Shuck-free corn on the cob: Does it work?

It's not the worst food prep task to get stuck with, but there's nothing fun about shucking fresh ears of corn -- especially when it comes to getting all that corn silk off the cob.

And of course none of us likes the thought of a giant pot of boiling water in the kitchen on a hot summer day. So I was intrigued by websites claiming to have a solution.

The videos promise quick cooking and absolutely no shucking. The instructions are simple enough. Place the corn in the microwave -- husks and all -- and start cooking. Some of the instructions say four minutes per ear, some say five, some say three -- so it obviously depends on your microwave, and of course, the corn.

When the time is up and I take the corn out of the microwave, I'm supposed to cut off about an inch from the bottom, then hold the top of the corn and give it a squeeze or shake until the steaming ear of corn literally slides out of the husks. And it did, just like butter!

So, two thumbs up for this kernel of wisdom. As one corn enthusiast put it, "You'll never shuck corn again!"

Another corn tip promises you'll save time, money and calories when you make popcorn. All you need is popping corn and a small paper bag. Pour the popcorn into the bag -- about a quarter cup or less -- then fold the bag and pop it into the microwave.

The time varies depending upon microwave wattage, so you have to stand by and listen. I could hear the corn popping after about 30 seconds and in less than 2 minutes I had freshly-popped microwave popcorn without all the oils, additives and artificial flavors.