Should You Shuck Corn Before Cooking It In The Microwave?

When preparing fresh corn on the cob, the perennial debate revolves around a simple yet significant question: What is the best way to prepare this seasonal favorite? This could depend on your mood, available resources, and desired flavor profile. Do you boil it on the stovetop, grill it to smoky perfection, or zap it in the microwave? And what about that pesky husk?

If you choose to go the microwave route, you might wonder whether you should shuck the corn before cooking it. The internet offers up a handful of recipes that fall into both the husk and no-husk camps, so the answer seems to be: It's entirely up to you. Interestingly, the online consensus appears more focused on using the microwave for cooking and cleaning corn, leaving you free to prepare the cobs however you'd like.

The microwave-shucking trick is much-chronicled on social media, with users raving about the no-mess and convenient process. "This is the BEST THING since sliced bread!!" one YouTuber commented. "It came out perfect! Not dripping with water as with boiling. And the shucking was amazing! No strings left whatsoever," another added. So, how exactly do you shuck corn on the cob in the microwave? 

To cut or not to cut?

It's super simple, and there are quite a few TikTok and YouTube videos offering helpful tips. The process is relatively straightforward and only takes a few minutes. For starters, washing and drying the cobs will help to remove debris. When cooking, you'll want to stick to the microwave's high setting, and when it's time to remove the corn, use a towel since it will be hot. Then, you can slice off the end and sort of shake it until the husk and silk slide right off. Voila! But it's the stem cut that differs from tutorial to tutorial. Many how-to videos save the stem slice for after nuking.


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Meanwhile, others instruct viewers to cut off the stem before placing it in the microwave. For best results (regardless of your chosen method), cut right where the kernels start. The timing of the cut doesn't seem to make a difference either way and is best left to personal preference. Whether the end is sliced before or after, shucking your corn in the microwave is sure to become your new favorite way to clean the cob quickly.

Other shucking hacks

Shucking corn on the cob, a fundamental step in preparing this beloved summer vegetable, can often be regarded as a bit of a hassle. The resilient husks, tightly wrapped around the tender kernels, seem determined to keep their insides hidden. As you peel back layer after layer, you encounter those fine silk strands that cling to the corn, seemingly with a life of their own. It's a messy and sometimes stubborn task. However, if you're determined to pre-husk when using the microwave, there are a few other corn-on-the-cob hacks that make light work of shucking — no fancy gadgets required.

Consider using a vegetable brush to scrub away those silk tendrils and clean in between the kernels. There are some brushes designed specifically for corn on the cob available online for less than $10, but an old-fashioned dish brush works just fine in a pinch. Another excellent alternative for de-silking is to use a rubber glove. The tacky surface attracts the fine silk and effectively removes it from the cob. Stick the ear under running water afterward to rinse away any remaining fibers.