At first I regretted testing the one-step corn kerneler ($11.69, amazon.com) until so late into the corn season. Now I'm a little relieved. Eight or nine out of ten times with this column, I'm happy to bring you gadgets worth considering—things that could easily have a place in a good handful of kitchens, if not a majority of them—but the other one or two times, I'm happy to just spare you some completely worthless spending. That's the case with this, the not-so-one-step corn kerneler.
The kerneler had the potential to be a fun knick-knack—I didn't expect it to change my life, but I thought maybe it would encourage me to make better use of some farmers' market produce. I liked that it shucked off the kernels and collected them in a cute little canister, both eliminating fuss and mess.
But here's the thing: it doesn't fit around most ears of corn, and requires far more force than just using a knife whenever it does. Even then, it's hard to get the kernels out of their container, as they get stuck in its little ridges rather that pouring. Cleaning is a downright hazard, with sharp edges all over and plenty of stuck kernels around them that can only come out with careful prying. Good thing frozen veggies are just as healthy, anyway.