Watching in the movie theater?
Streaming your favorite TV series on Netflix?
Maybe just want some tasty, crunchy snacks?
A buttery salted popcorn would be the perfect food for you right now, don’t you think?
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?
Where to buy?
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 kernel 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 in throughout the US and become a good source of nutritional starch as well as 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 the American culture.
Types of Popcorn
Yep, you’ve read it right!
Popcorn kernels actually 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 2 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 apparently 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 when compared to the yellow variant and it has a pure and neutral popcorn flavor which goes great 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, just so you know!
White popcorns have the following sub-varieties:
Some Popcorn Characteristics
Now that we have covered the 2 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 solid thing that lies at the bottom of your popcorn bag or the hard thingy that gets stuck in between your teeth
Those are hulls.
If you are very much annoyed with picking stuck hulls in between your teeth, then choose a variety which produces less. Typically, the smaller the kernel, the thinner the hull is and the lesser chances of it getting stuck in 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 a round 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 even under 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 a popcorn? Here are 3 easy ways in popping 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 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
Hot air popper, also known as popcorn maker is a machine used or popping corn kernels which blow hot air through the holes in the container holding the kernels. This is a much healthier way of popping corn kernels since it does not require any oil to cook.
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:
The Good in Eating Popcorn
If you are going to eat some snacks, then it is better you 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. There are numerous studies which have confirmed that the kernel hulls of popcorns possess a higher amount of polyphenols than most fruits.
Polyphenols help in developing strong tissue as well as preventing various types of cellular deterioration which can lead 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 as well as fiber, minerals, protein and vitamin E. For instance, one cup of popcorn contains around 1 gram of fiber. Food rich in fiber are 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 for 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 in order to help you buy the best popcorn kernels out there!
1. The Packaging
Like any other edible materials, it is crucial that the popcorn kernels have good packaging in order to ensure safe storage for your popcorns. Choose popcorn kernels in resealable bags or containers with airtight lids since they can help in preserving the freshness of the popcorn kernels.
The packaging also needs to have a readable and clear 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 want to buy packets with too little kernels 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 own preference. 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 their own 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 on it.
However, if you want an easy and quick preparation, then 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!
The Top 5 Best Popcorn Kernels 2018
*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.
Where to buy?
A popular 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 and these popcorn kernels are non-GMO popping corns which are grown from Iowa and then packaged at Wisconsin— from true 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!
What We Like
What We Don't Like
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 this RED popcorn kernels from Kauffman’s Fruit Farm!
Being red in color, 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! This red popcorn kernels are certified non-GMO and is grown by Amish Country Popcorn.
It is naturally cross-bred in order to produce the bright red color that is quite similar to Medium White. These red popcorn kernels have less flaky hulls, so you can enjoy eating it without any hulls getting stuck between your teeth. It pops meaty and fluffy white every time, and you got a lot of option for dressing and seasoning it up.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
In terms of popcorn brands, Orville will always have a place among the best. Why? Because they create high-quality popcorn that offers great taste and freshness. This 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 effort and time in 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 this popcorn kernels is its container. It is built solidly so you can reuse it for other purposes when you finished all your corn kernels. It also has a hollow handle so you will not feel cheated by tricky packaging.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
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 which has the seasoning and oil in separate compartments. This is particularly useful when you do not know how much oils or seasoning you need to add in order for the popcorns to taste great.
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 there are no nuts included in the ingredients. This popcorn kernels are gluten-free, non-GMO and are directly sourced from local farms which ensures its freshness and tastiness.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
If you are looking for a strictly organic popcorn kernel which 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 3 compartments which 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!
What We Like
What We Don't Like
The Popping King
And now, the popcorn kernel that has the biggest “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 5 popcorn kernels! Also, it comes with the needed healthy seasoning, so you can just toss it to the pot or popcorn maker, wait for the popping fun and you can go on and munch it right away!
A bowl of popcorn is among the best snacks there is— 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 homes 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!