Tips from The Kitchn

3 Mess-Free Ways to Cut Corn off the Cob

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

One of summertime's best vegetables is corn on the cob. There's nothing quite like its sweet taste — but there's nothing quite as messy, either, especially when you cut it off the cob. Between the corn's juice squirting across the table, and the kernels jumping off your plate, this job takes some skill — or a few simple tricks to make it easier. Here are three easy ways to tame your flying corn kernels this summer.

You can buy a corn stripper — a special tool with the sole purpose of removing the kernels from an ear of corn — but I'm not one for single-use kitchen items. Instead, there are several items you probably already have in your kitchen that can help you cut corn off the cob without making a mess.

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

3 Easy, No-Mess Ways to Cut Corn off the Cob

1. Use two bowls — one large, one small.

I used to rely on one large bowl for this task, but I found it tricky to get the knife in the bowl to reach the kernels at the bottom of the cob. Add one small bowl to the equation, and this job is a lot easier. Place the small bowl upside-down inside a large bowl. Then stand the corn — picked-side down — on top of the smaller bowl, and use a sharp knife to slice down along the cob. Instead of flying every which way, the kernels will collect in the bottom of the bowl.

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

2. Use a cutting board.

A lot of methods stand the corn tall to cut it. Not this one. Instead, lay an ear of shucked corn flat on a cutting board, and cut down the side of the cob to remove the kernels. Then rotate the cob so the flat (cut) end is on the bottom against the board. Continue cutting and rotating the corn until all the kernels are removed.

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

3. Use a bundt or angel food cake pan.

These baking pans aren't just for cakes. They also double as a handy, mess-free way to cut corn off the cob. After the corn is shucked, place the cut end of the corn in the center hole of the baking pan. Hold the tip of the cob, and using a sharp knife, slice down along the cob to remove the kernels, which will collect in the bottom of the pan.