For anyone that grew up in a household where vegetables, or in the case of corn, grains, were canned each year, the corn zipper, or corn remover, was a familiar kitchen utensil. However, not everyone had the benefit of being around a kitchen bustling with the activity of preparing corn for preservation in canning jars and soup mixes. Here is some background on the corn zipper and how it can save a lot of time in the preparation of meals.
As part of the corn cutter family, corn zippers are the quickest way to remove kernels of fresh corn from the cob. As a utensil that is about the length of the average hand, the corn zipper is a narrow stainless steel utensil that has the general shape of a thin grater. At the bottom end of the corn zipper is a serrated blade that is the part that actually severs the corn kernels from the sob.
Using a corn zipper is actually an easy process. Holding the corn zipper with the right hand, the cook will firmly grip a full ear of corn, with the hand resting under the bottom of the cob. Make sure you have a bowl or pan underneath the ear of corn to catch the kernels as they fall from the corncob.
Position the blade of the corn zipper at the top of the ear, making sure that it is at the base of the kernels. Slide the zipper down the ear of corn, severing a row of kernels from the cob. Slowly rotate the cob and repeat the process until all the kernels have been removed form the cob. Make sure you begin at the end of the cob closest to you and cut away from your body. Repeat the process with the next ear of corn and continue until you have enough cut corn for the meal.
Using corn removers of this type are much quicker than attempting to use a kitchen knife to cut the kernels from the cob. As a bonus, the corn zipper is also much safer to use, since the blade is contained within the body of the zipper. This makes the corn zipper much less likely to slip and cut open a palm or a finger while working with the corn.
Even if you are not in the habit of canning fresh corn for the winter, a corn zipper is a quick and easy way to prepare fresh corn for cooking. This means you can enjoy the taste of fresh yellow corn that has not sat in a can or been flash frozen. Since it is easy to make enough corn from four or five ears to feed a family of four, you will find that the few moments it takes to use the corn zipper will barely take longer than using a can opener.