Some kernels of wisdom about corn.

By Adele Q. Brown
Updated September 01, 2004
Grilled corn on the cob
Credit: James Baigrie

Choose: Pick ears that are firm and lined with small, plump kernels. Sticky silks indicate freshly picked ears. And if you prick a kernel with your fingernail and it squirts you in the eye, start the grill.

Dekernel: Cutting corn off the cobs is a cinch if you first cut them in half. Place each half flat-end down on a cutting board. Next, cut straight down from the top to shave off the kernels. (If the corn is raw, do this in a large wooden salad bowl, which will catch scattered kernels.) Don't cut too deeply: The fibrous matter at each kernel's base is chewy and tough. An average ear of corn yields about 1/2 cup of kernels.

Freeze: Freezing fresh cooked corn is a good way to take summer cuisine into winter. Boil or grill corn and let cool. Place the corn in resealable plastic bags (you can freeze the cobs whole or remove the kernels first) and store in the freezer. Allow to thaw thoroughly before using.