How to Choose The Best Popcorn Kernels? Your Options To Choose From

best popcorn kernels

One of the favorite snacks of many is popcorn, but finding the best popcorn kernels available in the market today might be a bit challenging. You have a wide variety of options to choose from, and all these options could be confusing in some ways. Long drives, get-togethers, picnics, and movies are just some of the occasions where a bag of popcorn is indeed a great idea.

Quick Comparison: Top 5 Best Popcorn Kernels

For a glance at the best options to choose from, consider this table below:

Reviews Of The Best Popcorn Kernels

Knowing that there are a lot of options when buying popcorn, we reviewed some of the best brands on the market to help you come to a good decision. Here are some reviews to consider:

Best Pick For Your Health

Those that are looking for popcorn kernels that will offer some health benefits will find this one to be an excellent choice. Also, this one is perfect for those with certain cultural and religious concerns.

This oblong shaped package has hulls that are bright white and creates popcorn of the same color. The kernels will also pop well in a hot air popper.

Even though this product is a great choice, it might not pop well with heated oil since its hulls could remain attached to the kernels.

Via Amazon

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Along with that, this product is 100% whole grain, gluten-free and high in fiber. It is also a good pick for vegetarians. When talking about healthy popcorn options, this brand is definitely on top.


  • Hulls remain attached to the kernels
  • Fluffy texture
  • Doesn’t have any tough or chewy spots


  • Easy to tear and flimsy plastic bag
  • Doesn’t work well with oil
  • Difficult to pour out of the plastic bag

Best Pick For Big Group Of People

Big families or groups of friends who want to enjoy as much popcorn as they could without hurting their budget will take a liking to this one.

Orville Redenbacher is a brand of popcorn which packs round and yellow kernels. Since their packs are huge, they are ideal for people who like to eat popcorn often or make them in very large batches.

Along with that, the kernels are light, fluffy and are shaped and sized uniformly. They pop the best with DIY microwave bags or in hot oil.

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The popcorn from these kernels are crispy on the outside but tender inside. They work well with an air popper, a stovetop or an electric popper. The kernels are 100% natural, whole grain, gluten-free, and non-GMO product.


  •  Kernels are easy to pour out
  • Non-GMO certified and grown without pesticides


  • Some kernels might not pop
  • Large jar making it hard to store

Best Pick For Popcorn In Variety Of Sizes

You might be looking for popcorn products that are available in different sizes, right? If so, then this Paragon Bulk Bag Yellow Popcorn is the best fit for what you are looking for.

This one comes in a large bag which is so bulky so you might need another container if you plan to store it in the pantry properly. The kernels are yellow, oblong, and uniform in shape.

They pop equally well both on the stovetop and in the microwave. If cooked in oil, they might have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.

Apart from that, the popped kernels are pretty big - they measure between a nickel and a quarter in diameter.

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The popcorn pieces are huge, but they might be too dry if popping them with hot air. Nevertheless, this is a premium quality product.


  • Kernels get nicely coated with the seasoning​​​
  • Kernels hold butter and some other seasonings
  • Popcorn do not get soggy
  • Affordable
  • Very easy to use
  • Offered in variety of sizes
  • Cost-effective popping


  • Hard to store and handle
  • Can turn stale fast if not kept in a closed container
  • Very chewy and tough

Best Pick For The Price

If looking for a popcorn kernel that offers great taste along with seasonings already included that is also affordable, the check out this product from Wabash Family Farms.

Kernels have a rounded shape which is helpful if you plan to pop them on the stove or by using the DIY microwave method.

There is a pre-measured amount of coconut oil as well as a seasoning in each bag. The yellow kernels also have no trans-fat or cholesterol.

Aside from that, the kernels come in 6-pound bags which ideal for making significant quantities of popcorn.

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These are considered as some of the most tender and smallest kernels in the market today. They greatly resemble an old variety known as the Japanese hull-less. The result is tender, tasty, and very enjoyable to eat.


  • Not greasy
  • Seasonings are included


  • Not for those who do not love coconut oil
  • Too salty for some
  • Butter might not stick well
  • Could easily become stale if not stored properly

Best Pick For Stovetop And Microwave

If you don’t have a popcorn maker or a machine, then this product is a great choice since it works best microwaves and the stovetops.

Snappy Popcorn kernels will produce a great tasting as well as crunchy popcorn.

Even though stovetop popcorn is delicious, you have to watch it closely since it might easily burn. The popcorn sodium sticks a lot better compared to regular salt because it could be ground a bit more finely.

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This one will last long and is a lot cheaper than buying those pre-made bags of popcorns. You can use it on the stove and all the kernels will pop. It also has a container that is simple to open and free from any mess.


  • Cheap and healthy
  • Great quality and taste
  • Perfect for stovetop and microwave


  • Big container that is hard to store
  • Big container that is hard to store




9.5 x 4 x 8 inches


14 x 6 x 6 inches

4 x 6 x 8 inches

7 x 7 x 14 inches


27 Ounce

5 Pound 12 Ounce

12.5 Pounds

2-Pound Bag

4 pounds



















My Rating

More Details

What Are The Types Of Popcorn Kernels?

There are two types of popcorn kernels, and they are referred to as butterfly popcorn and mushroom popcorn. The butterfly popcorn is as also known as snowflakes, and this is the type that most people know about. They are light, small and very crunchy. Furthermore, this popcorn can be flavored with butter, chili powder, and salt.


On the other hand, the mushroom popcorn is beautiful to look at because they are perfectly round. Since they are larger and have a lot more of surface area, they can be coated with caramel or even chocolate.

How Are They Made?

There is a long and arduous process that popcorn kernels  go through before getting to you. The three main stages are the cultivation and harvesting, production and packaging, and distribution.

First, corn strains must be explicitly selected for the production of popcorn; then, corn seeds or shoots are planted carefully. Due to its light weight, corn is susceptible to intense weather changes, strong winds, and pressure, so planting it in humid seasons is mandatory.


When it is fully grown, the corn is harvested. This has to be done before winter since it wouldn’t withstand very cold temperatures. After that, all the corn stalks are brought to the manufacturing site where they are to be stripped, separated from some other elements which can not be a part of the popping process. Later, the kernels are cleaned and polished until they are ready for packaging.

Finally, the manufactured popcorn kernels are packed, sealed and ready to be distributed to the consumers.

Since there is a big market for homemade popcorn, there is a great number of manufacturers out there that are competing with one another to offer the best quality products.

Choosing Popcorn Kernels – What To Consider

Certain factors must be considered when choosing popcorn kernels, and these are the following:

Make Sure It Is Fresh


Indeed, the freshness of the kernels is an essential factor regarding its taste. An earthy and light flavor will not be provided if the kernel is stale. The fresher the kernels, the more flavorful the popcorn will be.

Storing And Packaging


There are many packaging options for kernels, so your preference plays a great role in this aspect. Once you have a small batch and a big appetite, you might not need for a re-sealable container, but if you are too slow to finish the popcorn, then a re-sealable package is a great choice.

Look for Hull-less Kernels


Again, this is a matter of preference, and that’s why it is important to know what you like really. Those hard to digest hulls might easily catch up in the retainers and dentures, so folks who are struggling with eating or digesting hulls should go for hull-less kernels.

Go Natural


Low fat, organically produced, non-GMO kernels are certainly preferable. They are a lot better not just for your health, but for the environment as well as the farmers.

Test Numbers Of Manufacturers


There are numbers of manufacturers out there that you could choose from, but when looking for the best one, you have to test out different companies and see which one has what you need.

These are the factors that must be kept in mind as you go through the process selecting the best.

Popcorn Kernels And The Benefits


There are some great reasons as to why you should try making your popcorn. They include the following:

It is fun. There is indeed something fascinating about watching the popcorn pop. At first, you might not be able to appreciate the fine details, but it is still pretty fun to watch the kernels jump and expand.

It is a lot more affordable. Buying unpopped kernels could save you a lot of money since they are much cheaper than pre-packaged popcorn.

It is eco-friendly. If you choose not to use pre-packed popcorn, you will help the environment, since you will not be tossing away the foil, bags or other packaging materials.

It is healthier. Plain kernels  do not include artificial preservatives and flavorings, which makes them a lot healthier. You also have the chance of choosing the oil you use to pop them, meaning that you can suit it to your dietary needs. It is also a lot easier to control the portions.

Popcorn kernels can be done any way you want. You will be given a chance to experiment with almost all kinds of flavors.

Cleaning The Popcorn Machine

Aside from buying the right popcorn kernels, a good popcorn maker is also essential. A clean machine will make your popcorn taste so much better so finding one that’s easy to maintain is very important. When it comes to cleaning the popcorn machine, consider the following:

Preparation And Safety

Before beginning the cleaning process, it is important to learn about some precautions.

Never let someone younger than 18 clean the pot, and only skilled operators should do it.

Be sure to wear protective gloves all the time to protect your bare hands.


Before you start, make sure that all the heating, as well as light, are switched off and disconnected.

Pour a liquid clean-up solution into the kettle.

Connect the machine back and warm up the kettle until the solution boils.

Turn off the heat.

Remove the kettle from the support.

Put the solution in a safe removal area.

Clean the rest of the kettle using a cloth.

If you encounter persistent stains, simply repeat the process.


After cleaning, you can make your popcorn. Make sure to maintain the machine daily and clean it as prescribed by the manufacturer. It will give you better tasting, healthier popcorn, and make your appliance last longer.


What is popcorn?

Are oil and butter needed to prepare popcorn?

Which types of popcorn have a high amount of dietary fiber?

Does every kernel have a certain amount of moisture and oil?

What are the techniques for popping corn?

Go For The Best


From all the given options, I found that the best popcorn kernel is Bob's Red Mill White Corn Popcorn. Here are the reasons for my choice:

  • Delicious taste and consistent shape, size and texture.
  • This is by far the healthiest popcorn option I encountered.

If you really love popcorn, you will want to have the best product. With that, it is very important that you know where to find it and what manufacturer will answer to your needs. Great popcorn kernels could be hard to find if you don’t exactly know what you are looking for, so it is good to check out a popcorn buying guide beforehand.

Did you enjoy reading the article? If you have anything to say, please just post your comments below.

Jeanette Schmidt

Hi all, I am Jeanette Schmidt. At the age of 29, my learning never stops. A native of Texas, I was raised to go big or go home. Although food is currently my life, I’m still looking forward to the day when I can cook for my own family. At present, I am engaged to my long-time boyfriend, Paul, who’s very supportive of what I do. Read more about me here.

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