Removing Corn Silk Is Easier With Your Trusty Potato Brush

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Single-use gadgets can take up a lot of space in your kitchen, especially if you start to acquire a lot of them. Nonetheless, they can certainly make your life easier and can make prepping food quicker. Many home chefs consider it a triumph when they can find a second use for a single-use gadget, like using an apple corer to core cupcakes for filling.


Another single-use gadget you might have in your home is the potato brush. It makes cleaning potatoes much simpler, but it doesn't do much else, until now. Using your potato brush, you can easily remove the silk from your corn by giving it a once-over. It can drastically reduce the time it takes you to shuck corn, and it makes the process less tedious. The University of Guelph says the average ear of corn produces 300 to 600 silks, but according to the University of Missouri some ears can produce up to 1,000; so anything that speeds up the process of removing them is a win in the kitchen.

How to remove corn silk with a potato brush

If you've ever been tasked with shucking corn, you may have found the repetitive process meditative, or like many people, you may have been frustrated with how long it takes to remove all of those tiny little silks. It's almost a rite of passage to be tasked with shucking the corn for the family, and now you can make the process go much more quickly.


Simply use your potato brush (or any stiff bristle brush) to remove the silk. Start at one end of the corn cob and make long swipes in the same direction. This will remove the silks from the corn and transfer them to your brush. Then, it's much easier to clean them out of the brush than it is to painstakingly pick them off of the corn. When using this method, just be careful not to push too hard so you don't damage the corn; you shouldn't need to apply too much pressure.

Other ways to remove corn silk

Aside from picking corn silk out with your fingers, there are other ways to remove those stubborn strings. If you want to use a similar method and don't have a potato brush, you can also remove corn silk with a toothbrush (just make sure it's a new one, and you can even keep it as your corn cob toothbrush).


Another popular and effective method of removing corn silk is microwaving or boiling the entire ear of corn: silk, husk, and all. For the microwave method, you'll need to trim the edge first, then simply microwave the ear for about 60 seconds. Alternatively, you can boil the corn for about 5 minutes without trimming the edge. With either method, you can shuck the corn once it's cool enough to handle, and the corn cob should slip right out, silk-free. You can even cook your corn on the cob in the microwave if you're looking for an easy and delicious method. 

If you're looking to make another single-use kitchen gadget multipurpose, you can also try to remove corn silk with a gripper pad. Place the pad around the ear of corn and stroke down to remove the silk. Of course, wash the gripper pad first, especially if it's a kitchen gadget that you typically don't wash. Regardless of which method you choose to remove corn silk, you can be satisfied knowing you now have a much more efficient removal method.