How to Remove Corn Silk Easily
Fresh corn is a gift from the summer gods. Juicy, sweet, tender, an ear of corn is ready for eating fresh from the field. Of course, corn can also be improved when you roast it, grill it, or boil it. Or when you microwave it, bake it, or simmer it in milk.
But before you can get those ears of corn onto a hot grill or into bubbling water, you'll need to shuck and clean them. That's when those pesky strands of corn silk pop back up — and when you remember precisely why it is you often buy pre-shucked corn. Indeed, the corn silk is an annoying element of eating fresh corn, but with this tip for quickly removing corn silk, you'll never fret when you're facing down a dozen ears for dinner again.
What Is Corn Silk?
Corn silk is the fine weave of wiry fibers that hide just below the leaves, or husks, on an ear of corn. They grow as the ear grows, often sticking up from the tip of the ear of corn, forming a pouf of sorts.
Grabbing those extended silks can actually help you easily shuck ears of corn. When you pull on them and tug away from the ear, the silk and husks fold away.
Unfortunately, as you probably know (or you wouldn't be reading this), not every strand of silk goes when you shuck corn. Often, several dozen strands cling to the kernels, unwilling to part. You could stand over a trash can and pick them off individually, but we've got a much faster, much easier technique that will make removing corn silk a breeze.
How to Remove Corn Silk
Remove the husk and majority of silk by grabbing the tuft of silk at the top of the corn or by pinching the husk between two fingers. Pull down and away from the ear of corn. Repeat until all the husk and the majority of the silk are gone.
Then, grab a stiff-bristled brush, like a vegetable brush (this $9 one from Cuisipro folds to fit the shape of the corn) or a toothbrush (these biodegradable bamboo ones reduce plastic waste). Starting at the top of the ear of corn, brush downward, in one direction, around the entire corn ear. Going around once or twice is all that's necessary. The bristles will grab the strands and yank them off. You don't even have to wash the corn after.