Cutting Corn Kernels

An easy way to remove corn from the cob

Cutting Corn Kernels Photo © Molly Watson

Corn on the cob is a great summer eating treat. Yet even the most ardent corn-lover can wary of yet another cob to gnaw upon, and the hands-on experience isn't for everyone. When you've had your summer fill of cob-biting, mix things up by taking the kernels off the cob. Once you've done that, you can turn your results into salads, soups, and fritters...even cakes! You'll find the recipe below.

To Cut Kernels From the Cob

First off, you need to shuck the corn, removing not just the papery husks around each cob, but those pesky threads of corn silk too!

Hold the stem end of the shucked ear of corn and rest the tip of the ear on the bottom of a very large bowl.

Make things easy on yourself and set the bowl in the sink—this will help keep it from skirting away from you, further contain the drops of corn "milk" that tend to splatter as you cut, and make it easier to hold the ear at an angle that allows you to cut down around the ear safely. If a ink isn't available, set the bowl on a silicone baking mat or roll up a kitchen towel, put it in a circle on the counter and set the bowl in it—either one will keep it from moving while you work.​

Use a sharp paring knife to cut off the corn kernels and let them fall into the bowl. Be careful to cut just the kernels and not include any of the tough, inedible cobs. It's better, in fact, to leave some kernel behind than to include some cob!) Continue cutting around the ear to remove all kernels. Repeat with any remaining cobs.

What to Do With Corn Kernels

There are plenty of ways to use those kernels once you've cut them! The most obvious are things like Classic Corn Chowder, cornbread, and sweet corn fritters. We're also a fan of using them in baked goods and taking advantage of how sweet sweet corn can be. Try a sweet corn cake or fresh corn pancakes.

And then there's all the fun sides and salads to be made. corn tomato basil salad is a favorite at our house, as are corn avocado salad