Summery corn salads are the best. The only downside is cleaning all of the corn kernels off your kitchen floor. Luckily, we have the perfect chef tip to show you how to cut corn off the cob and make sure it all ends up in your salad. 

It’s actually simple, all you need is a whole ear of corn, a chef’s knife, and a clean kitchen towel or a sheet pan. To get started, prepare the corn according to your recipe. This technique will work on grilled, boiled, or raw corn. It all depends on your final meal. 

Lay the clean kitchen towel down across a cutting board and stand the corn on its wider end. Take your chef’s knife in your dominant hand and hold the corn with your other. Then, simply slice under the kernels and next to the cob with long knife strokes. The kernels will fall away from the cob and land in the towel. If you prefer, you can also use a sheet pan, as shown in the video below. Either of these methods will allow you to easily slice all the way down the cob without working around a bowl. The towel has the added benefit of a little shock absorption—it prevents the kernels from bouncing off the counter.

After you’ve removed all of the kernels, transporting them is easy. Just transport the tray or pick up the towel by its corners so that all of the kernels fall to the center. Use the towel to carry the corn over to a bowl.

After that, it’s time to cook! Here are some of our favorite ways to use fresh corn.

Corn & Zucchini Pasta with Spicy Ricotta

Guajillo Chicken Tacos with Creamy Corn & Jalapeño

Hand-Cut Pappardelle with Corn, Tomatoes & Parmesan

how to cut corn off the cob for pasta

Watch the video above to see our chef demonstrate this technique.