One of my favorite vegetables is fresh corn on the cob. And one of my least favorite vegetables is corn on the cob with a lot of silk remnants sticking to it. These easy tips show how easy it is to cook silk free corn on the cob every time.
No one wants silk on a corn cob when it hits your plate. Nothing is worse than biting into an ear of freshly cooked corn and come away with bits of the silk stuck to your teeth. Shucking corn won’t remove them all, trust me.
You will want to shuck corn close to the time that you plant to cook the corn to keep it fresh, so buying shucked corn in the store doesn’t do it for me.
This easy way of cooking the corn leaves the husks on to keep them fresh before cooking and then leaves them on while while cooking for extra moistness.
Once this is done, the whole outer husk and silk are removed in one easy step.
Silk Free Corn on the Cob Every Time
For years, I would tediously shuck the corn and try to peel away all the silk before I cooked it. I would get most of it, but was sure to leave a few of the silk strands.
Once you have this situation, no matter how long you cook the corn, it still stays attached. Mother Nature has created a perfect way to fertilize corn…she doesn’t care so much whether we get the silk in our teeth!
The Gardening Cook is a participant in the Amazon Affiliate Program. This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link.
How to remove silk from corn
There is a really easy way to avoid this, and it saves the task of shucking the corn in the first place. Just follow these few tips and you will have clean corn on the cob with no silk, and it will be very moist and flavorful to boot.
Start with corn in the husks
Begin with an ear of corn still in the husk. You can do this process even if the ends have been trimmed but it works best with full husks.
Use the microwave to cook the corn
Microwave the corn, husks and all, for about 2-3 minutes for each ear of corn, depending on the size. This creates steam inside the husk which helps with the silk removal.
It will be hot!
Remove the corn from the microwave with a heat mat, tea towel or silicone oven gloves. The ears will be VERY hot so you need to make sure to protect your hands.
Cut the root end
With a very sharp knife, cut off the root end of each ear. (not the silk end) at the widest part of the cob and discard the end.
You will want to make sure that you are cutting all the way through all of the husk, not just the knob at the very end where it joined to the plant.
If you leave the leaves of the husk still attached to the root end, the husks won’t remove easily. If this happens, just slice a bit more off.
Use a long skewer to hold the corn
It is easiest to remove the corn silk if you insert a long BBQ skewer into the cut end of the corn and push it in firmly.
In addition to making the job of shucking the corn easier, the skewer is also a great thing to leave in the corn cob to make eating it easier. No need to mess with corn holders!
Hold on to the skewer with one hand and then grab the silk end with the other hand and start to pull.
Remove the husks in one strong pull
Grab the entire tip of the corn where the silks are located tightly and squeeze them as you pull. With a bit of practice the corn cob will simply slip out.
The husk will likely stay in one piece and every last piece of silk will be gone and left inside the discarded husk!
The trick on getting the corn to come out easily is to make sure the corn is cooked long enough. This creates more steam and makes the ear “shrink” a bit, making it easier to shuck the whole husk.
If the corn cob resists, just give it a bit of a tug with the other hand. Also look to see if any pieces of husk are still attached to the root end.
Depending on how much steam has built up you can also shake it over a plate to release the corn cob.
Add melted butter to your silk free corn
Pour melted butter over the corn cob if desired. I also like mine sprinkled with lime and pepper for a more healthy version.
Marvel at the silk free corn.
Have you ever tried this with your corn on the cob? Did it take you a while to get the knack of it? Let us know in the comments below.
Admin note: This post for removing silk from corn first appeared on the blog in January of 2013. I have updated the post to include qll new photos, a printable project card and a video for you to enjoy.
Pin this project for silk free corn later
Would you like a reminder of this project removing corn silk? Just pin this image to one of your household tips boards on Pinterest.
- Corn on the cob with husks
- Barbecue skewer
- Sharp knife
- Silicone gloves
- Place the corn in the microwave. Do not remove the husks.
- Cook on high for about 2 1/2 minutes for each ear of corn (depends on the size)
- Use silicone gloves to remove the corn.
- Use the sharp knife to cut off the entire root end of the corn cob. (don't leave any husks attached.)
- Insert a BBQ skewer into the cob and hold with one hand.
- With the other hand grab the silk end of the corn on the husks and give a good pull.
- The husks and silk will come away from the cob leave silk free corn every time.
The ears of corn will be very hot. Be careful not to burn your hands.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."