Does Freezing Popcorn Make It Pop Better?

Movie night isn't the same without munching on some delicious popcorn. Considering that the family activity can also be a spur of the moment thing, it would be wise to have some of these corn kernels in stock, right? But how will you ensure their freshness? Will freezing popcorn make it pop better? We care about this topic as much as you do that's why we did all the necessary research and here's what we found out.

Freezing unpopped kernels will not make them pop better. Sometimes moisture is lost along the way and this is an important factor in making the kernels expand and pop. It is still best to keep them sealed tightly at room temperature for optimum popping. You can freeze popped corn though and they will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Continue reading to learn more about the proper storage of these corn kernels, both popped and unpopped. We'll also share with you some useful tips on how to rehydrate your popcorn so that it won't go to waste and you can enjoy it during your TV series marathon.


Uncooked Popcorn kernels background above view. Does Freezing Popcorn Make It Pop Better

How does Popcorn Pop?

Popcorn is a well-loved snack. It's so easy to prepare. Once it pops, you can put in some salt, butter, and cheese and it's the perfect snack for all occasions. Some even go through great lengths to level up their popcorn game with white cheddar, peanut butter, chocolate, maple, and all sorts of flavors!

Popcorn has a dense starchy interior and a hard exterior. There's a small amount of moisture inside and it has to be maintained so that the kernels can pop. When heated, the water inside the kernel expands and builds pressure until the corn pops. Once it bursts, the corn kernel is turned inside out which is how we see our popcorn as we eat it.

Does frozen popcorn pop better?

Does Freezing Popcorn Make It Pop Better

Remember these corn kernels have some amount of moisture inside them? And this moisture is essential in making the corn pop, right? Some experts say that this is also the reason why they won't do well in the freezer.

If not stored properly, moisture can be lost and the corn kernels won't pop anymore. The most recommended storage for unpopped corn is inside an airtight container and placed in a cool and dry place such as your cupboard or pantry. This will ensure that it stays moist and ready to pop when you need some quick snacks for TV nights.

What happens if you freeze popcorn?

Putting popcorn in the freezer doesn't necessarily make it frozen. If you know the secret to the proper freezer storage of popcorn, you will be able to make it stay fresh longer. How so, you ask? Popcorn stays fresh in cold storage because it doesn't have any contact with outside air. Thus, freezing popcorn helps it to retain its moisture which is the key to its freshness.

Don't worry, we'll let you in on this secret. For popped corn, make sure that it has cooled down completely before placing it inside an airtight container. You can also transfer it to a freezer bag, but make sure you press out any excess air before sealing it. No outside air and sealed tightly inside the freezer, it'll be able to maintain its moisture. You can expect your popcorn to stay fresh for 3 months! Although we doubt it'll stay that long inside the freezer, right?

For unpopped corn, some producers are saying that they can be kept in the freezer, too. Just make sure that you remove any excess air before sealing the freezer bag. You can also cover the kernels with multiple layers of plastic wrap before putting them inside the zip-top bag. This way, moisture will be retained inside the corn despite the dry environment of the freezer. This will alleviate concerns regarding them drying out.

Can you freeze popcorn kernels to keep them fresh?

According to popcorn experts, you can freeze popcorn kernels but they might not taste the same once you cook them. They say that the corn kernels will lose their moisture and become dry. When this happens, it will be difficult for them to pop since the moisture inside the kernels is the one responsible for making the corn expand and then pop. The essence of your popcorn will be lost when you freeze popcorn kernels.

To keep your kernels fresh, it's best to keep them in an airtight container and put them in a cool and dry place such as your pantry and cupboard. They will be able to maintain their moisture and taste for months to come.

How long can you store unpopped popcorn?

With the right storage, unpopped corn kernels can stay fresh indefinitely. But of course, experts recommend that you consume them within 6 to 12 months so that you can be sure that they're at their best quality. They say that it's possible for popcorn to lose its ability to pop the longer it is kept in storage.

For long-term storage, transfer serving-size portions into food storage bags. These resealable bags are made of non-toxic and durable materials. They will be able to protect your kernels from air and light. For best results, put oxygen absorber packs inside each bag to make sure that they stay fresh for long.

Check out these Mylar food storage bags on Amazon.

Click here to find these oxygen absorber packets on Amazon. 

Can popcorn kernels be rehydrated?

Here's the good news when you've got popcorn kernels that have gone dry. You can rehydrate them to rejuvenate your old kernels and they'll be popping again. Here's how to do it:

  1. Get a jar with a lid and put your old kernels inside.
  2. For every cup of popcorn, put a teaspoon of distilled or spring water.
  3. Close the jar tightly.
  4. Shake well so that the water is evenly distributed all throughout.
  5. Let it sit for 1 day so that the kernels will absorb the water.
  6. If they are still too dry the following day, repeat steps 2–5.
  7. If the kernels get too wet, pour them out on a plate with a paper towel so that they will dry a little bit.

Take note that your corn kernels need about 14% moisture so that they'll pop properly. They need to be just a little moist—not too dry and definitely not too wet.

do you need to thaw frozen popcorn?

The thing about putting popcorn in the freezer is that it never really freezes. This means you can start munching your popped corn kernels as soon as you take it out of the freezer.

For unpopped corn kernels, you can cook them straight from the freezer. No need for thawing! But you'll notice that frozen kernels let out more steam as you're cooking. Go ahead and put on your favorite toppings to enjoy a delicious treat.

Final Thoughts

Remember, you can freeze popped corn so that you can enjoy its freshness for months. But since freezing unpopped popcorn doesn't make it pop better, it's best to keep fresh popcorn kernels in an airtight container and store them in a cool and dry place where you can expect them to maintain their best quality for up to a year. Keep on munching!

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