How to Remove Hair From Corn

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Microwave-safe plate

  • Sharp knife

  • Potholder

Selecting the freshest, plumpest corn cobs available and ensuring they have noticeable tassel of silks at the top ensures best flavor and easier shucking because the tassel is what you need to grab to pull off most of the corn silks. Shuck corn using the traditional method if you plan to cook it on the grill, in the oven or on the stovetop. If you prefer quick microwaved corn, the shuck-free method is the quickest way to remove all the hairs.

Traditional Method

Step 1

Grasp the corn cob near the stalk end. Peel off the outer green leaves, pulling them toward the stalk, and break them off. Leave the thin inner leaves in place.

Step 2

Split open the top of the inner leaves with your fingers, revealing the corn kernels beneath. Pull the inner leaves apart by about 2 inches on one side so four or five rows of kernels are showing.

Step 3

Grab the top of the leaves along with the tassel. Pull the leaves down toward the stalk in one quick, smooth motion.

Step 4

Break off the leaves and silks at the stem end. Dispose of the leaves.

Step 5

Run your fingers or a vegetable brush from the tip to the stem to loosen and remove any remaining silk. Work around the entire cob until most of the silks are removed.

Microwave Method

Step 1

Place the corn in the husk on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for three minutes for every two ears of corn.

Step 2

Remove the corn from the microwave and place the ears on a plate using tongs. Cut off 1 inch from the stem end of each ear with a sharp knife.

Step 3

Hold the corn by the tassel end, using a potholder to avoid burns. Squeeze the top so the corn slides out of the husk. The silks stay with the leaves, so no further silk removal is needed.


Microwave the corn on high for one minute to soften the leaves and silks if you can't easily pull them off the ears. The brief cooking warms the corn enough for easy shucking but doesn't cook it through, so you still can cook it in the oven or on a grill.