Sure, microwave popcorn is convenient, but why bother with it when you can pop your own kernels and season them to taste right in your own kitchen?
Having a popcorn popper makes it even easier to make your own popcorn at home. The ideal popping corn kernels are hard to come by, though.
While most popping corn kernels on the market are basically the same or are based on the same basic idea, there are a few that stand out as truly original.
They range from very varied crop varieties and quality to those with distinctly different tastes.
Which corn kernel pops the best? One’s perception of flavor is subjective. A good rule of thumb is to look for popcorn kernels that are soft and pop reliably and readily. You might also choose for a less unhealthy alternative like unsalted or non-GMO kernels.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 9 popping corn kernels to share with you here. We’re thrilled to be able to present to you the results of our extensive research on the available choices. Our shared kernels will always be accompanied by a detailed analysis to help you determine whether or not they’re worth pursuing.
Continue reading to find out why these 9 popping corn kernels are the greatest and more.
How to Choose The Best Popcorn Kernels
There are a few things you may want to know or understand before you begin exploring your choices. We’re just giving you the lowdown on the many varieties of popcorn kernels available so you can pick the ones that work best for you.
Check out the features and qualities to look for while selecting the finest popping corn kernels.
Even if kernel size might be relevant to you, that is not what we mean when we talk about size.
Regarding the dimensions of packaging. Buying popcorn kernels in quantity is typically the most cost-effective option.
It’s fine to use a lower size if you don’t plan on eating this too often. Learn about the sizes available so you can make an informed decision.
Popcorn kernels keep well in airtight containers, so stocking up is not a problem. They have a long shelf life and won’t get stale.
Type of Kernel
You should know that there are several varieties of maize, each with its own distinct kernel.
The most common kernels are either mushroom or butterfly. Popcorn mushrooms have a spherical shape due to the shape of the mushroom’s kernel. This form is commonly found in kettle corn, so you might recognize it. A butterfly kernel is a type of popcorn whose kernels often pop out in an irregular shape that evokes the shape of a butterfly. You’re probably picturing something like this when you think of a “standard” popcorn shape.
The most frequent popcorn colors are yellow and white, but you can also find black, crimson, purple, and even blue kernels.
Popcorn kernel flavor, texture, and size are all influenced by the corn’s kind and color. Popcorn made from white corn kernels often yields smaller kernels than those made from yellow kernels.
Those who are daring enough to taste black kernels will be rewarded with a flavor similar to that of nuts. Popped red and purple kernels typically go white, though they may retain a faint tint of their original color. Of all the “colors” of popcorn, purple is supposedly the most flavorful (excluding white and yellow kernels).
You may buy popcorn with a variety of seasonings already on it, or you can season your own kernels. In contrast, some popcorn eaters favor their snack unseasoned and unbuttery. Some people prefer simple seasonings like salt and butter, while others prefer a variety of exotic oils and spices.
Choose pre-seasoned kernels if you’d rather skip the fun part. Or, if you plan to add your own seasonings to the popcorn, it’s important to think about the flavor of the kernel you’re using.
If you do choose to add flavor to your popcorn, do it while it’s still hot for optimal results.
Method for Making Popcorn
Popcorn can be made by popping corn kernels in numerous ways. There is no universally accepted “best” approach because various people have different preferences.
Here are some of the popular methods:
- Air popper
There could be a plethora of choices within each of these broad classifications. For instance, there are both pre-packaged microwave popcorn bags and microwave-safe plates for popping your own kernels.
Then there is the cooking surface. Although dedicated kernel poppers are available, any heavy pot with a lid can do the trick.
The possibilities are infinite from hand-cranked popcorn poppers that are pretty lovely to other basic approaches. You only need to know how to pop the popcorn for the greatest results.
There are also air poppers to consider. These are quite popular since all the user has to do is load the appliance with the necessary kernels and other data and the appliance will handle the rest. They’re very cool since you can pop corn in minutes with just a few puffs of hot air instead of standing over a hot burner.
13 Best Popping Corn
Jiffy Pop Butter-Flavored Popcorn Kernel
This Jiffy Pop pre-measured pack of popcorn kernels is delicious and convenient, making it a great addition to any camping or picnic meal. These popcorn kernels are pre-packaged in a convenient pan and may be popped with minimal further work.
Jiffy Pop popcorn kernels have a buttery flavor and may be popped in the microwave, on the stove, or over an open fire. With just a few minutes of prep time, you may have a delicious snack to share with loved ones that is quick and easy to prepare.
If you’re looking for a way to take this butter popcorn to the next level, try serving it alongside some marshmallow-based treats, a traditional campfire staple. Anyone with a sweet taste or who wants to have fun with their loved ones should try both of these delicious treats.
- As a bonus, whipping up a batch of popcorn couldn’t be simpler.
- The cost of the good is manageable.
- The corn kernels are recently harvested and meticulously packaged.
- It’s possible that the popping rate of these popcorn kernels varies.
Be Still Farms Organic Yellow Popcorn (1lb) Organic Popcorn Kernels Non GMO
Do you need to stick to a diet but cannot bear the thought of giving up your beloved popcorn? If giving up your go-to munchie is easier said than done, consider replacing it with something more nutritious, like this offering from Be Still Farms.
This cholesterol-free popcorn from Be Still Farms is low in calories, fat, and gluten while still being a great snack option. As an added bonus, the organically grown kernels will ensure a high proportion of popped kernels, making for the lightest and most flavorful snack.
Moreover, a serving of this nutritious snack provides a good quantity of protein and dietary fiber. Snacking on this yellow popcorn won’t ruin your diet plan because it has almost no trans or saturated fat.
- There are no additives of any kind, including artificial coloring or flavoring, in the product.
- The popcorn contains almost no salt and almost no sugar.
- Fresh and flavorful, the kernels are a treat.
- The product has the potential to create large, airy kernels of popcorn with a gentle crunch.
- The hulls might be obtained in large quantities from the kernels.
Generic ACT II Butter Lovers Popcorn
Is the aroma of buttered popcorn calling your name? ACT II Butter Lover popcorn kernels are for you if you answered yes. This butter-flavored microwave popcorn is convenient and delicious whenever you need a fast snack.
Even better, each serving of popcorn kernels has been metered up and packaged for your convenience. The contents of the pack can then be heated in a microwave for around two minutes, after which you can enjoy your snack.
- A bag of popcorn kernels like this one doesn’t cost too much.
- Flavor and aroma are top notch, and that’s saying something.
- All of the popped corns are very crunchy.
- Fast and simple to make.
- There is a substantial amount of sodium in the packaging.
Bob’s Red Mill Whole White Popcorn
Bob’s Red Mill white popcorn kernels are an excellent choice if you’re in the mood for some handmade kettle corn. This popcorn is made with kernels that have not been treated with any chemicals or preservatives, so you know the flavor is genuine and fresh.
Bob’s Red Mill popcorn kernels are a delicious and healthy whole grain snack option. This delectable treat is also good for you because it’s low in calories and high in fiber.
- The kernels of popcorn have a mild sweetness to them.
- Popcorn kernels are hand-picked from only the best harvests to ensure the best possible popping.
- Air popping is an option.
- The item is really recent in terms of production.
- You can easily scorch popcorn kernels.
Amish Country Mushroom Popcorn Kernels
In my opinion, the first choice is the most optimal maize kernel for mushroom popping. These mushroom corn kernels from Amish country are a throwback to a simpler time, and they taste just as good as they did then. This brand has earned my trust as a reliable source for delicious, fresh popcorn.
These kernels are available in a six-pound bag and keep well in an airtight container. The name of the brand comes from the fact that the kernels are cultivated and harvested in the center of Amish Country. These kernels do originate from this area.
You may utilize this popcorn in a variety of ways, and the purchase comes with suggestions for doing so. There are no genetically modified organisms in this remedy, and it is also gluten-free. Whether seasoned or unseasoned, it’s a delicious popcorn alternative that won’t break the calorie bank. This mushroom popcorn is guaranteed to be free of tree nuts and peanuts throughout the manufacturing process.
- corn kernels that burst like mushrooms
- Classical form
- Premium gourmet taste and standard of excellence
- Included with recipes
- Zero peanuts and tree nuts
- One user complained that normal kernels were mixed along with the mushroom kernels.
- Maybe a little more difficult to pop than other popcorns on the market.
Anthony’s Organic Yellow Popcorn Kernels
This could be the best choice if you want an organic product of the highest possible quality. These popping corn kernels from Anthony’s Goods is an organic yellow popcorn and it is incredibly nice. The United States Department of Agriculture has verified that this product meets their standards for organic integrity.
The fact that it is cultivated and processed in the United States is a plus for this product. The package weighs in at a hefty 3 pounds. Quality-wise, though, it is unquestionably superior, and it is universally regarded as a superb choice.
You can use a stovetop popcorn popper, an air popper, an electric popcorn popper, or a pop on popper. It can be used for a variety of purposes, and it goes particularly well with huge, fluffy, yellow popped corn.
- USDA organic certification
- Made and packaged in the USA
- delicious yellow popcorn
- Adaptable to a wide range of stovetops
- High-quality, organic yellow kernels
- Users have noted that there is a high ratio of husks to popped kernels in this popcorn.
Dutchman’s Gourmet Yellow Popcorn Kernels
A Dutchman’s gourmet yellow popcorn is the next available choice. It’s widely used because it pops easily and produces large, fluffy kernels, and it tastes great. All reviews agree that these premium kernels, which come in a 4-pound bag, are the best available. The popping directions are similarly straightforward.
The company places a premium on producing high-quality products that taste well. The word on the street is that this is a tasty option with a higher popped-to-unpopped-kernel ratio, and they stand by their product. It’s quick to pop and heat up, too.
It’s fine to eat this popcorn with or without any added seasonings, as the flavor is rather mild. This product is 100% American and was produced and collected from our dark, fertile soil. Company workers now have the harvesting process down to a science, allowing for the greatest possible kernel to be collected. Furthermore, this brand does not use genetically modified ingredients.
- Vegan, non-genetically-modified popcorn
- A delicate taste that pairs well with other ingredients.
- Exceptional rate of popping
- Produced in the United States of America
- Yellow, fluffy, and simple to prepare popcorn.
- Since it’s yellow, the popcorn kernels might be a little harder to pop and there could be more hulls than usual.
White Cat Corn Gourmet Popping Corn Kernels
White Cat Corn provides the next viable choice. White popcorn is a more expensive option, and this package contains just over 1.5 pounds of kernels. It is similarly packaged in an airtight glass jar. Cost-effectiveness is unquestionably matched by excellent quality.
Many people believe this white corn to be the best popcorn available because almost every kernel pops when exposed to air. It has a somewhat sweet flavor to it and pops with a texture that is light and slightly crispy.
Popcorn kernels produce huge, airy kernels, giving you all the lightness and crunch you love with the ideal amount of popcorn fluff. There are several methods for popping this, and the hull should be small once you succeed. This is yet another high-quality alternative to GMO kernels.
- Non-GMO white kernel
- Slight sweet flavor
- Popsicle-like in texture, but with a lighter weight
- Adds a satisfying crunch to your diet
- Blows apart with hardly no hull left
- The quality varies greatly from time to time.
Mulberry Lane Farms Multi-Colored Popping Corn Kernels
Next, a truly novel choice that appeals to individuals who value organic foods and environmental preservation, two causes close to Mulberry Lane Farms’ heart.
The popcorn in this multi-colored kernel bag is a delicious combination of various popcorn varieties.
This popping corn uses only corn cultivated in the United States. The entire thing is natural. The organic nature of both of them has been verified by the USDA and the GOA. The farm where these kernels are grown is run by a family who puts a premium on producing delicious food.
This popcorn is of the highest quality and has the best flavor possible. It has a nice snap and freshness to it. This is convenient because it allows you to sample a wide range of tastes and textures with a single purchase and popping.
- Certified organic by two different organizations
- Produced domestically on a farm run by a loving family
- Enjoyable and nutritious
- Popcorn with a variety of seasonings
- Compact package that conceals no extra room.
- The percentage of unpopped kernels might be rather high.
Black Jewell Hulless Popcorn Kernels
If you want to pop some corn, this is the best option.
These native-style kernels come in a 15-ounce package. These grains have been independently certified as whole grain. All of them are also GMO- and gluten-free.
These kernels are crisp and fresh when popped. They are described as having very few hulls, which makes them exceptionally soft and tasty.
Everything sold here originates from a single U.S. family farm. To further protect pollinators, the corporation is also actively involved with several advocacy groups.
- Produced in the United States on small farms.
- Completely unprocessed
- Neither genetically modified nor containing gluten.
- Popped ones have hardly any hulls
- A closer look reveals that “hulless” refers to a state with a reduced number of hulls, not an absence of hulls altogether.
Jolly Time Select Popcorn Kernels
Jolly Time is a trusted name in the popcorn business, and they offer a wide variety of effective products and services. We really like their white gourmet popping kernels. There must be a good reason why this brand is so popular.
The 30 ounces of popcorn contained in the container is a reasonable amount. It’s premium popcorn from a company with a long history of excellence. This is the place to be if you want to relax into familiar surroundings.
Every single one of these kernels is produced in the United States and packaged there as well. They are a high-fiber, gluten-free alternative to traditional kernels. This is a tried-and-true brand that has been around since 1914, making it an American classic.
- U.S.-grown and -packaged.
- Consists of 12 pounds of kernels.
- It’s a reliable, classic brand that will last forever.
- Whole, white popcorn kernels of the highest quality
- highly regarded as a top pick
- Inconsistent quality might result from purchasing in large quantities.
Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Yellow Popcorn Kernels
A second well-liked popcorn brand that’s hard to go wrong with follows. Consider giving these from Orville Redenbacher a try; they’re a fan-favorite in the USA. We’re featuring their 5-pound box, but they also come in a variety of various weights and dimensions.
Since it is yellow popcorn, the kernels are larger and fluffier after popping, and there is a good percentage of popped kernels. The flavoring or lack thereof makes it a breeze to pop, and the result is delicious. Across the board, this is the most requested flavor of popcorn.
This is a great brand of corn kernels because they are gluten-free, non-GMO, and made with whole grains. For popping corn kernels, this is a tried-and-true brand that has been well praised for its reliability and longevity.
- Established name in the market
- There are a variety of sizes available.
- Popcorn kernels in the yellow color
- Super simple to use; just drop one in!
- It’s 100% whole wheat and it’s non-GMO.
- There appears to be inconsistencies in the shipping quality control process.
Snappy White Popcorn Kernels
The final choice is another tried-and-true winner that we couldn’t pass up. Although not as well-known as brands like Jolly Time and Redenbacher, this is another timeless favorite. Packaged in a whopping 12.5-pound bag, this choice is ideal for those looking to stock up. A container that keeps out air would be ideal given that it comes in a bag.
When popped, this white popcorn will be airy and crisp despite its smaller size since it contains less hulls. Another high-quality choice that does not contain any genetically modified ingredients and is also gluten-free and made entirely from whole grains. The company has been established since 1940, and the flavor is excellent to boot.
When these raw kernels are packaged and shipped out, they are still at their prime, having just been harvested. They’re compatible with any type or brand of popping machine. When almost all of the kernels pop, the popcorn is regarded gourmet and wonderful.
- Pure, unprocessed, white kernels straight from the farm
- Popcorn that doesn’t skimp on flavor
- Available in a huge, bulk bag
- The 1940 founding of the company
- Produces nearly 100% Popcorn
- When you pop them, there are a lot of shells.
- This comes in a bag, therefore secure storage is required.
Hopefully, you’ve found this guide on popping corn kernels useful in deciding which ones to buy. Having a firm grasp on the specifics could prove useful, since there is a great deal of data to take in and a wide variety of characteristics and choices to consider.
We welcome you to take a look at the accompanying question and answer area for some extra details as well.
Can I Skip the Oil/Butter?
Popcorn kernels that can be popped without the use of fat are relatively uncommon.
In order to correctly pop your kernels, you will need either of the two most common options. This is how popping corn kernels has traditionally been done, and it probably won’t change any time soon.
The freshness of my kernels is an issue, how do I store them?
To maintain their quality, kernels should be stored in an airtight container.
A container, like a jar, is ideal for preserving the quality of kernels purchased in plastic bags. When not in use, you should always make sure to reseal it.
Do I Need to Flavor My Popcorn?
This is totally up to individual taste. Some people feel as if the butter or oil the popcorn is popped in is plenty.
Some people like to use nothing more than regular table salt or seasoning salt. You don’t have to, but feel free to try out a variety of other seasonings.