The Genius Nutcracker Hack You Need If You Grow Your Own Popcorn

There's nothing quite like growing your own popcorn in your garden. Pretty much everyone has enjoyed a big ol' bowl of popcorn while watching a movie, but you might not have bothered to learn where the corn actually came from. If you grow your own at home, not only are you more connected with your food, but you get to watch a corn plant grow from seed to stalk. There are few things more exciting than harvesting the fruits of your labor — and popcorn is among the most enjoyable of these because you get to turn it into a movie snack afterward.

When you finally reach harvesting time, however, there's a bit more work to do after the drying process. If you've ever tried to take popcorn kernels off of a corn cob by hand, you already know how labor-intensive it can be — not to mention how thrashed your hands can become if you do it for too long. Fortunately, one Instagram reel shows the popcorn growers out there how to use a nutcracker to easily remove the corn kernels from the cob without hurting their hands: Just clamp the nutcracker around the dried corn cob and twist.

How to use a nutcracker to harvest popcorn kernels

Growing corn from popcorn kernels is incredibly rewarding, but harvesting can be arduous without the help of a handy tool. As illustrated in an Instagram reel from user @mindfulfarmerarkansas, a metal nutcracker can easily remove popcorn kernels from the cob, shaving hours off of the harvesting process. In the video, the creator simply clamps the nutcracker around a corn cob and twists it, removing the kernels and leaving a bare cob behind. Important to note, however, is that this nutcracker hack only works after your corn has dried out.

After harvesting your popcorn kernels, resist the urge to throw away the cobs. For one, you can always add them to your compost, but there are plenty of other uses for corn cobs that will help you reduce waste and get the most out of your harvest. Try boiling the cobs to make corn stock, which you can add to soups or other creations later. Boil the cobs for 10 minutes, strain them, add some pectin, and you've got some old-school, traditional corn cob jelly. Some other ideas include freezing the cobs and adding them to the poaching liquid for your eggs or meat, or drying out your corn cobs and placing them on charcoal to add a sweet flavor to smoked meat or veggies.