Everyone knows that once you master it, popcorn is easy to make. However, there is a stage where you get it wrong way too often, wasting precious kernels. Still, it is worth sticking with making them from scratch helps you to get hold of a warm batch that tastes great when it comes to movie night.
Making popcorn on your stove is the healthier method but also the most satisfying. When you have a fresh batch you can flavor them how you like and it also means that everyone can add their ingredients. Some popcorn kernels are made a little different and the products below are all capable of becoming your new favorite brand of popping corn kernels.
Quick Summary of Best Popcorn Kernels
Great Northern Popcorn Premium 8 Ounce Packs, Case of 24
Ever tried to create movie night fun with a bowl of popcorn only to find you don’t have the other basic ingredient… oil? You never have to go without again with this all in one pack of popcorn kernels and buttery flavored oil, even the seasoning is in its own section.
In this pack of 24, you’re getting more than enough for plenty of memorable nights in this is the same popcorn that is sold in movie theatres and sports grounds across the country. With zero trans fats and zero cholesterol in the coconut oil combination, you are getting the chance to tap into one of the healthiest and most satisfying snacks around. A lot of people love it because it can be used in a popcorn machine, or on top of the stove and contains diacetyl-free seasoned salt.
- Everything you need to get popping
- Pack of 24 is great value
- Sold in baseball stadiums and movie theatres
- Zero trans fats and zero cholesterol
Snappy White Popcorn, 4 Pounds
Some people don’t even know you can get white and yellow popcorn but here is one of the best white popcorns available making them smaller and softer, in a 4 lb tub to make sure you have enough to go round. These popcorn kernels are so versatile they can go in an air popper, on the stove, or in a popcorn machine.
Made from 100% wholegrain they are non-GMO and the tub is handy since you can use it again, just buy refill bags and fill her up. The benefit of buying only kernels is that you get to tailor the flavor to your taste so you can start with whatever oil you like and add the seasoning of your choice without limitations.
- Big 4lb tub is perfect for making big batches
- Smaller and softer when popped
- 100% wholegrain
- No seasoning or oil included but that is better for some people
Franklin’s Gourmet Movie Theater Popcorn
These organic popcorn kernels are more than just corn in a bag. They are non-GMO and come with a separate compartment filled with coconut oil, measured into small portions to make 2 oz of perfect popcorn. It can be tipped into a popcorn machine or made on the stove and the clear instructions for both methods are detailed on the back of every packet.
Grown by family-owned farms there is also a section filled with seasoning but everything can go in the pan at the same time to keep things simple. Gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan-friendly they taste just like the popcorn you get at the movie theatre but at a fraction of the price, especially when you consider they come in packs of 24.
- Everything you need for perfect popcorn
- 100% coconut oil
- 2 oz might not be enough for sharing
Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popcorn Kernels
This massive 5 lb 12 oz container of gourmet yellow popcorn kernels will last a long time unless you can’t help but pour some into your air popper or popcorn machine when you get home. It contains 100% wholegrain and gluten-free popcorn kernels that are known for being crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Made with non-GMO popcorn it is a staple brand in the industry and with its wide lid you can easily scoop out a large batch or pour it into the pot to make it on the stove. If you pay attention to the measurements on the side of the container you can see exactly how much you are making every time.
- Large 5 lb 12 oz container
- Has a wide lid to make it easy to pour
- 100% wholegrain popcorn kernels
- Not premeasured
Amish Country Popcorn – Baby White – Small & Tender Popcorn
Best Baby White
They market themselves as old fashion but Amish Country Popcorn is a big name in the industry and in their baby white popcorn kernels it is easy to see how they have achieved their longevity. One of the most affordable options it is the sort of product that most people have tried at some point only buying this version will give you access to a 15 popcorn recipe eBook also you can try a new flavor.
The bag isn’t reusable but is full of 6 lbs of quality popcorn kernels that are made without toxins. Anyone who hasn’t tried this brand before might wonder why their popcorn comes out a little on the small side but that’s because they are the baby white kernels that pop smaller with fewer husks with a crunchier taste.
- Large 6lb bag
- Comes with 15 popcorn recipe eBook
- Very affordable
- Bag isn’t reusable
Arrowhead Mills Organic White Popcorn, 24 oz. Bag (Pack of 6)
Best Small Popcorn
These 24 oz bags are ideal for making the perfect amount of popcorn and you get 6 of them here. Made from non-GMO popcorn kernels they are organic and have been produced in Texas for decades. Their white popcorn kernels pop a lot easier so you’re less likely to get this wrong, just don’t expect a massive popped corn as they are a lot smaller than their yellow popcorn kernels.
Arrowhead Mills works with local organic farmers to bring these quality kernels to the market and even though the company has gone from strength to strength since its formation in 1960 they say they haven’t changed how they do things.
- Easy to pop
- Good value
- Makes small popcorn
Popcorn Kernels Guide
Although it is tempting to grab any old brand from a shelf and take it home, paying a little attention can go a long way to making your movie night taste better. If you have an air popper or popcorn machine that is being neglected, or just want to make sure you always have some great tasting popcorn at the ready you’d better look into what makes a good product so desirable.
This is why we have created the following buyer’s guide, to make sure your purchase is one you end up loving. This is your guide to finding brilliant popcorn kernels.
What To Look For In Popcorn Kernels
Because there are so many options there is a lot of value available but anyone who wants to make sure they always have some popcorn kernels to hand should opt for lots of packs with oil (the value goes up with the more you buy) or a large container of kernels.
Another approach could be to work out how much popcorn you tend to get through week on week and buy a pack that will last a good amount of time.
Easy To Pour
This can come in a resealable bag but they tend to be less robust and are prone to tearing. For a product to be easy to pour so you never go overboard it should come in an easy to hold container that has a wide lid. Some products even have measurements on the side so you can see exactly what you are putting in.
This isn’t always an indication of a great product but it helps to let you know how your popcorn kernels have been produced. Organic popcorn kernels are free from some of the nasties and are non-GMO so are.
This can vary depending on the type of popcorn kernels you buy but most of the time you should expect to be making crunchy popcorn that is fluffy on the inside. You don’t want tough spots or greasy texture.
It is difficult to gauge the popcorn kernels that are going to pop without leaving strays behind but some brands are better at this than others. It stops you from breaking a tooth or having to spit out an unpopped kernel so go for popcorn that leaves hardly any kernels behind.
A grain that is artificially flavored isn’t so common but when buying packs with oil, the seasoning can include additives that you might wish they didn’t. Artificial butter is one to look out for as some companies try to improve the taste this way.
The best way to improve the flavor is to do it yourself, at least then you know where it has come from.
Kernels Vs Kernel Packs With Oil
This is all down to personal preference.
On the one hand, kernels on their own might seem a little limited but they provide you with unlimited flavor options. Kernel packs with oil usually come with seasoning so if you just want to chuck everything into your popcorn machine or prepare it for the stove it might be convenient but you have to live with the taste they give you.
In terms of value pure popcorn kernels are often better as you get more ounces for fewer dollars but if you want to take the annoyance out of having to measure your popcorn and oil then the packs are a great option.
Benefits of Making Your Own Popcorn
When it comes to popping popcorn kernels at home, a lot of people aren’t even aware of the various benefits that they are getting. It all starts with being healthy. With 0 trans fats or cholesterol, a large bowl of popcorn is a much healthier snack than a bag of chips or any chocolate.
You get to tailor the ingredients so you can choose health over taste and even use vegan butter if this is a concern for you.
Another reason why making your own popcorn is so good is the price. A pre-flavored popcorn will often cost more than a massive container of kernels that you can use time and again.
Finally, popcorn kernels you make yourself can be flavored the way you like. With various recipes available you can include specific ingredients such as cinnamon or caramel and even replace salt with cheese.
Different Ways of Cooking Popcorn
Using a hot pan and oil cooking popcorn on the stove is one of the most convenient ways because most people have all the equipment they need to get started.
Besides the expensive microwaveable popcorn packs that are fun but don’t give you a lot of value, you can prepare your own microwave snack. Using a paper bag, oil, and popcorn kernels it is easy to do and pops fast.
This is one of the healthier options, as the name suggests it uses hot air so you do not need oil. The popcorn will be dry so this limits the flavor options you have as trying to get salt to stick to dry popcorn is near impossible.
Anyone who owns one of these needs to make sure they are getting the most out of it. You can use one of the kernel and oil packs to get perfect popcorn or tailor your own recipe.
Yellow Popcorn Vs White Popcorn
Some people aren’t even aware there are two options but the well acquainted will swear by one or the other.
Yellow popcorn comes in pearl-shaped kernels that are noticeably larger and have a deep yellow shine to them. When popped they are bigger and are well suited to sweeter flavors.
White popcorn is a lot smaller both in kernel form and when popped and doesn’t have as much of a taste as yellow. This means you can add the likes of salt and butter and enjoy the flavors.
With so many great popcorn kernel products to choose from it can be a bit of a minefield but now you know a little more, you should be able to enjoy perfect popcorn from a reputable brand every time.