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htc 08-09-2005 06:51 PM

Popcorn Question
I love popcorn. I have one of those air poppers that I usually use. I bought a bag of kernels from the grocery store (don't know what brand). It doesn't pop up pretty like the stuff at the movie theatres. Does anyone know why? I've tried doing this on the stove w/ oil and same results. I bought a jar of prepopped carmel corn from costco and those kernels are HUGE. What's the difference & how can I know I'm buying the stuff that will make the big kernels? Could my popcorn be stale??


kadesma 08-09-2005 08:44 PM

htc, i love popcorn, and have found many different type. My favorite is one I got at cost plus, it's a red kernel and when popped is just so tasty it needs only a tiny bit of salt, BUT the kernels are small..The type your looking for I'm not sure of, but I do keep my popcorn in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerato..I hope someone else knows which one your looking for. I never by those ones that go in the microwave, but my kids do and the kernels in those are a lot bigger than mine.


jpmcgrew 08-13-2005 07:45 PM

:smile: I once read somewhere that if they dont pop well they may be too dry.Try taking some kernels and sprinkle with a few drops of water in a ziploc roll them around wait a day or so the try popping, let me know how it turns out.

auntdot 09-02-2005 05:57 PM

Hi jcmpgrew, I sort of remember reading that as popcorn ages its kernel cracks letting out the water. Rehydrating it might work but seems more likely that the cracks would let out the steam as readily as they let it out, and the kernel would not pop.

But it would be an interesting experiment to try.

Personally, have to admit I like the grannies, particularly those that are just a bit popped.

But I believe the problem with htc's kernels is that they were just old.

Zereh 09-02-2005 06:28 PM


Originally Posted by auntdot
Personally, have to admit I like the grannies, particularly those that are just a bit popped.

Took me a second to figure out what you meant by grannies! hehe We refer to them as "old maids". hehe Makes perfect sense now!

Claire 09-03-2005 02:00 PM

I'm with Aunt Dot -- probably was old when you bought it. I broke a tooth recently so haven't been able to eat popcorn for ages, and I love it so! I personally simply buy Orvilles -- beautiful all the time, with fewer "old maids". I didn't care for the air popper. Not so much that I missed the oil per se, but that the salt wouldn't stick to the popcorn, and I'm a devoted salt-a-holic. Without salt it's just packing material, IMO.

Claire 09-03-2005 02:04 PM

Oh, my favorite snack. Something Mom used to make for us in a huge paper grocery bag, especially for when we were going to the drive-in movies. Just a huge pot of popcorn, tossed with fritos, cheetos, potato chips. Lots of salt. Yumm, yumm. We were allowed very little junk food, and that was usually plain potato chips. So getting those fritos and cheetos and maybe barbecue flavor chips was such a treat. We'd sprawl in the back of the station wagon, and Mom & Dad would hope like heck we'd fall asleep after the first feature so they could enjoy the more "adult" feature later (not porn, folks, just stuff like The Pink Panter and The Cardinal, which they'd prefer we slept through after seeing "Beach Blanket Bingo." Oh, don't forget the huge thermos full of kool-aid!

Tater Tot 09-06-2005 01:16 AM

pop corn
A popcorn kernel is actually a seed. Like other seeds, inside it has a tiny plant embryo (a life form in its earliest phase). The embryo is surrounded by soft, starchy material that would give the embryo energy for growing into a plant. A hard, glossy shell protects the outside of the seed.

The soft, starchy material holds some water. When the kernel is heated to a high heat (400 degrees F), the water inside the kernel turns into steam. The pressure from the steam causes the kernel to explode. The soft starch inside bursts out at about 40 times its original size, turning the kernel inside out. This creates the fluffy white area of a popped kernel.

The ideal popcorn kernel contains about 14 percent moisture. If the popcorn is much drier, it will not pop. Popcorn kernels should be kept in a tightly sealed jar so that they will not dry out.

Range-Top Popping
To pop popcorn on a range-top, assemble the following:
  • a 3- to 4-quart pan with a loose lid that allows steam to escape
  • at least enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan, one kernel deep
  • 1/3 cup of oil for every cup of kernels (Don't use butter!)
Heat the oil to 400 - 460 degrees Fahrenheit (if the oil smokes, it is too hot). Test the oil on a couple of kernels. When they pop, add the rest of the popcorn, cover the pan and shake to evenly spread the oil. When the popping begins to slow, remove the pan from the stove-top. The heated oil will still pop the remaining kernels.

Pre-salting kernels toughens popcorn. So, salt the popcorn after it has been popped -- or skip salt altogether and add salt-free spices.
So what's the best way to store popcorn? Airtight containers -- plastic or glass -- are your best bet to avoid moisture loss, especially when stored in a cool place like a cupboard. Avoid the refrigerator. Some say the cold storage makes the popcorn taste better, but many refrigerators contain little moisture and can dry out kernels.*

The ToT

(* taken from internet sources)

htc 09-06-2005 10:14 AM

Thanks! I will toss out my old stuff and try again. :)

tancowgirl2000 09-06-2005 11:51 AM

My ma always kept her popcorn in the freezer, never made much sense to me but now that I read the above it rather does....freeze the moisture, it aint gonna go no where....

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