The Magic Corn Trick

I hate husking corn.

The Magic Corn Trick - This is AWESOME! The corn slides right out of the husk. No dealing with husking, silky, stringy messes. Learn how.

It’s a stringy, silky mess. but with this trick it makes it so easy!

Whenever I husk the corn, I think back on my youth when I was officially christened a Nebraska Cornhusker the summer of 1978…

I was a “detasseler”! Detasseling back then was one of the best paying summer jobs a teen could have in Nebraska raking in fast cash of about $1.50 an hour. What is a detasseler? It’s the glorious job of trudging through muddy rows of corn fields while removing the pollen-producing top part of the plant—the tassel—so the corn doesn’t end up pollinating itself. If it does, you end up getting weaker corn that isn’t so sweet.

We had to be at least “yea tall” in order to reach the tassels; so I stretched up high to make the cut. My best friend and I would wake up before the crack of dawn to catch a bright yellow school bus that would haul us like cattle to some unknown destination.

In the early morning, water soaked our clothes and through our sneakers (from the wet dewy corn leaves) sending shivers up our spines—sometimes the water would reach up to our lower calves if it had been newly irrigated. And, ugh, how the bugs would sometimes bite. Detasselers have to wear long pants and long sleeves or your legs and arms get shred to pieces by the sharp-edged corn leaves leaving a “rash” that is worse than sunburn.

As the day progressed, I felt like we might roast alive…The heat and humidity hitting me so strong I could hardly breath, like removing a cake from the oven and feeling that heat rise and fill your lungs leaving you gasping for air. By end of day sweat ran down our foreheads, between our breasts, sopping our underwear and underarms.

To take our minds off the dull drums of the job, my friend and I would sing songs—one being our favorite—”Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.” As we’d belt out “Beam” we’d jump high to grab a tassel while corn whizzed by our heads like sizzling bacon from nearby naysayers; sometimes a corn would thump our forehead with a warning: Shut up! Or Else. But we’d just keep on singing, belting our lungs out just to annoy and amuse. We’d get to laughing like somebody was holding us down tickling our armpits until we had one big laughing seizure!

By the time we’d get home at 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon, we were completely filthy and exhausted and would fall fast to sleep. It was one of the hardest jobs I’d ever done—but now I can stand proud as an official member of the Huskers.

Now that you learned about detasseling 101, let’s move on to this corn. You know how much I hated detasseling? Well, husking corn is also no easy chore, but I found this amazing magic corn cooking trick, it intrigued me. I hadn’t heard of this method before, so I was excited to try it out. It was like pulling a rabbit out of a hat…only this time, it was an ear of corn out of a husk.

How do you accomplish such a wonderful trick?

1. First off you’ll want to remove a few of the husks that might be dry or dirty and cut off about an inch from the bottom end; right above where the husk is attached.

The Magic Corn Trick - This is AWESOME! The corn slides right out of the husk. No dealing with husking, silky, stringy messes. Learn how.

2. Next, place the corn, with the husks still on, in the microwave and cook on high using this timeline (cooking time may vary depending on your microwave):

  • 1 ear – 2 minutes
  • 2 ears – 3-4 minutes
  • 3 ears – 5-6 minutes
  • 4 ears – 7-8 minutes
  • 6 ears – 8-9 minutes

The Magic Corn Trick - This is AWESOME! The corn slides right out of the husk. No dealing with husking, silky, stringy messes. Learn how.

3. When time’s up, let the corn rest for approximately 3 minutes. It continues to cook and will be MUCH easier to handle.

The Magic Corn Trick - This is AWESOME! The corn slides right out of the husk. No dealing with husking, silky, stringy messes. Learn how.

4. Pick the corn up by the top end and gently squeeze and shake the corn. It will just sliiiiiiiide right out! No silky strings to muddle with. No husks to peel. Just pure goodness.

The Magic Corn Trick - This is AWESOME! The corn slides right out of the husk. No dealing with husking, silky, stringy messes. Learn how.

I slathered a little butter and salt on my ear of corn and ate it right up. It was moist, crisp, and delicious! It’s magic!

The Magic Corn Trick - This is AWESOME! The corn slides right out of the husk. No dealing with husking, silky, stringy messes. Learn how.

Thank you sooooo much Holm Family! You rock!

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About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


  1. When you are done with this process can you freeze right away?

  2. I love cooking the corn on a bbq in the husk after a soaking in the water for 30 mins. I mostly never have that silk in from the corn this way and you can get a great smoked flavor this way too.

  3. Wow, I have corn at home that we are having tonight. I was seriously dreading husking it with 2 starving boys waiting for dinner – what a breeze this will be.

    Thanks for this info

  4. I’m from Iowa and Detassleing was my first summer job too! Hardest job I’ve ever had since. I think I made $1.75/hr. We had to pile 8 of us in the back of a pick-up truck with our mud-piled shoes! Yuk! Muddy, wet and the humidity was horrific! Thanks for sharing the detassler’s story! I’ve had to tell it several times myself.

  5. This looks like it is a great trick, but what do you do if there are worms in it? Not sure I like the idea of cooking the worm with the corn.

    • a carol greiner says:

      There are no worms in corn today because in 1988 the food industry started putting the pesticide in the seed.

      • Glad I only eat organic produce. Yes, I do find bugs in my produce all the time and I find an occasional worm in my corn. I will happily take a few bugs over chemicals.

      • Your statement isn’t entirely true. I found worms in my corn today. Got it from a neighboring farm.

      • This is not true at all. Chemicals or no chemicals, there are still worms in sweet corn (and no one around here in their right mind sprays their sweet corn).

  6. Hope there are no worms in it when you microwave . . .

  7. I would only send your kid out to detassel in an ORGANIC corn field. I picked strawberries & daffodils as a kid to earn money. I ended up having cancer when I was 40. Makes me wonder if it was that early exposure to agricultural chemicals? I’ll never know, but my cancer was not hereditary & was a type that is usually environmentally caused. Please think twice before sending your kids into a chemical field.

  8. Is soaking the corn first required or suggested?

  9. I put the husk right on my grill (after soaking in water for an hour so the husk won’t catch fire) – let it roast right in the husk for about 15 mins (turn occasionally) and the husk and silk slide right off.

  10. How can you do this if you don’t have a microwave?

  11. I got so involved reading your story about detasseling, that I almost forgot that I went here to get a recipe. :) We live in Illinois, my son is fourteen and is detasseling for the first time, he gets $7.75 per hr, and if you don’t miss any days, you get an extra $.50 per hour worked. Sure beats the $1.50, but the statement of it being one of the best paying summer jobs still holds true! The same things still happen today, wet & cool in the a.m., hot in the p.m., but still teaches a young person “work ethic”. I never detasseled myself, but cut the corn out of beans for a neighboring farmer for quite a few years, so can still relate…
    P.S. Thanks for the recipe and the enjoyment of your story, that rings very true in our household today.

  12. When did you cut the top with the silks. Did I miss that step? You cut off the bottom and then microwave and then it just slides right out. Where did the silks go?

    • When you squeeze the husk to push out the corn, the corn slides right out leaving behind the husks and the silks. It’s pretty nifty.

  13. From one hardworking detasseler to you…thanks!!!

  14. I learned about this last summer. Best trick ever!

  15. Terri C says:

    I live in Kansas and we have a wonderful corn farm not far away, we always go buy dozens to freeze and eat, will try this!

  16. Yay! I’m so excited to know this trick! I will definitely be trying it out this weekend! Thanks!

  17. Wow! I seriously wanted to know if this actually worked. Now I can’t wait for summer BBQ’s!! Thanks for sharing! Deb

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