Movies, picnics, get-togethers, long drives, snacks: these are just some of the occasions where a bag of popcorn comes into the picture. Buying a ready-to-eat popcorn can be easy, but to buy the best one can be difficult to find in packaged form.
To truly enjoy popcorn, you need to enjoy it fresh, and newly popped.
But how do you do this?
In this article I am sharing with you the best popcorn kernels found in the market, and the different ways by which you can prepare them. At the end of this article you may share your thoughts and recipes you’ve tried, so we can collaborate even further!
Best Popcorn Kernels – Reviews 2019: Top 5+ Recommended
|Product Name||Price Range|
|Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Kernel|
|low price range||Check Price|
|Trader Joe’s Organic Popping Corn||highest price range||Check Price|
|Amish Country Popcorn||average price range||Check Price|
|Bob’s Red Mill White Corn Popcorn||average price range||Check Price|
|Hoosier Hill Farm Original Yellow Popcorn||lowest price range||Check Price|
- Contains 5 lb, 12 oz of Orville Redenbacher's Original Yellow Gourmet Popcorn Kernels
- Orville Redenbacher's Original Yellow Gourmet Popping Corn Kernels are premium popping at its finest, giving you delicious popcorn with a crispy outside and a tender inside
- Use Orville Redenbacher's Original Yellow Gourmet Popcorn Kernels to make a simple, wholesome popcorn snack on your stovetop, air popper, or electric popper
- 100% natural, Non-GMO Project Verified
- 100% whole-grain, gluten free popcorn
Price range (compared to other products in this list): low price range
- Whole grain snack that's high in fiber.
- Low in fat and sodium.
- Certified organic & all natural.
Price range (compared to other products in this list): highest price range
- OLD FASHIONED MICROWAVE POPCORN - Right when the mail man drops this off, you can take it out, throw it in the microwave, and you'll be eating popcorn within minutes!
- 15 AMAZING POPCORN RECIPES - Your purchase comes with our Fantastic Recipe Guide eBook. You don't even have to search for recipes, we've done the legwork.
- NON-GMO & GLUTEN FREE - With our products being Non-GMO and Gluten Free, you can eat this popcorn with peace of mind!
- LOW CALORIE - Not only is our Popcorn low calorie, but it is delicious and healthy as well!
- TREE NUT & PEANUT FREE - You don't have to worry about nut allergies with Amish Country Popcorn products. You can grab a bag, pop it, and you're ready to enjoy the deliciousness.
Price range (compared to other products in this list): average price range
- One, 24 oz. bag (1.5 lbs.)
- Vegan; Vegetarian; Kosher Pareve
- Ready in about 7 minutes
- Kitchen staple of the American South
- Enjoy as a hot cereal or in the Italian dish polenta
Price range (compared to other products in this list): average price range
- Huge 4 Pound Jar!! Premium yellow popcorn kernels. Pops large and fluffy.
- Hoosier Hill Original Yellow popcorn.
- This is fresh from the farm gourmet popping corn.
- Popcorn Lovers Size! Fresh non-GMO Indiana grown Popcorn.
- Hoosier Hill Farm Brand. Economical 4 pound tub.
Price range (compared to other products in this list): lowest price range
First, let’s do this separately:
Popcorn: defined by Dictionary.com as, “any of several varieties of corn whose kernels burst open and puff out when subjected to dry heat.”
Kernel: again defined by Dictionary.com as, “a whole seed grain, as of wheat or corn.”
So to put that together, popcorn kernels relate to whole corn bits or pieces popped to expand due to pressure and heat changes.
- Unpopped corn kernels
- Popped corn kernel
And this is a really interesting video to see, how popcorn is popped filmed in slow motion:
How Are Popcorn Kernels Made?
Before popcorn gets into your hands before a long movie night, there is a long and arduous process these popcorn kernels have to go through. These go through three main stages: cultivation and harvesting (collectively, farming), production, and packaging and distribution.
First off, corn strains (scientific name: Zea mays) should be carefully selected for popcorn production. A specific variety called Zea mays praecox is used specifically for making popcorn, but currently there are over 100 different sub-varieties for this. This may well explain why popcorn may taste differently depending on where you buy it, and what brand.
Different types of popcorn
Next, these corn seeds and/or shoots are carefully planted. Because of corn’s light weight, it can be susceptible to strong winds, and intense changes in temperature and pressure. So, farmers usually plant them in humid seasons when the winds are more stable. This process takes 3-12 days.
Here is a video on how popcorn seeds are germinated in the field:
After cultivation, corn is then harvested. It’s important to do this before winter strikes, as corn cannot withstand very cold temperatures.
All corn stalks are now brought to a manufacturing site where they are stripped, separated from other corn elements that should not be part of the popping process, cleaned, and polished, until they get ready for packaging.
Here is a video on how popcorn is manufactured in a facility. This video is courtesy of Discovery Channel:
Popcorn: how it’s made
Manufactured popcorn kernels are now packed, sealed, and ready to be distributed to the world.
Popcorn packages ready to be distributed to world markets
Now as consumers, you usually see corn kernels in this form in markets and groceries, ready to be eaten:
Different popcorn brands and varieties laid out in a store
Or, as popcorn freshly cooked at the farmer’s market
What to Look for When Buying Popcorn Kernels?
With so many options in the market, it can be difficult to find the best popcorn kernels for your needs. While a friend might say Brand A is the best one, your mom might say it’s Brand B, and then you find they’re both wrong and Brand C is the best.
Here then is a list of some of the commercially available popcorn kernels, and my verdict on each one. Stay tuned for the bonus recipes at the end of this article!
Which Popcorn Kernel is the Best for Me?
Now that you have seen my take on some of the commercially available popcorn kernels, my personal choice would be Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Kernel. As a mother of two, my husband and I usually have small get-togethers prepared in our home, and we invite both our families and our kids’ friends, too.
With a lot of people coming in and out and enjoying the conversations, it’s best to have a large batch of popcorn that everyone can just grab and enjoy as they talk and drink. So for me, as a homemaker, I choose the product which has the best value for my money.
The 3 Delicious Popcorn Recipes for You to Try!
Now that I’ve given you the verdict on the best popcorn kernel for me, I am sharing with you bonus recipes on how to make your homemade kettle corn, sweet popcorn, and caramel popcorn.
Here are the video tutorials for your guide:
#1. How to make homemade kettle corn
#2. How to make homemade sweet popcorn
#3. How to make homemade caramel popcorn
To Wrap it Up
The best popcorn kernel ultimately depends on what you need and want. I hope I have given you a good guide as you choose the best brand for your needs.
Now let’s talk about you: What is your favorite brand of popcorn kernel? Why do you like it? Have you tried making your own popcorn recipes? If so, can you share with us? It would be great to know of your thoughts, too, so we can exchange notes. I’ll be waiting for your comments below. Also if you liked the article, feel free to share it with your family and friends!
- 1 Best Popcorn Kernels – Reviews 2019: Top 5+ Recommended
- 2 Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Kernel—Best for Big Families
- 3 Trader Joe’s Organic Popping Corn—Best for upscale health-conscious consumers
- 4 Amish Country Popcorn—Best for indie-loving tastes
- 5 Bob’s Red Mill White Corn Popcorn—Best for those with cultural, religious and health concerns
- 6 Hoosier Hill Farm Original Yellow Popcorn—Best for Tight Budgets
- 7 What Are Popcorn Kernels? – Buyer’s Guide
- 8 How Are Popcorn Kernels Made?
- 9 What to Look for When Buying Popcorn Kernels?
- 10 Which Popcorn Kernel is the Best for Me?
- 11 The 3 Delicious Popcorn Recipes for You to Try!
- 12 To Wrap it Up