Are you watching it in the movie theater?
Are you streaming your favorite TV series on Netflix?
Maybe want some tasty, crunchy snacks?
A buttery salted popcorn would be the perfect food for you right now.
And although you can buy cooked popcorns in stores or around the movie house, when you are preparing for a late date night with your family, then there is nothing more convenient than having the best popcorn kernels stored somewhere in your kitchen cabinets.
Not only do you have the fun in popping out those corn kernels, but you also get hot and freshly cooked popcorns for movie date nights!
So, why not stack up with the best popcorn kernels right now?
The Top 5 Best Popcorn Kernels of 2023
*Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
#1: Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn Organic Popping Corn
What We Like
- Pops really well
- Non-GMO and organic popcorn kernels
- Fresh from corn farms
- Reputable brand
- Enough for the whole family
What We Don’t Like
- Thick hulls
- Popcorn is stale
- Corn is too dry
A famous brand of popcorn kernels, Franklin’s Gourmet offers this 7 pounds tub of certified organic popping corn kernels for you and your family. Franklin’s Gourmet has created popcorn products for too long.
These popcorn kernels are non-GMO popping corn grown from Iowa and then packaged at Wisconsin— from actual farm to your table, guaranteeing only the freshest popcorns out there!
Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn Organic Popping Corn might not be the cheapest you can find in the market today. However, it makes up with its freshness and heavenly taste! If this promise is not fulfilled, you can have your money back, no questions asked!
#2: Amish Country Popcorn | Non-GMO, Red Popcorn Kernels
What We Like
- Naturally cross-bred
- Less flaky hulls
- Bright red color
What We Don’t Like
- Packaging bags could have been better
If you have tried both yellow and white popcorns, then you might have been wanting to try something new!
Well, look no more! Bring home these RED popcorn kernels from Amish Country Popcorn.
Being red, you might be scared to try it out since you might think that these are artificially colored or genetically modified— but these popcorn kernels are not! These red popcorn kernels are certified non-GMO and are grown by Amish Country Popcorn.
It is naturally cross-bred to produce a bright red color that is quite similar to Medium White. These red popcorn kernels have less flaky hulls, so you can enjoy eating them without any hulls getting stuck between your teeth.
It pops meaty and fluffy white every time, and you got a lot of options for dressing and seasoning it up.
#3: Orville Redenbacher’s Yellow Gourmet Popcorn Kernels
What We Like
- Hulls stay attached to popped kernels
- Certified non-GMO
- The container is easy to store and reusable
- Tasty and fresh popcorns
- Comes in 5 to 11 pounds of kernels
What We Don’t Like
- Some corn kernels do not pop
- Some kernels can get stuck on the hollow handle
- Popcorn may become stale before you can even use it
In terms of popcorn brands, Orville will always have a place among the best. Why? Because they create high-quality popcorn that offers excellent taste and freshness. These Non-GMO Yellow Popcorn kernels are delicious and pack a lot of crunches you will surely love!
The kernel size is suitable for popcorn poppers which can help save you time making these tasty popcorns at home. You can purchase from 5 to 11 pounds of kernels, depending on your craving needs.
Another great thing about these popcorn kernels is their container. It is built solidly, so you can reuse it for other purposes when you finish all your corn kernels. It also has a hollow handle, so you will not feel cheated by tricky packaging.
#4: Country Harvest Popcorn 4-Ounce Poppers
What We Like
- High level of crunchiness
- Comes with seasoning and oils
- Clear nutritional facts at the back of the packet
What We Don’t Like
- Kernels are expensive per ounce than other types of popcorn kernels
- Features a plastic bag which is hard to handle
The Country Harvest Popcorn Kernels comes in a pre-measured serving for you to easily make popcorns one batch at a time. The packaging also features a tri-pack system that has the seasoning and oil in separate compartments. This is particularly useful when you do not know how many oils or herbs you need to add to taste great popcorn.
This popcorn offers a slight tint of yellow color from the hull and produces large fluffs for a crunchy experience. It also has a slightly nutty flavor, particularly peanut or walnut flavoring, although no nuts are included in the ingredients. These popcorn kernels are gluten-free, non-GMO, and are directly sourced from local farms, ensuring their freshness and tastiness.
#5: Franklin’s Gourmet Movie Theater Popcorn
What We Like
- Nutritional facts and instructions in cooking the popcorn are clearly given at the back of the packets
- Pre-measured 2 oz. portions of kernels
- Pre-measured seasoning and oils in separate containers
- Organic and non-GMO
- Free of soy, peanut, gluten
- Vegan popcorn
What We Don’t Like
- Its size may not be enough for a large group of people
If you are looking for a strictly organic popcorn kernel that uses no animal fat and contains no gluten or non-GMO, with the added requirements of packets being pre-measured for smaller portions, then these 2-ounce popcorn packets from Franklin’s Gourmet would be your best choice.
The compact popcorn packets include three compartments that separate the kernels, seasoning, and oils and are the best for making home popcorns or can be tossed in your camping bag for making popcorns outdoors.
Other than being Gluten-free, non-GMO, and certified organic, these popcorn kernels are also peanut-free, soy-free, Vegan and Kosher, so you can make it for your guests or family without having to worry about the chances of someone being allergic to particular ingredients. The included oil is 100% coconut oil and is measured to be just the right amount for healthier and tasty popcorns you can munch on!
The Popping King
And now, the popcorn kernel that has the most significant “pop” would be… Franklin’s Gourmet Movie Theater Popcorn!
Being gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, certified non-GMO, and organic popcorn, t is pretty much the safest and healthiest option among the five popcorn kernels!
Also, it comes with the needed healthy seasoning, so you can toss it to the pot or popcorn maker, wait for the popping fun, and you can go on and munch it right away!
Popping History of Popcorns
So, you might be having fun watching those popcorns pop. But do you ever wonder why they pop?
The answer is in the corn kernel.
Popcorns come from a variety of corn known as “maize,” which produces small kernels with outer shells that are hard. When cooking, the moisture from the seed steams the pot, causing the outer shell to burst, creating a popping sound and releases a soft inner flake.
Hence, the name popcorn!
In terms of the popcorn’s history, maize first arrived over 2,500 years ago, during the pre-Columbian age. However, in the early 1800s, it was found growing in Mississippi. Indigenous people domesticated throughout the US and became a good source of healthy starch and food stock for pig fatteners.
The very first popping of popcorns appeared in the year 1820 when the very first popcorn was sold on the east side of America. After 20 years, popcorn has become the favorite snack in American culture.
Types of Popcorn
Yep, you’ve read it right!
Popcorn kernels differ in flavor, size, and color profile.
But don’t get confused!
They are still the yummy snacks that you love to munch on during movie marathons!
In general, kernels are divided into two varieties— yellow and white.
Here’s the difference between them:
1. Yellow Popcorn
Yellow popcorn pops, well, a yellow tint. In general, this type of popcorn can be seen being sold at movie houses since it looks more buttery and provides a more distinctive corn flavor, with some individuals describing it as “nutty.”
Yellow popcorns also range in size. Baby yellow popcorn pops slightly smaller than others, while extra-large caramel and big yellow popcorn pop larger. Bigger ones are great for mixing with glazes, seasoning, and flavors.
2. White Popcorns
White popcorns pop up a sparkling white (duh). It is a bit smaller than the yellow variant, and it has a pure and neutral popcorn flavor that goes excellent with flavors such as sour cream, barbecue, cheese, and chocolate. (Yes, CHOCOLATE!)
A salty popcorn with a sweet, rich chocolate flavor is heaven to munch on so that you know!
White popcorns have the following sub-varieties:
- Tender & White
- Sweet Baby Blue
- Baby white
- Lady Finger
Some Popcorn Characteristics
Now that we have covered the two types of popcorn, I want to show you next to the different characteristics of popcorns:
1. Butterfly-Shaped or Winged Popcorn
It is not a variety of popcorn but a shape that certain types of popcorn take when it is cooked. If you want toppings and granulated seasoning to coat and stick to every piece of popcorn, then winged popcorns are the best at it!
Butterfly-shaped popcorns can take your seasoning from every nooks and cranny, even flaps they have.
2. Hulless Popcorn
Some individuals describe this popcorn as “hulless.”
While all corns have hulls, there is some popcorn with more hulls, and some have less.
You know that tangible thing that lies at the bottom of your popcorn bag or the hard thing that gets stuck in between your teeth.
Those are hulls.
If you are very annoyed with picking stuck hulls between your teeth, choose a variety that produces less. Typically, the smaller the kernel, the thinner the hull is, and the lesser the chances of it getting stuck between your teeth.
Hulless varieties include Tender and White, Vintage Red, Midnight Blue, Lady Finger, Baby Yellow, and Baby White.
3. Mushroom Shapes
As its name implies, mushroom-shaped popcorns pop around and more solid popcorn, similar to the head of a mushroom. This popcorn shape is suitable for chocolate or caramel glazed popcorns.
It is much stronger than the winged popcorn type since it keeps its shape under the pressure of applying the glazed and heavy coating and will not easily crumble down when mixed with flavorings and seasonings.
Popping Popcorn in 3 Easy Ways
So, let’s talk about the fun part— how to pop popcorn? Here are three easy ways to pop those crunchy corn kernels!
1. Popping on the Stove
You can popcorn kernels on the stove using your usual cooking pan or pot. Just pour some oil into the pan or pan and put it on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot enough, add the corn kernels. Cover the pan or pot and wait until you hear the popping sound. You will know when it’s ready when the popping sound stops.
Put the hot popcorn into a wide bowl and add salt or butter if you want.
2. Microwave Popcorn
The easiest way to cook popcorn is using the microwave. Just put a paper bag filled with popcorn kernels in the microwave. Heat the microwave at maximum power for around 90 seconds. When the timer is up, you can now enjoy your favorite popcorn!
3. Using Hot Air Poppers
A hot air popper, also known as a popcorn maker, is a machine used for popping corn kernels that blow hot air through the holes in the container holding the seeds. This is a much healthier way of popping corn kernels since cooking does not require any oil.
These popcorn machines emerged in the late 1970s for commercial use. However, small-scale hot air poppers for home use became available in the most recent decades. Popping corn kernels in a hot air popper is quite simple:
- Add the corn kernels into the popper.
- Turn the machine on and place a bowl below the spout of the popcorn maker.
- Wait until all corn kernels pop.
- Add butter and salt to taste
The Good in Eating Popcorn
If you are going to eat some snacks, then you should choose healthy snacks. And while it usually means replacing processed potato chips with a bowl of apple or carrot slices, an occasional bag of popcorn is not such a bad idea.
Popcorns are lighter on the stomach than most popular snack foods. Numerous studies have confirmed that the kernel hulls of popcorns possess a higher amount of polyphenols than most fruits.
Polyphenols help develop muscular tissue and prevent various types of cellular deterioration, leading to cancer, liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, polyphenols are a great form of antioxidant, meaning popcorns can help in giving your skin a youthful glow.
Other than that, popcorn also nourishes your body by way of whole grains. Whole grains are packed with B vitamins and fiber, minerals, protein, and vitamin E. For instance, one cup of popcorn contains around 1 gram of fiber. Food rich in fiber is proven to reduce cholesterol, thus minimizing the risk of particular heart illnesses, including arrhythmia and diabetes.
Things to Consider When Buying a Popcorn Kernel
All these talks about popcorns might have made you crave popcorns, and you might already be dressed and ready to go out to get some kernels from your local store to munch on.
Before you do that, you need to consider a few things to help you buy the best popcorn kernels out there!
1. The Packaging
Like any other edible materials, the popcorn kernels must have good packaging to ensure safe storage for your popcorns. Choose popcorn kernels in resealable bags or containers with airtight lids since they can help preserve the freshness of the popcorn kernels.
The packaging also needs to have a readable and precise description of nutritional facts for you to be aware of certain ingredients you might be allergic to.
2. Amount Per Pack
You also need to consider the number of popcorn kernels in each packet. You do not want to buy a large number of popcorn kernels that you might not be able to finish by yourself. Also, you do not wish to purchase packets with too few seeds for a big family and running out of popcorn snacks right before you can even start your favorite TV shows!
You need to assess how many ounces of popcorn kernels you need and stock up your kitchen accordingly so there is no shortage or wasted popcorns.
3. Kernel Variety
There are various types of popcorn kernels, and we all have our preferences. You can usually find white and yellow popcorn kernels in the market. However, there are also purple, red, and blue ones if you wish to explore the textures and flavors of different popcorns. Each popcorn variety has its unique size, amount of hulls, texture, and flavors you can experiment on.
4. Regular Kernels VS. Seasoned Kernels
If you want the greatest freedom in taste, then choosing regular, unseasoned popcorn kernels is the right one for you since you will be the one to decide which seasoning you can add to it.
However, if you want an easy and quick preparation, go for popcorn kernels with seasoning and oils. All you need to do is to add these kernels to your pan, a microwave of the electric popper, wait for them to pop, and you’re ready to munch!
A bowl of popcorn is among the best snacks— from movie marathons to camping snacks to late-night talks. And although this delicious snack can be bought ready-made, there is nothing more fun than making it yourself at home and hearing that popping sound and heavenly smell!
So, what are you waiting for? Get one of the best popcorn kernels mentioned above and treat your family to a large bowl of popcorns this evening!
What’s that? You know some tasty popcorn kernels I don’t know about? Feel free to share it with us so we can experience the goodness! Just hit up the comment section below!
Until then, have a fun, popping time!