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Corn Zippers (Strippers)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011 | Tags: , ,

If you like cooking Mexican food or enjoy making soups with corn, you'll no doubt have sliced your share of kernels off a cob. Is there something better and safer for the job than your average kitchen knife? We looked into it and found that yes, there are gadgets for that. But are they worth the real estate in your overflowing kitchen tool drawer?

The Basics

  • A relatively new tool on the market, corn zippers or strippers come in a variety of styles, materials, and shapes, and claim to be safer than using a regular kitchen knife.

  • A good corn zipper is easy to use and leaves much of the kernel intact, while removing it from the husk without leaving any tough bits attached.

  • Most zippers work on both fresh and cooked corn, which makes them handy, especially if you have leftover corn on the cop. Zip it off and save it for later, or freeze it for soups and other delights.

  • The blades of a corn cutter should be very sharp. Look for one where you draw the blade away from your body and out of reach of your fingers.

  • For safety, also look for a zipper with a non-slip handle, like a rubber or silicone grip. It will also give you more control.

  • If the blade is exposed, make sure there’s also a blade protector included, or it may damage your other utensils and become dull quickly.

  • Ideally, your corn stripper will be easy to clean and hygienic. Stainless steel and silicone parts are sturdy, dishwasher-safe, and rust-proof.

  • If you feel a corn zipper is the tool for you, make sure it’s small and compact for easy storage.

  • Some corn zipper designs have a compartment that catches the kernels and measures the amount. It helps contain the mess, but may mean it’s a bulky design for storage.

  • If you live in an area where fresh corn is available seasonally, consider buying it in bulk, zipping it, and freezing the kernels for a fresh taste in winter.

TEST CRITERIA

We took four corn zippers made from a wide variety of materials and designs into the A & K Test Lab. All are dishwasher safe. We tested:

 

Good Cook ProFRESHionals Corn Cutter (chopstick style, stainless steel blade): $5.99

. . Good Cook  Amazon.com

Kuhn Rikon Plastic Corn Zipper (Y-style, blade protector): $12.00

. . Kuhn Rikon  Amazon.com

OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper (stainless steel blade with catchment compartment): $15.99

. . Amazon.ca Amazon.com

Norpro Stainless Steel Corn Creamer/Cutter (all stainless steel, blade guard): $23.99

. . Norpro  Amazon.ca

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)

Stripper Test

  • The Gook Cook chopstick-style zipper claims to zip the entire cob in one zip. It sounds quick, but we found it difficult to use. It was hard to position the cob well enough to get the stripper to work smoothly.

  • The OXO Good Grips mouse-shaped zipper worked well, but some kernels did escape the compartment so it wasn’t completely mess-free.

  • The Norpro tabletop stripper was a little harder to use than a couple of the others we tried.

  • The Kuhn Rikon Y-shape, potato peeler style zipper was the easiest to use, though you still had to watch your fingers on the exposed blades.

OUR TOP PICK

After all our corn stripping, we all decided on the Kuhn Rikon Y-shape zipper for its ease of use, blade protector, and for giving us the most complete kernel of corn in a relatively quick fashion.

Some products and services provided to
Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag courtesy of:

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