This Ina Garten Tip Makes Cutting Corn Off The Cob Even Easier

During the summer, few things are more satisfying than some delicious, fresh corn on the cob. According to Green Giant, corn is the third most popular vegetable in the entire country, just behind broccoli and carrots. So, if you're not the one eating it, you're probably the one prepping it for someone else that loves it. And it makes total sense why corn is so popular — the versatile starch is perfect for adding a tasty, fresh flavor to salads, succotash, chowder, tacos, and so much more.

Regardless of preference for the dish it appears in, it's clear there are many methods for preparing corn. Whether you like it grilled, raw, or sautéed, you can't go wrong. And while we won't ever turn down corn from a can, it's hard to deny that nothing compares to the sweet flavor you get from eating it fresh off the cob. But, as anyone who has ever had to trim a corn cob knows, prepping this vegetable can be a royal pain. If you're not careful, you're likely to end up with a kernel explosion all over your countertops and floors. And sure, you could skip cutting it altogether and serve whole cobs to everyone, but this doesn't always work if you're trying to make a recipe like a succotash or a corn salad.

Thankfully, celebrity chef and master of cleaning-as-you-go Ina Garten has the perfect trick for prepping this summer staple. In a video on her Instagram page, the "Barefoot Contessa" star shared her foolproof method for getting all the kernels off the cob without making a huge mess in the process. And it's surprisingly so simple, we can't believe we never thought of it before.

The trick is using a kitchen towel

A common trick for cutting corn kernels off the cob is to place the stalk on an upside-down bowl and slice it into another bowl (via Serious Eats). In fact, talk show host Rachael Ray stands by this very tip too, according to her website. However, if you don't have access to multiple large bowls (or if you lack the steady hand required to avoid cutting into the sides of it), Ina has an even easier solution: Lay down a towel.

As Garten explains in her demonstration video, covering your counter with a towel allows you to catch any stray kernels that go flying when you're trimming the cob. All you have to do is hold the corn upright in a steady, vertical position, and then, using a sharp knife, loosen the kernels in a downward fashion, carefully rotating the cob around to ensure you get every last piece. Even though kernels may end up all over the towel, it all works out in the end. 

"When you're done, you can pick up the kitchen towel and put the kernels right into the bowl," says Ina. "Easy ... with no mess!" Thanks for the tip, Barefoot Contessa!