The Cats were fired up right from the first whistle as they hassled and harried an overworked Cork midfield.
Goals from Liam Hickey, Lee Kinsella and Denis Lennon proved to be the vital scores in what was a fairly competitive contest.
Cork, aided by a strong wind, opened the brighter and knocked over three tasty points from play inside six minutes to set down a statement of intent.
Kilkenny landed the first sucker punch on 10 minutes when wing forward Hickey netted the Cats’ opener to erase Cork’s early lead.
The Rebels responded well but found the Kilkenny attack too hot to handle as they opened up a 1-5 to 0-6 by the break, and facing into a stiff wind for the second period was always going to prove too much.
The Cork lads stuck doggedly to their task but suffered a hammer blow on 40 minutes when full-forward Kinsella raised the green flag.
Great credit is due to Cork though as they raised their game again and managed to cut the gap to a more manageable four points before their hopes were finally dashed by the concession of a third goal.
It was midfield dynamo Lennon who struck this time as the roving number eight found himself at the end of a flowing move, involving five Kilkenny players, and dispatched the ball to the bottom corner sending Cork out of this year’s tournament.
Kilkenny will now face reigning champions Tipperary, in what will be a repeat of last year’s final, as the Premier county saw off the challenge of Galway in the other semi-final clash.
Scorers for Kilkenny: L Hickey, L Kinsella, D Lennon 1-1 each; C Martin 0-4 (two frees), J Tobin, W Brennan, C Walsh 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: M Howard 0-5 (four frees), J Corkery, M Sugrue (0-2) each; L O’Neill, M Vaughan 0-1 each.
KILKENNY: D Walsh; D Aherne, L O’Cinneide, D Power; B Whelan, B O’Murchu, B Quinn; W Brennan, D Lennon; C Walsh, C Martin, J Tobin; L Hickey, L Kinsella, G Malone.
Subs: N Madden for Quinn (40), A Farrell for Malone (40), L Blanchfield for Tobin (55), S Burcheal for Kinsella (58).
CORK: P Allen; J Ryan, J Daly, C Daly; A Barry Murphy, J Pratt, L O’Neill; A Gould, K Dennehy; M Sugrue, C Coleman, C Cullinane; J Corkery, M Howard, M Vaughan.
Subs: C Noonan for O’Neill (40), C Higgins for Vaughan (40), A O’Donovan for Cullinane (40), B Roche for Pratt.
Referee: J Owens (Wexford).