Easy Tip for Getting Corn Off the Cob

Lots of recipes (creamed corn, corn chowder, corn salad) require stripping the corn kernels away from the cob. In practice, it’s a bit tricky as the corn cob can slip from its position, and the kernels can go flying all over the place. I don’t know where I first heard of this trick of using a bundt pan, but it’s great for helping to steady the corn cob and to catch the kernels as they come off the cob.

Easy Tip for Getting Corn Off the Cob

Method

To remove corn kernels from the cob using a bundt pan, stand the shucked corn cob upright, with the tip of cob placed in the center hole of the bundt pan.

Holding the cob steady, use a sharp knife and make long downward strokes on the cob, separating the kernels from the cob.

Many bundt pans have a stick-free interior. If this is the case with yours, be careful not to scratch the interior of the pan with your knife. If the knife scratches around the edges of the bundt pan hole, that shouldn't be a problem, as when you use a bundt pan baking, this area doesn't usually come in contact with the cake batter. (Note from the comments, you can tuck a paper towel or dish towel into the hole to protect the pan.)

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32 Comments

  1. Katie

    Oh wow!!! Thats a very cool idea! Everytime I’ve tried cutting the corn off the cob it’s a very wobbly ordeal.
    Love your postings!

  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Ingenious! Wish I’d read this last weekend, when I was stripping the first corn of the season for a concocted stir fry of chicken, black beans, tomato, corn, and a few other things from the fridge.

  3. KissTheChef

    If you are worried about scratches, stuff a small dish towel or folded paper towel into the hole in the pan, allowing it to just hang over the edge of the hole. It won’t interfere with the corn being cut, but will protect the pan from the knife, and vise versa. You can also just use a clean kitchen towel to cover the entire pan, tucking it into the pan and dumping the kernels when finished, but it would soak up any “milk”. So if you plan to use the back of the knife to scrape the “milk” from the cob into the final product, do that part over another dish or the pan in which you will cook the food.

    Brilliant, thank you! ~Elise

  4. Amy

    Argh!
    Two days to late, Elise! I decided to make corn chowder (with fresh corn). Let me tell you – 7 ears of corn, a really large knife, and 20 minutes produced kernels in my hair and on the floor, a near-missing fingernail, and a gouge in my hand. Now I know – lesson learned!

    Oh my, ouch! ~Elise

  5. Robbie

    For the bundt pan-less in the crowd, break the ear in half so you have a somewhat flat steady surface to contact the cutting board. Of course, it doesn’t help with the scattering of kernals everywhere. :-) I’ve been wanting a reason to buy a bundt pan though. So I might just have to put it on my shopping list. Thanks for the info!

  6. Sue

    If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can also use a large, wide mixing bowl with a small bowl turned upside down in it. I cut off the tip of the ear to make the end flat which makes it more stable for cutting. Then I just stand it on the small bowl and cut off the kernels. It works great.

  7. Katrina

    A NY Chef, Mark Murphy, from restaurant Landmarc & Ditch Plains, was on the Today Show this morning and just showed viewers the best way to get the corn off the cob, by setting it on a bundt pan. You are one step ahead of him! ;) Love this site!

  8. Patricia

    I have to admit, I love kitchen gadgets and I’ve bought a lot of useless ones – but one of my recent favorites has to be the OXO corn stripper. It works like a dream to get the kernels off, but the best part is that the handle is actually a little measuring cup that collects all the corn as you go! It’s brilliant!!

  9. Joanna

    Whoa! This makes so much sense that it’s hard to believe that the bundt pan wasn’t designed specifically for this purpose. Thanks for the great tip!

  10. Alex

    Man, you beat the chef on the Today show by one day! They had this tip as part of a cooking segment this morning and then I come here and there it is, just posted one day earlier!

  11. Nancy

    Great tip, Elise! I think I’d put the pan on a damp paper towel or that rubbery shelf liner to prevent the pan from sliding around on the counter while I’m cutting.

  12. RebeccaC

    GREAT idea! This is a messy job…I can’t wait to try this trick out. Now I just need to get a bundt pan (I say in shock that I don’t actually have one!). Thanks for another great idea.

  13. Sean

    You can also put a small bowl upside down in a bigger bowl. The bottom of the small bowl will hold the corn in place while the kernels will fall over it into the bigger bowl.

  14. Fast Eddie

    This is great… now that I have the corn and a hassle-free way to cut it off the cob, how about all you great cooks out there share some of your recipes… how do I use all this cut corn?

  15. Kelli

    I was going to have to do this tonight, so I can’t believe that I lucked upon your helpful hint! This is such a great idea. THANK YOU!

  16. Annie

    I can’t seem to strip the kernels off whole – the knife just slices most of them in half. What am I doing wrong?

    Cut them a little closer to the cob. It does take some finagling. ~Elise

  17. Mitchell Webster

    Growing up we used a knife to strip the corn off the cob, however in recent years I have been using the slicing blade meant for potatoes on a Box Grater, this elemenates a lot of the flying around the kitchen of kernels and makes short order of the job, I can have several dozen ears done in a couple of minutes.

  18. Natasa

    Seems a nice idea, though I cannot say I’ll ever use it, since due to the constant lack of time, I am mostly buying frozen corn :( But will keep it in mind, you never know…
    Gotta add, I remember how we used to do that in my friend’s village with some fresh corn. You take two cobs, crush their tops (they are soft, so this is easy) and then rub cobs against each other. It takes a while to figure out the best way, but it works pretty well and does not fly around much. It was practically no job doing it over a slow summer village eve with some lovely chat around.
    Btw, I really love this site :)
    Cheers!

  19. Paul

    I’ve been using this method for a while, Elise, and love it. I think I got it from Cook’s Magazine. Whatever the source, I also learned at the same time to use a serrated knife. I use a large bread knife and find it’s much more controllable and cleaner.

    Thanks as always for sharing great information and recipes.

    Great idea on the serrated knife, thanks Paul! ~Elise

  20. Dana

    What a great idea. My daughter just got braces this summer and I am already tired of cutting the corn from the cob for her. This should make it much easier.

  21. poha

    A much easier and neater way is to break the cob in half, lay down flat on a cutting board and just cut the kernels off.

    No mess, no banging the knife into a metal pan.

    BTW, Michael Chiarello invented the pictured method.

    paha

  22. Linda

    Here’s a new idea. . .

    Take a clean nail and pound it through a wooden cutting board, then place the corn cob on the nail, then use a knife to cut the corn off the cob. The nail should help hold the cob steady for you. I read this idea somewhere but didn’t read about it until after I finished freezing a bushel of corn. Of course, this idea does not solve the issue of corn flying around while you are cutting it off the cob.

  23. katie mccoy

    This worked so well! Not only was it easy to strip the corn off the cob but my almost 14 year old son enjoyed doing it. That was worth mentioning the method right there! And all those kernels that fly all over were in the bundt pan. We put the pan in the sink – it was right at the right level to work. Lovely. I’ve tried lots of differnt tools and methods and this was by far the best. And who cares who came up with the idea first? This is the one that came up in a search (and you can’t get on the CI site without paying for it – even if you have a subscription which stinks). I did a quick search and didn’t see any other pictures of Chiarello doing this although I saw one other mention of his method. He’s the only one who eever thought of this? That was kind of a snarky comment. And although it is probably easier to get a grip on the cob if it’s cut in half, those kernels are still flying around instead of landing in a pan. Thanks, Elise.

  24. kathy wildman

    I saw someone cutting corn off the cob thru a window when I was at an apple orchard. He was using an electric carving knife to slice off the kernels. Certainly made fast work of the job! Kathy

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