How to shuck corn

Fresher and sweeter than frozen

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This Christmas, skip the frozen version and opt for fresh corn. Think it’s hard to shuck? It’s actually pretty simple.

If you've never had corn from a freshly shucked cob, you have no idea how sweet and juicy it can be. Whether you're shucking it for plain-old corn on the cob or to make the Southern delight creamed corn, you'll never do frozen or canned again once you've had the real deal.

How to shuck fresh corn

First, you'll want to find a good shucking location. We recommend that you head outdoors if possible, as it can actually get a bit messy. If you can't go outdoors, use a large plastic trash bag to catch anything you discard.

At the top of the corn cob, you'll see some small, shiny hairs sticking out called silks. Grab the corn just below those with your thumb and forefingers and pull each side of the husk away from the top. When the husk is exposed, grab one of the loose ends and tear sharply downward. Do the same to any remaining husks, tearing off any bits left behind until the entire ear is exposed.

On most ears of corn, there will be a long end piece, which you should break off as close to the bottom as possible. There may be some leftover silks on the ear, which you can simply dust away.

Under lukewarm running water, rinse the ears to remove any dirt, debris or leftover silks that remain. You may need to use a soft-bristled brush to get them all off.

Once your corn is shucked, you can make delicious fresh corn on the cob, corn salads and more. Save the husks for tamales or use the cobs to make corn broth for vegetarian soups, chowders and more using the recipe below.

Corn broth recipe

Ingredients:

  • Corn cobs, broken in half
  • 1 part water
  • 1 part heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Cover the corn cobs with equal parts of water and heavy cream.
  2. Bring to a boil, being careful not to scorch the cream.
  3. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the corn cobs and discard them. Strain broth if desired. Use the corn broth immediately or refrigerate or freeze until you're ready to use it.

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Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix the Fish. You can follow her on Twitter @HireHeather.