Popcorns are mysterious, aren’t they? And the ways we make popcorns are also unusual, arent’ they? We make them using microwaves, stoves, air, oil, heat and what not. This article is dedicated to popcorns: what they are, how we make them, how we season them, what are their health benefits, and so forth.
Below, you’ll find the list of the best popping corn kernels and a description for each product. You’ll also find a buyer’s guide that will help you select the best product for your needs. As a bonus, we’ll provide you with some popcorn making recipes and tips (regarding their use and seasoning.)
Best Popping Corn Kernels Comparison Table
|Product||Photo||Type Of Popcorn||Commercial Friendly||Check Price|
|Great Northern Popcorn||Yellow Butterfly||Yes|
|Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn (Originals)||Original Yellow||No|
|Amish Country Popcorn||Baby White||Yes|
|Snappy White Popcorn||Small White||No|
|Jolly Time Popcorn Kernels||Pre-Seasoned Yellow Kernels||Yes|
|Bob’s Red Mill Popcorn||White Popcorn||No|
|Arrowhead Mills Popcorn||White And Yellow||No|
|Paragon Popcorn||Yellow Butterfly||Yes|
|Jolly Time Select Popcorn||Classic Yellow||No|
|Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorns||Yellow||No|
|Hoosier Hill Farm Popcorn||Baby White, Big Mushroom and Gourmet Purple||Yes|
Best Popping Corn Kernels Reviews
Great Northern Popcorn – Best Budget Commercial Popcorn Kernels
You can buy Great Northern Popcorn in 2.5, 4 and 8-ounce packaging. These popcorns are made for commercial and home use because they pop in commercial kettles, electric poppers, air poppers, and good old stovetop. The GNP popcorns are packed in a frustration-free bag, ideal for those who are in a hurry to make a new batch.
According to GNP, their popcorns are sold at MLB games, church and school events, vendors, movie theaters and other social gatherings. They are free of trans fats and supposedly have zero cholesterol. These popcorns are pre-seasoned with a bit of salt and buttered.
It is difficult not to recommend these popcorns due to their quality, taste, and popping consistency. And, GNP popcorns are inexpensive compared to some other products on our list. And even though you can buy less expensive items on our list, the GNP popcorns are (according to our opinion) the best product for commercial use.
And just because we recommend these popcorns for commercial use, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them in your home. They have that “theatrical” taste and scent attached to them, and you’ll undoubtedly feel as if you are in a movie theater.
Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn (Originals) – Best Seasoning-Free Popping Kernel
The Orville Redenbacher’s popcorns are tasty and health-oriented. They are labeled as non-GMO and gluten-free kernels. These popcorns also arrive in neat packaging and can be purchased in 5 lbs12-oz or 8-pound package.
Orville Redenbacher bet on quality and integrity. The company has been making these popcorns for more than 50 years, and they claim that the quality kernels are the only reason why managed to stay in business. They also use real butter which does add a lot of class to their popcorn.
And as we already said, these popcorns are health-oriented:
You can use these popcorns for commercial reasons; there’s no denying it. However, we doubt that the managers of Orville Redenbacher produce their popcorns for this specific purpose. To tell you the truth, these popcorns and everything about them (packaging, scent, taste, etc.) scream “home use!”
The ones we tested were labeled as Original Yellow Gourmet popcorn, with no seasoning. But, you can opt for other Orville Redenbacher popcorns that are buttered, salted or sweetened. And, you can pair them with Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil that is richer and more flavored than your standard oil.
If you are looking for old-school and seasoning-free popcorns, you should probably try Orville Redenbacher. They will expand accordingly, smell nice and won’t burn during the popping process. And once they are done, add any flavor you like and enjoy a movie night with your family!
Amish Country Popcorn – Best White Popcorn Kernels
The Amish Country Popcorn is one of the best and (surprisingly) least expensive popcorns on our list. These are ideal health popcorns, labeled as non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
These are extra small popcorns, perfect for people who usually have problems digesting large popcorns. And since they are small, they won’t be stuck in between your teeth that frequently. On top of all this, you also get a recipe handbook with 15 popcorn making recipes.
These are high-quality kernels, made by the Lehman family in Indiana. They use no toxins and chemicals during the growing process, and they add no additives during packaging. They are also an excellent choice for people with allergies. And, you can pop them via any popcorn kernel popping method.
Those who are looking for a healthy alternative to potato or tortilla chips should definitely try the Amish Country Popcorn. You could also include (in your order) the Amish Country butter that is far healthier and natural than your everyday store butter.
Regarding texture: Amish Country popcorns are more crunchy than they are chewy. They are soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. These popcorns hit an excellent sweet spot between softness and crunchiness, which is why we recommend them to all homeowners that like or would like to try white popcorns.
Snappy White Popcorn – Best Easy-To-Pop Popcorn
Aside from having a very cool name, Snappy White popcorns are healthy, tasty and fresh. Made in Iowa, these white or yellow (depending on your choice) popcorns arrive in a neat glass jar that preserves their freshness and extends their shelf life.
You can make snappy popcorns using any popping method, from microwave to stovetop. As we said, you can choose between white and yellow popcorns; whites are smaller and tastier (in our opinion) than yellow ones.
Snappy popcorns pop easily and consistently. Again, white kernels are small and won’t give you that “movie theater” popcorn feeling, but they’ll pop consistently with plenty of nooks and splits. They are lightly salted, so make sure that you go easy on the seasoning once they pop (unless you like to season a lot of salt on your popcorn.)
If you are looking for taste and crunchiness than go, you should at least try these popcorns. But, if you are looking for texture and size, go for some other brand. It is also worth mentioning that Snappy popcorns have zero trans and saturated fats.
Most importantly, these popcorns have little to no hulls once you pop them, which is excellent news for people that don’t want to spend a few hours trying to remove shells from their teeth! As a bonus, you’ll have a quality-made jar once you finish your batch of Snappy popcorns. Cool right?
Jolly Time Popcorn Kernels – Best Commercial Yellow Popcorn Kernels
Those that seek inexpensive and all-in-one popcorns should pause for a moment and consider the possibility of trying the Jolly Time popcorns. These theater-like popcorns are already seasoned and buttered; all you need to do is unpack and pop them.
These are whole grain popcorn kernels, GMO-free and free of trans and saturated fats. Jolly Time package contains these ingredients:
- Yellow popcorns
- Coconut oil
What this means is that you don’t necessarily need to add any other seasoning if you don’t want to.
Because these popcorns are ready to eat (so to speak), they are an excellent item for commercial use. Specifically, both movie theaters and popcorn vendors can benefit from the fact that these popcorns require no additional preparation or seasoning. Homeowners can use them too, especially if they like salted yellow popcorns.
The Jolly Time company exists for over a century and has, since its founding, aimed for quality over quantity. Their packaging is also very convenient and frustration-free, which is convenient for those that are in a rush of making another batch. You can opt for 6, 8 and 16-ounce package deal; the 6 and 8-ounce packages contain 36 packs of all in one popcorn, and 16-ounce package features 16 packs.
Naturally, if you want to buy these popcorns for commercial use, go for the 16-ounce deal. These popcorns are very yummy and inexpensive, and there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t recommend them to anyone. We would also like to commend the perfect balance between salt, oil, and popcorn, which makes cleanup a lot more convenient. And, your customers won’t struggle with oil-drenched popcorns!
Bob’s Red Mill Popcorn – Best Popcorns For Your Health
The Bob’s Red Mill popcorns are one of the healthiest popcorns on our list. These white popcorns are crunchy, fluffy and delicious, and pop best when you make them on a stovetop or in a microwave.
Those who seek gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and kosher white popcorns should try the Bob’s Red Mill ones. These are whole grain kernels, with no additives, no chemical alternations or flavors, and they have no added salt or oil. Most importantly, these popcorns are an excellent source of fibers that are beneficial for your health.
When they pop, these popcorns pertain that crunchy taste and corny flavor and are extremely mild on your stomach. And if you want to spice them up a little bit, you can always add butter, sugar, salt and what not. Each kernel is harvested with care and only when the corn has fully matured. And note that you can choose between white and yellow Bob’s Red Mill popcorns.
The bad news is that these popcorns are a bit more expensive than most other products on our list. The bags are pretty massive, and many suggested that you store these popcorns in the fridge to keep the original freshness.
Arrowhead Mills Popcorn – Best Organic Popcorn Kernels
The Arrowhead Mills produces 100% organic corn kernels and sell them for a fairly reasonable price. You can choose between white and yellow popcorns; some suggested that Arrowhead Mills yellow popcorns are much better than their white popcorn.
Whether you go for white or yellow, these popcorns are non-GMO, Kosher certified and organically certified. They are low in fat (only 1%), but you should know that these aren’t trans or saturated fats. They are also a great source of dietary fibers and could have a beneficial effect on your health (compared to potato chips and other snacks.)
These corn kernels are produced in Texas since 1960. The Arrowhead Mills company (which offers these popcorns) claims that the company has grown but didn’t change its policy. They work with organic farmers and growers only, ensuring that the growers get what they need and that customers receive a premium product.
We would say that the most significant advantage of the Arrowhead Mills popcorn is that they are organic and healthy. And, this is an American company that works with local farmers, growers, and distributors. And critically, they taste lovely.
And one last thing; we suggest that you go with the white popcorns, mostly due to the way they taste. Yes, they aren’t quite voluminous as yellow popcorns, and they are a tad more expensive, but they are more enjoyable and tasteful.
Paragon Popcorn – Most Delicious Yellow Butterfly Popcorn
Paragon popcorns are for aim for taste and taste only. These yellow popcorn kernels pop and turn into yellow butterflies, and feel crunchy and crispy. And these popcorns aren’t too chewy either, which tends to be the problem for most other yellow popcorns.
You can purchase these popcorns in giant bags (12.5 lbs bags) and use them for commercial purposes. They are also reasonably inexpensive; inexpensive, not cheap. These popcorns taste and pop good, but they are unattractive to health enthusiasts.
The Paragon (the company that offers these popcorns) suggest that you use these popcorn kettles with coconut oil, and then flavor them with salted butter to get that theater popcorn effect. And these popcorns could (perhaps even should) be used in homes and theaters. We could argue that they have fats, but these are not saturated fats. Moreover, these are the ones that can be beneficial for your heart, but this also depends on individual health.
If you are looking for cost-effective yellow popcorn kernels, consider using Paragon Popcorns. Note that you can pop them via any known method, but we suggest using the good old coconut oil to achieve that notable scent and crispy texture.
Jolly Time Select Popcorn – Most Cost-Effective Corn Kernels
Jolly Time Select Popcorns are yellow, large and fluffy. They are also the most inexpensive popcorns on our list. You can buy this product in the packages of 3, 6 and 12 jars (each jar containing 30 ounces of yellow kernels.)
Jolly Time Select popcorns are both grown, selected and packaged in the USA. The packaging is more than good because the jars allow you to extend the freshness of the popcorn. Also, once you eat all the popcorn, you are left with a quality jar that you can use to store wheat, vegetables, homemade oil, and so forth.
They are non-GMO and free of saturated and trans fats (but not all fats; 2% fats.) You can pop them via any popcorn popping methods, season them with salted butter and then munch on like a beast. And, you’ll supply yourself with a substantial amount of beneficial dietary fats and proteins.
They pop very smoothly and evenly and leave you with fewer corn shells. If you are looking for longevity and shelf life, we suggest that you try these popcorns. The jars are well sealed and help ensure that kernels keep their moisture and pop at the same time with other seeds.
Some customers have complained about the chewy texture of some batches. To be fair, all yellow kernels tend to be chewier than the white kernels. The packaging, however useful and beneficial for the homeowners, might be too bulky for commercial users. But if you are looking for the affordable price and most cost-effective popcorns, then Jolly Time Select Popcorns are your brand.
Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorns – Best Yellow Popcorn For Increasing Fiber Intake
Trader Joe’s organic popcorns are loaded with fibers and abide by organic standards. These popcorns are also free of sodium and trans fats and contain no ingredients other than the organic popping corn.
The Trader Joe’s popping kernels are one of the most expensive items on our list, mostly because they contain a high number of dietary fibers. Those that like their popcorns crispy and extensive with a natural popcorn smell, then these might your popcorns.
Some customers pointed out that packaging is very confusing when stating the expiration date. In short, if you are interested in this product’s expiry date, look at the official Trader Joe’s stamp on the front of the product. And even though these popcorns are expensive, they also pop and expand extensively.
Regardless of what popping method you use, this corn will expand rapidly within the short period because these are organic and whole-grain popping kernels. It is essential that you close the bag properly, and that you keep the pack of these corns in the dark and dry place. Some also suggest that you could store this corn in the fridge (even in a freezer on a long-term basis, but more on that in our buyer’s guide.)
And you should know that the preparation of these popcorns is excellent for beginners. They are light and pop evenly, and don’t require that you add any oils for popping, so feel free to use other popping methods too.
Fireworks Popcorn Gourmet Popping Corn – Best Variety Popping Kernels
The Fireworks Popcorn gave us the most versatile package of popcorn: each order contains a pack of 10 bottles, and each bottle contains a unique type of popping kernels (with each bottle containing 15 ounces of corn.)
Some of the popcorns Fireworks includes are Sunset Fire Popcorn, Red River Vally Popcorn, Harvest Blend Popcorn, and so forth. These are also all non-GMO popcorns, as well as nutritious and tasteful. These popcorns have not been (and will not be) cross-bred and altered. Fireworks Popcorn argues that genetic alteration changes not only the quality of the popcorn but the environment from which specific popcorn grows.
They haven’t been pre-seasoned or boosted with supplements of any sorts. If you are new to popcorns and would like to find your ideal brand, then we definitely suggest Fireworks Popcorns. I mean, with this purchase, you get access to white, yellow, mixed and other types of popcorn for a reasonable price.
Some have even suggested that these popcorns are an excellent gift to people that enjoy snacks (not necessarily popcorns.) And for what it’s worth, these popcorns don’t contain trans fats or saturated fats and have incredibly high dietary fiber quantities. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay a lot of USD for these popcorns, but we feel that it is worth it, especially if you are
Hoosier Hill Farm Popcorn – Best Microwave Popcorn
The Hoosier Hill Farm popcorns arrive in a neatly designed and re-seal bag to preserve freshness and inspire crunchiness. These popcorns and exceptionally high in fibers. They also have a substantial amount of antioxidants, which is why people buy it.
These popcorns are also high in protein, so feel free to eat them to increase your protein intake (especially if you workout.) Hoosier Hill Farm popcorns are butterfly popcorns and are excellent for turning a boring night into an exciting movie night. They are voluminous and soft, maybe even a bit chewy (according to some people.)
You can choose between Big Mushroom and Baby White types, and they both pop evenly. We’ve noticed that some people complained about the air opening method not working quite effectively with these popcorns. But, most people have agreed that these corns are perfect for those that seek microwave poppšing kernels.
You can then season them or just munch on as they pop (you can buy a pre-seasoned batch.) These popcorns are also an excellent choice for people that don’t eat popcorns that frequently. As we said, the bag can be resealed (using a sealing mechanism on the top) and thus keep the moisture in the bag. So seal it properly and make sure that you get your money’s worth.
Three Ways Of Making A Batch Of Best Popcorns In Your Life
There is more than enough way to make a corn kernel pop and turn into popcorn. Below, you’ll find that we’ve included three methods: Hot Air Popper, microwave and good old stovetop. Hope you’ll enjoy it.
Method #1: Hot Air Popper
Making popcorns with hot air poppers is reasonably straightforward. Each popper has its volume limit, and you need to ensure that you don’t exceed that limit if you want even popping. Once you add in the desired kernel count, close the top lid and turn on the pepper.
You’ll hear a loud noise and notice that the popcorns are circulating centrifugally and slowly warming up. Once they reach a critical point, kernels will start to pop, cast the shell and turn into popcorn.
Method #2: Microwave
A microwave is another easy-to-use method of making popcorn. Most often than not and regardless of your microwave brand and model, you place kernels in a sealed brown bag and add oil.
Now it is questionable whether oil is necessary for this method. Oil not only adds flavor but also ensures that kernels heat and pop. We certainly suggest adding oil (mostly coconut) and seasoning to every popcorn that isn’t pre-seasoned (but that’s just us.)
Method #3: Stovetop
Now, these were easier and beginner’s methods; but what about stovetop popping? Stovetop method requires a bit more involvement, finesse, and technique. For starters, you will need a pan. General use says that you should use a deep pan with a lid. You could also put an aluminum foil over your pan, but that’s genuinely old school (and somewhat dangerous!)
When the oil is heated to a desired level, you add the popcorn kernels in, close the lid and start shaking. Keep in mind that the kernels will expand, so please, make sure that you leave enough space for that “popping” process. It would be great if the lid had an opening on the top to ensure that the air leaves the pan. If not, you’ll occasionally have to let some of the air out to release the moisture out.
Alas (and this is really important) you turn off the stove when the kernels start popping. When you are satisfied with the amount of popped kernels, you can remove the lid and watch the potential popping straggler.
Best Popcorn Kernel Buyer’s Guide
In this section, we will drop some knowledge bombs regarding popcorns, their popularity, use, and value. We hope that this guide will help you better understand the popcorn culture, and how you can use specific rules to find out your favorite brand and type.
On Types Of Kernels
As we already mentioned sometime during this article, different types of popcorn kernels differ in shape, size, color, and so forth.
Butterfly kernels are you everyday commercial popcorns. Movie theaters and vendors often use these popcorns for their size caused by rapid and broad expansion.
If you have ever been in a movie theater and ate their popcorn, you now know that those were most probably butterfly kernels. They are more extensive and often less expensive, which is excellent if you are selling popcorn in cups.
Mushroom kernels are rounder, smaller, denser and generally crunchier than the butterfly kernels. Mushroom kernels are usually more expensive than Butterfly kernels, which is why most commercial owners avoid using them for business purposes.
These kernels are ideal for family gatherings or other similar social purposes. And if you have kids, then you should probably go with Mushroom kernels so that your kids can grab & eat them conveniently.
Seasoned Or Season-Free?
There are benefits to both options. Many people go with the pre-seasoned popcorns because they like the convenience and the simplicity of it. Also, many pre-seasoned popcorn brands are packaged for microwave-ready packs.
While we do agree that it is helpful to pop & much your popcorns immediately, adding your seasoning is so much more exciting and delicious.
Pro tip #1: Add Season While It’s Hot
The most important thing about seasoning your popcorns is that you do it while the popcorns are hot. Why? Well, because the seasoning will adhere better to the surface of the popcorns.
Most people mix their popcorn with oil, butter, salt, and some even choose spicier seasoning like paprika (why the heck not, right?!)
Freshness is a big thing in the popcorn world. Why? As we already said it in this article, corn kernels need to keep their moisture if you want to eat crunchy and tasty popcorns. Since freshness is so important for popcorns, you have to make sure that you seal the bag or jar properly.
Also, if you plan on eating popcorns over an extended period, perhaps you should store it in the fridge or freezer. We recommend that you keep your unpopped kernels in glass jars with a quality lid.
What Is All This Non-GMO, Organic And Fat-Free Mess?
One thing you must understand about popcorns is that they are one of the healthiest snacks you could eat. But, to ensure that you eat a healthy snack, the distributors and farmers need to ensure that they don’t crossbreed or change the genetical structure of the kernels.
You’ll also see that most popcorns on our list are free of trans-fats and saturated fats. Some have fats, but those fats aren’t necessarily bad for your health. We always suggest that you go for the organic kernels, but every other choice is up to you.
If you struggle with allergies, you can go with vegetarian or kosher popcorns. If you want to increase your intake of fibers or protein, then go with the popcorns that have high quantities of mentioned chemical compounds.
What Are Hull-less Kernels?
First, we need to establish one fact: there’s no such thing as a hull-less kernel. Every kernel is essentially a type of corn, a particular subculture of corn family that we call popcorns. And when every kernel pops, it naturally casts off a shell (or hull.)
But if you are looking for nearly hull-less kernels, then you should almost always go with the white mushroom kernels. They are smaller, which means that their shells are much smaller and won’t stick in your teeth so frequently.
Here, you can take a look at some of the most critical questions and answers regarding popping kernels. You can use this section to acquire all the fundamental knowledge regarding corn kernels.
OIl/Butter Or No Oil/Butter?
Traditionally, yes. People always did and most probably always will make their popcorns with oil and butter. However, some contemporary manufacturers make popcorns that require no oils or butter for popping.
What Should I Look For In My Popcorns?
Various things: color, shape, and taste. Also, you could look at the dietary value of specific popcorns. Our list showed that some popcorns have higher quantities of fibers, proteins, and other beneficiary elements. You should also make sure that you buy popcorns with excellent packaging.
How To Prolong Freshness?
Seal it accordingly; bag or a jar, seal it properly. Cool it in a fridge for more extended periods, and freeze for extra extended usability.
Should I Add Flavour To My Popcorns?
Well, we encourage people to add oil and butter during popping process and sprinkled seasoning once the kernels pop. People commonly add pepper, salt, buttered salt, coconut oil, olive oil, sugar, dyes, and so forth.
Pro Tip #2: Develop Your Favorite Salty And Sweet Mix
You don’t have to make your popcorn spicy or salty. Instead, why not and sweetener (healthy ones)? Of course, these popcorns won’t be as healthy as your regular popcorns, but they’ll be unique and tasty.
Pro Tip #3: Experiment
If you are new to the world of popcorns, we suggest you go with something like Fireworks Popcorn. Now, we aren’t saying that these are the popcorns you must get, but that you look for packages and deals that include and offer several different types of popcorns.
The only way you find your favorite taste, type or brand is by experimenting. Also, a significant factor in making tasty popcorns is seasoning, so experiment with seasoning too to find your sweet spot.
If this article showed us one thing, it is that the popcorn culture and industry is more than vibrant, especially in the USA. We have an extraordinary relationship to popcorn and movie theaters, which is why most of us go for the classic yellow popcorns.
But, don’t forget to try white popcorns too, especially if you are looking for hull-less kernels and crunchy texture. We know that this article was quite extensive, but don’t forget that we gathered the best popping kernels that are currently available on the market.
And if you did pay attention to what we were saying in our product reviews and buyer’s guide, you’ll undoubtedly have the knowledge to make the right choice and buy the popcorns you truly want.