Nothing beats fresh ears of sweet corn when they're in season (I'm a child of Kansas; I know it in my bones). I'll happily munch corn straight off the cob, but sometimes, circumstances call for kernels on their own. You can use a knife to shave the cobs down, but it can be a messy and precarious affair, especially if your knife skills (and blade) aren't razor-sharp.
That's why I like Kuhn Rikon's Corn Twister ($16) so much—this little tool quickly twists all the kernels off in one go.
Yes, I like that it looks like a corncob and husk, but even if it didn't have a cutesy design, there is one thing that sets Rikon's model apart from the other similar tools out there. Most of them simply mimic a knife—meaning you can only slice off a few rows at a time, circling around the cob repeatedly. The corn twister, on the other hand, removes the kernels all the way around in one smooth motion.
Twisting is easy. Once you've removed all of the husk and silk, put the base of the corn cob into the green silicone part of the gadget. This steadies your grip and protects your hand from sharp edges. Slip the yellow blade over the other end of the cob, and twist it around while applying gentle pressure to remove all the kernels. I found that the twister couldn't quite reach the narrow end of the cob, but that's easily fixed by flipping the cob around and twisting from the other end.
It took me less than a minute to liberate the kernels from two ears of corn, a serious improvement from my shaky, scrapey knife technique. And the Twister goes into the dishwasher safely, leaving me more time to enjoy sweet corn season while it lasts.
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