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Best Popcorn Kernels – Informational Buyers Guide

Popcorn has long been a staple in movie houses, stadiums, carnivals, and many other fun places. It is easy to make, and also easy to eat with just your fingers. It tastes delicious, and even its mere smell makes you want to already have and eat it.

For a long time, popcorn has been a lot of people’s favorite staple snack, which is why many people has also been on the hunt for the best popcorn kernels.

Different Kinds of Popcorn Kernels

As you browse through the wide selection of popcorn kernels, you may notice that there are different kinds of popcorn kernels. There are different varieties that are divided based on colors, shapes, and sizes.

I have listed down and differentiated the four of the most common kinds of popcorn kernels.

White Popcorn

As the name implies, white popcorn is colored with brilliant white.

It has a neutral and pure popcorn flavor, which makes it excellent for adding seasonings and flavorings.

Yellow Popcorn

Yellow popcorn is colored with a yellow tint, giving it a more buttery appearance. It tastes more flavorful than white popcorn.

Some people claim that the yellow popcorn tastes a tad nutty.

Butterfly Popcorn

Butterfly popcorn, also sometimes called as “snowflake popcorn,” is a kind of popcorn based on its physical characteristic, shape.

It has an irregular shape, and has protruding wings from each popcorn kernel. These wings help better hold seasonings and flavorings.

The butterfly popcorn is generally lighter and tender. It is most commonly used in carnivals and movie theaters.

It is best when consumed fresh, for optimal crunch!

Mushroom Popcorn

Mushroom popcorn is another kind that is based on shape. It has a more defined round shape like the top of a mushroom.

It is also denser and more solid compared to butterfly popcorn.

Because it is less fragile and because of its compact structure, it is ideal for coating with toppings and glazes, without easily getting crumbled.

It can withstand the process of candy-coating and is less prone to crushing.

Choosing the Best Popcorn Kernels

Before buying popcorn kernels, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account. You should look into the popcorn’s size, flavor, characteristics, among many others. You must also take into account your preference and those other people concerned.

Do you like seasoned popcorn, or do you prefer candy-coated popcorn? Do you like smaller popcorn, or do you prefer larger ones? These are just a few considerations to keep in mind. Below is a buying guide to help you choose the best popcorn kernels for you.

1. Size

Kernel size refers to how big the kernel is. It is measures in kernels per grams. This means that the greater the number of kernels per gram, the smaller the size of the kernel.

This kernel size does not necessarily refer to how big the popcorn will be. It is the expansion rate that may give you an idea of how big the popcorn will be when cooked.

2. Expansion Rate

Expansion rate is the measure of number of popcorn produced from an amount of kernels. For instance, a cup of popcorn kernel with an expansion rate of 35 will produce 35 cups of popcorn.

A good quality popcorn kernel has an expansion rate of around 35 to 40, and some may even amazingly exceed that number.

3. Hull

All popcorn has hulls. These are the outer layers of popcorn, that may sometimes get stuck on your teeth. Some popcorns may have more hulls than others.

If you are the type who is not comfortable with picking hulls from the roof of your mouth or from your teeth, popcorn that has less hulls is the best option for you. In general, smaller kernels have thinner and less hulls.

4. Kind/Shape

Your preference will dictate which kind or which shape of popcorn is best for you. If you prefer popcorn that is lighter and more tender, or a popcorn that has seasonings, then butterfly popcorn would be ideal for you.

If you like a denser and more compact popcorn, or a popcorn that is glazed with caramel or chocolate, then mushroom popcorn would be a great option.

5. Moisture Content

The moisture content affects the popping rate and the expansion rate. LoIr moisture content may limit the full potential of popping, thus may produce some unpopped kernels.

On the other hand, higher moisture content may limit the expansion rate of the popcorn kernel, and may also yield chewy popcorn. For maximum popping efficiency and optimal crunchiness, choose a good popcorn kernel that has a moisture content of around 13 to 14.5 percent.

6. Cooking Method

There is a variety of cooking methods for popcorn kernels. Popcorn can be made using a stovetop, a microwave, or a special popcorn machine. Choose the popcorn kernel that can be made with the cooking method available to you.

7 Tips on Making Popcorn

Making popcorn may appear scary at first. You might be hesitant to make popcorn, perhaps because you are worried of flying popcorns as you make them. Worry, not. Here are a few tips on how to keep your popcorn making experience a fun and easy one!

1. Choosing the right ingredients is one of the greatest factors that contribute to the success of making a flavorful, crunchy, and fluffy popcorn. From the type of popcorn, to the choice of oil, all these affect the excellence of your popcorn product.

It is important to, as much as possible, choose popcorn kernels, oil, and other seasonings or flavorings, that are fresh, healthy, safe, and of high quality.

2. Storage of popcorn kernels also affect the quality of the popcorn product. It is best to store popcorn kernels at a room temperature, and in a sealed container. This is to make sure that moisture content is maintained to be constant, and humidity is blocked out.

Storing popcorn kernels in either cold and dry or hot and humid environment, may increase or decrease, respectively, the moisture content. This may lead to a potential growth of molds, or to a possibility of kernels to not be poppable.

3. The ideal temperature to make popcorn is 479 °F.

4. Wait for the oil to sizzle first, before adding the popcorn kernels.

5. If you want to add some seasonings, such as salt, it is best that you season the oil first before adding the popcorn kernels. This will result in popcorns that are more evenly coated with seasonings.

6. If you want to add some more flavorings after popping the kernels, add the flavorings right after you make the popcorn, while it is still hot. The heat helps in the better adherence of the flavorings to the popcorn.

7. If you want to coat your popcorn with caramel or butter without getting soggy, it is suggested that you dry out the popcorn first on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put this in the oven at 300 °F for around 5 to 10 minutes.

Reviews of the Best Popcorn Kernels

**Below, you will find more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer reviews on Amazon.

1. Jolly Time All-in-One Popcorn Kit

JOLLY TIME All in One Kit for 8 oz. Popcorn Machine | Portion Packet with Kernels, Oil and Salt for Commercial, Movie Theater or Air Popper (Net Wt. 10.5 oz. Each, Pack of 36)


The Jolly Time All-in-One Popcorn Kit makes preparing popcorn a quick and easy breezy task. Each packet includes yellow popcorn kernels, and coconut oil and salt that are ideally proportioned for an 8 oz popcorn maker.

Each kit produces around 40 cups of fluffy popcorn. It proudly claims to be non-GMO, gluten-free, and 100% whole grain. This popcorn kit uses high-quality popcorn kernels, and claims to produce a classic theater popcorn taste.

Popping Suggestions: When cooking in microwave, put the kernels in a small paper bag first before heating on high for around 2 minutes.

Product Specifications:

  • Kind: Yellow, Butterfly
  • Cooking Method: popcorn machine
  • 288 oz: 36 packs of 8 oz


  • Kit already comes with salt and oil
  • Great taste — good balance of buttery and savory


  • Can only be popped using a popcorn maker/machine
  • May leave too many unpopped kernels

2. Bob’s Red Mill Whole White Po​​pcorn

Bob's Red Mill Whole White Popcorn, 27 Ounce


This 27-ounces bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole White Popcorn claims to be an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is 100% whole grain and gluten free. You may pop this white popcorn on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in your popcorn machine.

Popping Suggestions: For stovetop popping, 1 cup of popcorn should come with 1 tablespoon of oil placed in a pot. Cover the pot and shake over medium heat until the popping ceases.

Product Specifications:

  • Kind: White, Butterfly
  • Cooking Method: stovetop, microwave, or popcorn maker/machine
  • 27 oz


  • Great pop rate
  • Can be made on a stovetop, in a microwave, or in a popcorn maker


  • Some claimed it to be too chewy, not crunchy enough
  • Relatively small popcorn size

3. Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn

Franklin's Gourmet Movie Theater Popcorn. Organic Popping Corn, 100% Coconut Oil, Seasoning Salt. Pre-Measured Portion Packs (Pack of 24)


No need to worry about measuring popcorn kernels every time you plan to pop some! The Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn includes 14 packs of pre-measured 2-ounces popcorn kernels, with coconut oil and seasoning salt.

In one pack, you have all the essentials needed to make a delicious theater-like popcorn treat in the comforts of your own home. It claims to be natural and non-GMO.

Popping Suggestions: Cook on a 6 quarts stovetop pot or a 2-ounces kettle popcorn machine/popper

Product Specifications:

  • Kind: Yellow, Butterfly
  • Cooking Method: stovetop, microwave, or popcorn maker/machine
  • 48 oz: 24 packs of 2 oz


  • Includes pre-measure oil and seasoning salt
  • Light, crisp and melts in your mouth (instead of sticking to your teeth!)


  • Might be too salty for some tastebuds
  • Some may find coconut oil too overpoIring

4. Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn

Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popcorn Kernels, Original Yellow, 8 lb


Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn boasts this 8-pound pack of yellow popcorn kernel that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

It claims to be light and fluffy at the same time. Its popcorn structure make it ideal to add seasonings, for additional delicious flavor It is also 100% natural, whole grain, non-GMO, and gluten-free!

Popping Suggestions: You may pop in your air or electric popper, or a bowl/pot on the stovetop first before adding some oil or seasoning.

Product Specifications:

  • Kind: Yellow, Butterfly
  • Cooking Method: stovetop, air popper, electric popper
  • 128 oz


  • Big, fluffy popcorn
  • Does not stick to the bottom of the pan


  • A little chewy
  • Some find it stale

5. Bob’s Red Mill White Corn Popcorn

Bob's Red Mill Whole White Popcorn, 27 Oz (4 Pack)


Bob’s Red Mill popcorn claims to make sure that their premium White Corn Popcorn are carefully selected and come only from the best corn crops in the world.

Whole grain, high in fiber, gluten-free, and just 100 calories per serving, this Bob Red Mill’s popcorn makes a healthy snack! It boasts its delightful crunch and delicious rich corn flavor.

Whether on the stovetop, in a popcorn maker, or in a microwave, the kernel blossoms into fluffy popcorn. You may also add seasoning and flavorings, may it be sIet, spicy, or savory.

Popping Suggestions: When cooking in microwave, put the kernels in a small paper bag first before heating on high for around 2 minutes.

Product Specifications:

  • Kind: White, Butterfly
  • Cooking Method: stovetop, popcorn maker, microwave
  • 27 oz


  • Crunchy
  • Great pop rate – almost all kernels pop


  • Small popcorn size
  • May be too dry

The Best Popcorn Kernels

Taking into account the considerations that affect the quality of popcorn product, I believe that the best popcorn kernels is the Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn.

Making popcorn becomes quick and easy, because it already includes a pre-measured oil and salt. It also balances light and crisp. Many people also claim that it also does not stick to your teeth, and instead deliciously melts in your mouth.

Some may find it salty, but you can always choose to not finish the packed oil and salt, especially when you recognize that you have sensitive taste buds.

I hope you found this post helpful, and I would be more than glad if you share this to your popcorn-lover friends! I also would love to hear your comments! Leave us a message below.

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