All You Need To Know About The Best Popping Corn In The Market
Popcorn is one of our favorite snacks. It isn’t just easy to make but is also a really healthy snack that is perfect for munching on whenever those hunger cravings hit in between meals. Also, popcorn has come such a long way since the traditional movie-theatre flavor hit the markets. Now you can get microwave-friendly popcorn in every flavor imaginable.
With such a wide variety of popcorn kernels available in the market, it is easy to get confused as to which one has the best quality and the right taste. To help you make that decision, we have put together a review of the best popcorn kernels around. Read on to learn more.
As mentioned above, popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks. It is definitely better than some of the other carbs and oil loaded snacks like potato chips, which increase risks to your health. Here are some of the reasons you should choose popcorn to snack on:
- Popcorn is full of proteins; a single ounce of popcorn has more proteins and phosphorus than eggs, spinach, and potato chips
- Popcorn is sugar and fat free and has very few calories. It is a weight watchers’ dream
- Popcorn is a whole grain so it has fiber and antioxidants
- Popcorn is an immensely versatile snack that can be eaten plain or made flavorful by adding in your favorite toppings
- Popcorn doesn’t have any gluten
- Though there are some pricier varieties as well, popcorn is still one of the cheapest snacks around
- It truly is a beauty
How To Make Popcorn
Popcorn is available in the market both in the form of kernels and fully cooked popcorn. While we suggest you go for the former rather than the latter, it is completely up to you to choose the form you like best. We prefer popcorn kernels because they are healthier and give you the freedom to make popcorn the way you like.
Popcorn kernels can be cooked using three methods:
- Hot Air Popper
In this method, you put the kernels, oil, and seasoning in a pan and cook it over a stove. This method of popping popcorn gives you the most control over the cooking process. You can add any flavor you like. This process is the best way to make sure all the kernels pop. You also get fluffier popcorn when made with the stovetop method. However, this process is also the messiest, since the butter/oil sticks to the pan and you have to wash it afterwards. Also, this process takes more time and effort.
Hot air popper is a machine that uses hot air to pop the popcorn kernels. As the kernels heat up and pop, they start increasing in size and coming out of the chamber that houses all the kernels. Since this method doesn’t require you to add in any oil or seasoning, the popcorn you get is very healthy. However, with a hot air popper, there is always a chance that many kernels won’t pop. Also, the texture of the popcorn is different and they are chewier. But, hot air poppers are a fast and easy way to make popcorn.
Probably the most famous method of making popcorn is by microwaving kernels till they pop. The microwave popcorn brands are really famous and they offer many flavors. This is probably the most convenient way to make popcorn; it involves very little fuss and no mess. However, microwave friendly popcorn is usually less healthy than all the other varieties; these kernels aren’t just processed with a lot of chemicals to maintain their longevity, but they are also packed in plastic bags that are dangerous for your health. You can make microwave popcorn at home as well to make sure that it isn’t unhealthy.
Top 5 Popcorn Kernels Reviewed
Whether you enjoy sweet, salty, caramel, or cheesy popcorn, these flavors will come out good only when you buy quality popcorn kernels. There may be many pre-packaged and flavored varieties of popcorn kernels available in the market, but in our experience, the best popcorn kernels are the ones that come with the least amount of additives. Here is a list of our favorite popcorn kernel brands:
Country Harvest offers good quality popcorn kernels in convenient packaging. One of our biggest concerns with buying popcorn kernels is that we never know how much to put in to make one reasonably sized batch.
Country Harvest popcorn alleviates our concern by packaging kernels in pre-measured bags. This makes it easy to control the amount of popcorn you want to make at one time.
The kernels don’t come pre-seasoned, at least that’s what the box says. However, we did notice a slight nutty, buttery flavor even though there are no nut-based ingredients mentioned on the pack.
- Available in sizes ranging from 4 oz. to 12 oz.
- 40 portion packs per case
- Features Tri-packing (popcorn, oil, and salt are available in separate packs)
- Kernels pop more and reach a bigger size when popped on the stove than when made with a popper or microwave. This means you have the choice of making the size of popcorn you like
- When popped with a little oil, the popcorn comes out buttery and crunchy
- While some may be left behind when using a microwave, almost all the kernels pop when using the stove
- The tri-pack features allow you to add as much oil and seasoning as you want to the popcorn
- It is difficult to get the same quantity of kernels to pop every time. When we used coconut oil instead of olive oil, there were many kernels that didn’t pop
- The kernels themselves are really salty, so if you add in the packaged salt as well, the taste becomes a little overbearing. You can control this by adding only a little bit of the packaged salt first
- The quality of the packaging leaves a lot to be desired. Some of the packs we ordered had leaks
- The price point on these kernels is high
If you’re in the market for a traditional popcorn brand, then Franklin’s may be the best choice for you. They promise to deliver healthy, organic popcorn that takes you back in time when everything was natural. These kernels are also portion packed and the salt and oil are available in separate packs. As discussed before, there are pros and cons to this kind of packaging.
These popcorn kernels aren’t flavored, we tested this claim by making a seasoning-less batch of this popcorn and found that it indeed tasted bland. Franklin also claims that you can control the fluffiness, chewiness, and flavor of the popcorn by playing around with the portion size of the kernels. However, we found that this is easier said than done.
- Available in 2 oz. to 12 oz. packs
- Each case may contain 10 or 24 packs
- Features tri-packing
- This popcorn brand is certified organic and non-GMO. They are gluten/soy/peanut-free and vegan
- This popcorn is healthy, it is high in protein and fiber and tastes organic
- The tri-packaging feature allows you to control the amount of oil and salt you add into your popcorn
- It is reasonably priced
- Since this popcorn is organic, it doesn’t become fluffy and chewy as conventional popcorn does. It also isn’t buttery and doesn’t really soak in any added butter either. Having said that, Franklin is pretty upfront about these features and says that it is because the kernels haven’t undergone extra processing
- If you dump all the ingredients of the pre-portioned pack into your popper or pot, the popcorn comes out really salty and many kernels don’t pop. So there is a bit of a learning curve to make this popcorn
- The packaging isn’t storage friendly; if you want to store any of the ingredients in the packs for using later, you will have to shift them to other packs or containers
Orville is probably one of the most famous brands for gourmet popcorn kernels out there, and with good cause. These popcorn kernels are healthy and tasty. The large jug that is used to package these kernels means you can have your favorite snack every day.
Since these kernels are pre-packaged, you have the freedom to control a number of kernels you add in every batch. You can also add your choice of oil and seasoning to truly customize the flavor of your popcorn.
- Available in 5 pound 12 oz. and 8 pound jugs
- Kernels are yellow in color
- Only popcorn kernels included in the pack
- These kernels are whole-grain and gluten free. They are also advertised to be non-GMO certified
- These kernels make fluffy, buttery popcorn that taste just like movie-theatre popcorn
- The jug makes it easy to pour the kernels and is also great for storing the kernels in the pantry
- This packaging offers a lot of kernels and the price point is very cheap
- Since the kernels are pre-packaged, they aren’t fully processed and have a shorter shelf-life. Considering the size of the packaging, if you don’t plan on having popcorn every day or don’t have a big family, chances are you might end up wasting some amount of these kernels as they expire quickly
- This doesn’t come with any portioned additives like oil and salt, which means you have to rely on your expertise in making popcorn to make these
Bob’s Red Mill popcorn is another very healthy popcorn kernel brand. What makes them stand out from the rest of the brands is that they offer kernels that are completely white and end up making white popcorn instead of the traditional yellow one. But the color of these kernels isn’t the only thing that’s different, they also offer a distinctive taste.
Since these kernels are white and smaller in size, they require less oil and seasoning than other kernels and also have a different cooking time. If you’re looking to try something different then Bob’s Red Mill is a good option for you.
- Available in 27 oz. bags
- Kernels are oblong in shape and white in color
- Only popcorn kernels are included in the pack
- These kernels are gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher
- The popcorn is fluffy in texture and absorbs all kinds of seasoning well
- If you make it according to the instructions on the pack, there are no half popped pieces and very few un-popped pieces left behind
- These kernels are the cheapest option available in the market
- The packaging is flimsy. Once opened you will have to shift these kernels to another pack or container
- These kernels are smaller in size which makes for smaller sized popcorn
- Making this popcorn has a bit of a learning curve. If not done properly, the popcorn turns out tough and chewy
- This popcorn has a different flavor, which takes some getting used to
Microwave friendly popcorn kernels are amazing because they have a no-fuss cooking quality that is hard to beat. As most people consume popcorn as a snack, it makes sense that the snack is easy and less time to consume. Quinn Snacks has made it to our list because it offers microwave popcorn that has no added preservatives or unhealthy ingredients.
What we love about this brand is that they offer natural, gluten free kernels in microwavable packs that are made of recyclable paper. This means that even the bag has no chemical coating or plastic in it. This is one of the best microwave popcorn brands.
- Available in boxes with three packs inside each
- Comes in 6 flavors
- All ingredients are separately packed
- This popcorn is gluten-free, non-GMO, has no added preservatives, diacetyl, no, hydrogenated oils, pfoa, or trans-fat. It is really very healthy and tasty
- It has a variety of conventional and new flavors you can choose from
- The packaging is great for storing and the individual packets inside each pack make it super easy to make this popcorn
- You can only cook these kernels in the microwave which is why you may end up with inconsistent results. In some microwaves, and on certain speeds and temperatures, the kernels might not pop
- Since you get only 3 packs inside each box, the price point on this popcorn might not seem that affordable
Our Top Pick
While we love all the popcorn kernel brands mentioned here, our favorite of the lot is Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popcorn. We love these kernels because they are easy to make and taste amazing. With this brand, you don’t have to worry about storing the kernels in any other container and you can make as much popcorn you want at one time.
You also get the freedom to add as much (or as little) oil and seasoning as you require and you can experiment with different flavors as well. As far as the size of the jar is concerned, we usually store our jar in a freezer to prolong the shelf life of the kernels.
Did you like this list? If you would like to see more reviews like these, let us know in the comments section below.
Café Altura is a well-known brand in the coffee world. Their coffee blends range from dark to light and they also offer a mix of different flavors. Our favorite Café Altura blend is the Sumatran Dark Roast because it is just the right dark roast blend. It makes for a strong, well-rounded cup of coffee. The taste isn’t overbearingly bitter which means you can enjoy this coffee black. This is a 100% Arabica bean coffee that is planted in the company’s private coffee farm, grown with the utmost care. The beans are roasted to perfection to ensure a well-rounded cup of coffee.
What we love about this coffee is that it is grown organically, without the use of any chemicals. This is great because you get to enjoy a cup of Joe that isn’t marred with chemicals. It is also a coffee that goes well with milk and sugar and is equally great to have on its own as well. Also, the price range is really affordable.
Things to consider: This isn’t the strongest dark roast blend out there. The coffee made from these beans isn’t as robust and the aroma is lacking. The milder taste didn’t bother us as much but if you’re a true dark roast fan, you might find this coffee a little lacking.