Best Popcorn Kernels

You can’t quite beat fresh popcorn made in the theater. In order to try and recreate your favorite tasty treat from the comfort of your own home, you will of course want to invest in a quality popcorn machine.

But the popcorn machine is only half the challenge. Of course, the most vital ingredient in creating tasty popcorn is the kernels that you use.

There are so many different types of popcorn kernels to choose from. It can be overwhelming trying to choose between them all. How can you be sure that you’ve found the best popcorn kernels for your needs?

Should you opt for white or yellow kernels? Who knew that choosing the best popcorn kernels could be such a difficult decision to make!

We’ve made the whole process even easier for you by researching and reviewing hundreds of products to find the best kernels around. So you can rest assured that the popcorn kernels that we’ve reviewed in more detail below will be perfect for your needs.

Let’s take a look at the best popcorn kernels on the market!

Best Popcorn Kernels

OUR TOP PICK

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

In our search for the best popcorn kernels, the Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popcorn Kernels easily reached the top spot.

These particular popcorn kernels ranked highly on a number of features, including taste and how easy they were to use. So if you’re looking for the best popcorn kernels around, you should opt for these.

These particular popcorn kernels are made using yellow kernels. This will give you the authentic theater style popcorn that you’re looking for. Yellow kernels give you larger, fluffier flakes for you to slather in your favorite toppings.

What we really liked about these popcorn kernels when we tested them is that they were super easy to use. You can use them for popcorn machines, in the microwave, or even making popcorn on the stovetop.

Another fantastic feature of these popcorn kernels is that they come in an easy to use plastic tub. What we discovered about this when testing these popcorn kernels is that it made the kernels even easier to store away once we’d finished cooking them. You don’t have to worry about decanting the kernels into a separate airtight container.

Pros

  • Yellow kernels - gives you the larger theater style popcorn that you’re after
  • Easy to store - comes in an easy to store plastic tub
  • Easy to use - can be used in a popcorn machine, in the microwave, or on the stovetop

Cons

  • Large amount of kernels - you will need to eat all the kernels before the expiration date

EDITORS CHOICE

4108 Great Northern Popcorn Premium 8 Ounce (Pack of 40)

If you’re serious about your popcorn, then the Great Northern Popcorn Premium 8 Ounce Popcorn Portion Packs, Case of 24 should be your top choice.

These particular popcorn kernels come in a case of 24 packets for you to enjoy. This will give you all the popcorn your heart desires for you to whip up in a pinch.

A feature that we really liked about these popcorn kernels when we tested them is that they come in pre-measured packets of around 8 ounces.

So all we needed to do to make the popcorn was tip the entire packet into the popcorn machine kettle. This will make it even easier for you, as you won’t have to physically measure the kernels before you can cook them.

What we really liked about these popcorn kernels is that there was no mess involved. Thanks to the pre-measured packets, all you had to do was pour the kernels into the kettle of your popcorn machine.

You will also get plenty of popcorn to go around, with each bag giving you enough to make popcorn for around 6 to 8 people.

You’ll get even better value for your money with these particular popcorn kernels. There are a whopping 24 packets included, which will mean you won’t have to worry about constantly purchasing popcorn to make sure that you have enough to go around.

Pros

  • Ready measured - features packets of ready measured 8 ounces of kernels
  • Multipack - gives you 24 packs of popcorn kernels to use
  • Easy to use - simply pour the pre-measured kernels into your kettle ready for popping

Cons

  • Plastic bags - you will need to decant any unused kernels into an airtight container

BEST VALUE

Amish Country Popcorn | 6 lb Bag | Baby White Popcorn Kernels | Small and Tender | Old Fashioned,...

Searching for the best white kernels around? Then this Amish Country Popcorn should be your top choice.

These particular popcorn kernels will give you the smaller, more tender popcorn that you’re after. The smaller kernels also mean there are fewer annoying hulls to get stuck in your teeth.

What we really liked about these popcorn kernels is that they are available in different sizes. So you can choose between a 6 pound, 4 pound, 2 pound, or 1 pound pack or kernels to ensure that you’ve got plenty of popcorn to go around.

Another handy feature of these popcorn kernels that we loved when testing them is that they come with 15 popcorn recipes for you to use.

So if you’ve never made popcorn at home before or want to try something a little different, then you should opt for this Amish Country popcorn.

Those of you who suffer from nut allergies won’t have to worry with these particular popcorn kernels. There are no tree nut or peanut traces for you to worry about, so you can enjoy as much popcorn as you can manage in one sitting!

Pros

  • Multiple sizes - choose the size of popcorn kernel bag that you need
  • Recipes included - comes with 15 popcorn recipes for you to try
  • White kernels - gives you the smaller, more tender popcorn kernels that you’re after

Cons

  • Packaging - easy to become damaged over time

RUNNER UP

Snappy White Popcorn, 4 Pounds

Have your heart set on tasty white kernels? Then these Snappy White Popcorn should be your top choice. These particular popcorn kernels feature white kernels.

These are a lot more tender than traditional yellow kernels, and are ideal if you want smaller popcorn that is easier to eat.

One thing we really loved about these popcorn kernels when we tested them is that they come in fairly sturdy packaging. Each package of 4 pounds of popcorn kernels arrives in a thick plastic jar that you can easily store away once you’ve finished with them.

We really loved the fact that these popcorn kernels are gourmet. You can really taste the difference, and know that you are getting a tasty bowl of premium popcorn for you and your family to enjoy.

Another handy feature of these popcorn kernels is that they are super healthy when compared to other types of popcorn kernels. These popcorn kernels are high in fiber, and are also gluten free and free from GMOs.

Pros

  • Sturdy packaging - comes in plastic tubs which are easy to store away
  • Premium kernels - enjoy the gourmet popcorn that you’re craving
  • White kernels - gives you the tender, smaller popcorn that you’re after

Cons

  • Smaller popcorn - white kernels give smaller popcorn than the yellow kernels used in theaters

RUNNER UP

Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn Certified USDA Organic Popcorn Kernels - 7 lbs - Delicious Old...

For truly gourmet popcorn, you should opt for Franklin's Gourmet Popcorn. These particular kernels have been designed to give you the best of the best when it comes to popcorn. So you can rest assured that you’re eating the best that Franklin’s has to offer!

What we really loved about these popcorn kernels when we tested them is that you can really taste the quality. These particular kernels have been grown in Iowa and packaged in Wisconsin to ensure that you have farm quality popcorn kernels.

Another handy feature of these popcorn kernels is that they come in a sturdy plastic tub. This makes the popcorn kernels much easier to store away once you’ve finished using them.

You’ll get the authentic theater style popcorn that you’re after with these particular kernels. These are yellow kernels, which give you the larger, fluffier flakes that you’re after.

Pros

  • Easy to use - you can use these kernels in a popcorn machine, in the microwave, or on the stovetop
  • Quality popcorn - designed to give you the gourmet flavors that you’re after
  • Yellow kernels - gives you the authentic theater style popcorn that you crave

Cons

  • Pricey - on the pricier end of the spectrum

Best Popcorn Kernels Buying Guide

Choosing the right popcorn kernels for your needs can be more of a challenge than you first think. There are so many different factors to consider, especially if you’ve never bought popcorn kernels before.

If this is your first foray into the world of popcorn kernels how are you meant to know which factors you should prioritize?

That’s why we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide to help you in your quest to find the best popcorn kernels. We’ve made sure to include all of the key criteria that we used to select the 5 best popcorn kernels that we’ve reviewed in more detail above.

So you can be sure that if you bear the below factors in mind when choosing your popcorn kernels, you will have found the best popcorn kernels for your needs.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about popcorn kernels below, or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.

Best Popcorn Kernels

White vs yellow kernels

The most important decision you will have to make when it comes to choosing the best popcorn kernels for your needs is of course which type you would like to opt for. There are two main types of popcorn kernels that you will need to choose between: white and yellow.

White kernels are much smaller than yellow kernels, and will typically create more delicate, smaller flakes than yellow kernels. This popcorn tends to be much more tender than yellow popcorn.

Thanks to the smaller hulls, this will also mean that you’re less likely to get the hulls stuck in your teeth after eating a mouthful or two.

Yellow kernels are much larger than white kernels, and tend to create larger popcorn once the kernels pop. These flakes are much fluffier than white kernels can create, so are typically the type of popcorn kernels used in theaters.

So if you want authentic theater style popcorn, you should opt for yellow kernels.

Packaging

An important factor to consider when choosing the best popcorn kernels is the packaging that the kernels arrive in. Do they come in a hard plastic tub that you can easily reseal? Or do the popcorn kernels arrive in a plastic bag that will be trickier to reseal once you’ve opened them?

It is also worth thinking about how large the packaging is. Do your chosen popcorn kernels arrive in ready packaged amounts so as to make them easier to use in your popcorn machine, or do you have to measure the kernels out before you can use them?

It is best to opt for popcorn kernels that arrive in sturdy packaging. This will mean that you won’t worry about having to decant them into a better container once you have opened the packet.

Amount of kernels

You will also need to think about how many kernels you would like from your packet of popcorn kernels. The more popcorn kernels you get for your money, the better.

However, you will need to ensure that you have enough popcorn kernels to suit your needs. While a cheaper packet of kernels may appeal to your wallet, this might not be enough popcorn kernels to suit your needs.

A handy thing to look for is the measurement on the outside of the packaging. This will give you a better idea of how many kernels you are getting for your money.

Some packages come ready measured for you to pour into your kettle. This will be especially handy if you’re looking for popcorn kernels that will be easy for you to use.

Easy to use

When it comes to choosing the best popcorn kernels for your needs, you will of course want to opt for the popcorn kernels that are easy for you to use. This will make your life much easier in the process, and ensure that your popcorn can be made within a matter of minutes.

Do your chosen popcorn kernels come with a comprehensive list of instructions for you to follow? This will be crucial for enjoying the most out of your popcorn, as it will walk you through the whole popcorn making process.

If you opt for packets of ready measured popcorn, this will make it so much simpler. All you will need to do is pour the pre-measured popcorn into your popcorn machine’s kettle along with the coconut oil, and it will be ready to go!

Budget

It will be worth considering how much money you have to play with for securing your tasty popcorn kernels. This will likely dictate the type of popcorn kernels you opt for as well as the size of the packet that you buy.

You won’t want to opt for the cheapest popcorn kernels that you stumble across. While you may think that you’re saving a small fortune by opting for the cheapest option, this likely won’t give you enough popcorn to satisfy your cravings.

To get better value for your money, you should opt for the larger amount of popcorn kernels that you can reasonably afford. If you like to make popcorn regularly, this will help you to save money in the long run.

It will be best to think about the method you will be using to cook your popcorn, as well as the amount of popcorn you would like as a finished product. This will give you a better idea of how much popcorn you need to purchase, and therefore give you a better idea of your budget.

Easy to store

Lastly, you will need to make sure that you opt for a product that will be super easy to store away once you have finished using it. This will be because you will need to make sure that your popcorn kernels are stored away in an airtight container so as to ensure they last you for as long as possible.

This will of course partially tie into the packaging of the popcorn kernels that you choose. If you opt for a plastic tub of kernels, you can simply secure the lid in place once you’ve finished pouring out the kernels you need.

Choosing popcorn kernels that come with an easy to store tub will make things so much easier for you.

If you have opted for a soft plastic packet, then things are a little different. You will need to ensure that you decant these into an airtight container so that you can store them properly.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best popcorn kernels to pop?

The best popcorn kernels to pop are:

  • Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popcorn Kernels
  • Great Northern Popcorn Premium 8 Ounce Popcorn Portion Packs, Case of 24
  • Amish Country Popcorn
  • Snappy White Popcorn
  • Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn

Which popcorn kernels are best: white or yellow?

The answer will of course depend on what results you are hoping to get from your popped kernels. If you’re after more tender, smaller popcorn, then you should opt for white kernels.

These will give you the smaller popcorn that you’re after, and you won’t have to worry about large husks getting stuck in your teeth. If you’re after popcorn that is fluffier and on the larger side, then you should opt for yellow kernels. These kernels are often sturdier than white kernels.

Does freezing popcorn make it pop better?

No, freezing your popcorn kernels will not make them pop better. This is because during the freezing process, the kernels will start to lose some of their moisture. This moisture is key for getting the kernels to expand and eventually pop.

So if you freeze your popcorn kernels and lose this moisture, you’re more likely to end up with a lot more unpopped kernels. It will be much better to keep your popcorn kernels stored in an airtight bag at room temperature.

Andy Waters
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