On a recent trip to a local Sur La Table, I discovered the Oxo Good Grips Corn Stripper, which is neither an exotic dancer from Iowa nor a tool used for foot care. Rather, it is, of course, a gadget devoted to cutting corn kernels from corn cobs. I was hesitant to dive in. First of all, historically, I have not been an advocate of Good Grips products, with their bulky, awkward knobs and handles, pandering to kitchen neophytes who are threatened either by kitchen tools in general or by the imagined fatigue, calluses, and finger dents that the occasional use of kitchen tools might cause. Secondly, I have a kitchen full of gadgets that never get usedcrank-action apple peelers, mushroom brushes, garlic presses and peelers, and so onwhich either entirely fail to do the job for which they were intended or don’t do it well enough to necessitate their retrieval and assembly.
But every year, I resolve to fill my freezer with corn, using its sunny taste and color to brighten winter meals marked by squash, apples, and pastel tomatoes from the other side of the planet, but every year I fall short, mostly due to an aversion to actually removing the corn from the cob, with all of its awkward, splattery mess.
Ultimately, my love of corn, and my desire to follow through on this year’s resolution, won out, and the corn stripper came home with me.
The first few passes I took with it left me a bit incredulous. The going was slow, with the stripper’s teeth getting mired in the cob every inch or so, and then the hopper/handle kept popping open and spewing my precious kernels around. But after some trial and error on the first ear, these issues began to subside. The stripper turned out to be cleaner, less awkward, and generally more effective than a knife or any of the other kernel-stripping gadgets I’ve used, sliding easily along the cob, guided by the base of the hopper, neatly collecting freed kernels. All of the corn pith and juices that would normally have found their way into the damnedest places around the kitchen fell instead directly into the receptacle over which I was working. And coming apart in two simple pieces, the stripper cleaned up well when I was finished, too.
The experience left me with a freezer full of cob-free corn and a commitment to do it all over again next summer. If you act quickly, you too can take advantage of these last few weeks of the corn season.
About the author: Amanda Clarke is a recovering restaurant pastry chef with a background in architecture. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes, tests, and develops recipes and works on freelance food-styling gigs between walkings and feedings of her two dogs and husband.