Corn Strippers

Published July 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

We tested five products to determine if corn strippers remove kernels better than a chef's knife.

Overview:

Corn strippers help you remove the kernels from the hard, fibrous cob. But do they work any better than a chef’s knife? We tested five very different models, ranging from $2.53 to $14. Most were a disaster. The first, a Y-shaped serrated peeler, made a mess, cutting kernels unevenly and scattering them everywhere. The next was an expandable ring designed to run down a cob placed upright, but the flimsy device made the cob wobble out of place—and broke after only four uses. The third had a jagged-edge blade behind a small steel shield on a stick. The shield reduced the usual spray of kernels, but its small blade could shave off only two rows at a time, and easily jammed. The fourth was designed like a mandoline. We struggled to run the cob over the dull blade, which cut only a few kernels, then jammed.

Only one model worked well. It resembles a computer mouse. You grip the rounded shape and scrape the sharp, toothlike blade along the corn to remove several rows of kernels at a time, which fall neatly into the attached cup. Cut… read more

Corn strippers help you remove the kernels from the hard, fibrous cob. But do they work any better than a chef’s knife? We tested five very different models, ranging from $2.53 to $14. Most were a disaster. The first, a Y-shaped serrated peeler, made a mess, cutting kernels unevenly and scattering them everywhere. The next was an expandable ring designed to run down a cob placed upright, but the flimsy device made the cob wobble out of place—and broke after only four uses. The third had a jagged-edge blade behind a small steel shield on a stick. The shield reduced the usual spray of kernels, but its small blade could shave off only two rows at a time, and easily jammed. The fourth was designed like a mandoline. We struggled to run the cob over the dull blade, which cut only a few kernels, then jammed.

Only one model worked well. It resembles a computer mouse. You grip the rounded shape and scrape the sharp, toothlike blade along the corn to remove several rows of kernels at a time, which fall neatly into the attached cup. Cut kernels can be poured out of the top of the cup, and the device snaps apart for easy cleaning. While it’s no faster or more effective than a chef’s knife, it’s safer and mess-free. We recommend it for dishes like fritters and chowder that call for corn off the cob.

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