The Easy Step That Makes Shucking Corn Way Less Messy

One of the many culinary perks of the summertime is the wide availability of fresh corn. In season from May through September in most states (via Food Network), sweet, juicy corn makes its way into so many classic summertime dishes, from a chili-sprinkled Mexican-style elote recipe to a bright corn salad recipe with cherry tomatoes and bell peppers to a warming corn chowder recipe. Of course, many people keep it even simpler by digging into a plain old corn cob that's been boiled and rolled in plenty of butter.

Whatever dish you're setting out to make with fresh ears of corn — whether simple or advanced — you're of course going to have to shuck it, first. While many of us may have enjoyed this task as children, racing our siblings to see who could shuck the most ears, the task has most likely dulled for most of us by now. Luckily, for those nights when you're just not up to the task of peeling corn silk and leaves, there's a super-simple hack that streamlines the process.

Microwave ears of corn for easy-peasy shucking

These days, it seems like there's a hack out there for almost every possible kitchen task — some ingeniously useful, and others that seem almost as complicated as the method they're meant to simplify. Luckily, this corn-shucking trick belongs to the former category, and all it requires is a microwave.

According to a YouTube video from America's Test Kitchen, all you have to do is trim off the bottom part of an ear of corn, place it on a plate, and microwave it for between two and four minutes. "It creates just enough steam between the kernels and the husk to separate the two," the video notes. After the nuke, all you have to do is grab the ear of corn at the top, at the uncut end, and shake and squeeze the now-naked corn cob out of its moist husk and silk — it's like magic. Kitchn tried the trick out and gave it the seal of approval, noting that two minutes of microwave time is enough to shuck the corn without actually cooking it. So the next time you've got a glut of summer corn on your hands, take it to the microwave for easy shucking.