's a bit tedious.
Steady the ear of corn with one hand and face the stem away. Use a sturdy chef's knife to cut off the stem. This gives you a safe base to keep it stable for cutting. Rinse the ear.
Blanch the Corn
If you plan to cook and serve the corn right away, you can skip this step. However, if you want to freeze cut corn, blanch the ears first. Before cutting corn off the cob:
- Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Have a large bowl of ice water ready.
- Place a few ears of corn at a time in the boiling water. Cook 4 minutes.
- Using tongs, remove the corn and immediately plunge into the ice water until cool. Drain excess water from the ears over the bowl before cutting corn off the cob.
How to Cut Corn Off the Cob
Place an ear of corn, cut side down, on a cutting board (try this Farberware Nonslip Bamboo one for $7.97, Walmart), holding it near the top of the ear. Using a sharp knife, start at the top and cut downward with a gentle sawing motion, cutting corn off from the cob at about two-thirds the depth of the kernels. Continue cutting corn off the cob until all of the corn is removed. If you're the type who likes to use kitchen gadgets, try this easy, mess-free corn stripper ($6.99, Amazon) instead of your knife.
Test Kitchen Tip: When using fresh corn for recipes, one ear of corn equals approximately ½ cup cut corn.
How to Cut Corn on the Cob Using a Bundt Pan
Cutting corn on the cob into your bundt pan (such as this Wilton Fluted Tube Pan for $8.97, Walmart) is a handy trick to keep kernels from flying. All you have to do is place the tip of the cob in the center hole of the tube pan. Once secured, cut down the sides of the corn with a sharp knife. The kernels will fall into the pan, instead of all over your counter. If you're using a nonstick pan, be careful not to scratch the interior. Even if you do knick the pan, it shouldn't be a big problem since baking cakes won't touch this part of the pan.
To Freeze Cut Corn
Add blanched and cooled cut corn to freezer-safe bags or containers with a measuring cup. Squeeze the air from the bags, if using, and seal. Label each bag or container with contents, amount, and date. Freeze up to 8 to 10 months.
Related: How to Freeze Vegetables
Cooking Fresh Cut Corn
To enjoy your freshly cut corn on its own, bring a small amount of salted water to boiling in a small saucepan. Add 2 cups cut corn, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. Or, to microwave, place 2 cups cut corn in a casserole dish with 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, covered, at high power for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring once. Drain corn.