There are gadgets for removing the silks. There are gadgets for holding the ears. There are gadgets for separating the kernels from the cob. There are gadgets for buttering the corn. There are gadgets for steaming, grilling, and pressure cooking corn. There are even posters of people shucking corn.
The only really useful gadget we have found for shucking corn, though, is one or more boys and/or girls between the ages of eight and eleven – when they’re old enough to do it pretty well, but still young enough to be convinced that it might be fun (and don’t require payment). With proper motivation, they can shuck a mountain of corn in short order.
The best suggestion we have found comes from the folks at Cook’s Illustrated – but it also requires a certain amount of hand and arm strength. Use a serrated knife to cut both ends off the ear of corn. Roll the ear on a flat surface and the husk comes right off. Finish by removing the silks.
Along more traditional lines, trying to pull half the husk off all at once takes a lot more effort than pulling a few leaves at a time (and hence, makes a much better competition among children who still have to prove how strong they are). Obviously husking into a large bucket or bag helps cut down on the mess – although there will always be a few errant silks.
You might have to start inviting the youth of our country to dinner if you’re going to keep buying corn….