Popcorns are so addictive that nobody would like to waste a single unpopped corn kernel which could be a potential fluff. Unpopped kernels are hard and unbreakable, so most people don’t eat them and leave them in the popcorn tub.
The popping of the popcorn kernels depends on two crucial factors- sufficient heat and moisture content inside the kernels. If the popcorn is fresh and you provide sufficient heat, the popcorn kernels will have a higher chance of popping.
This article will discuss the ways of making all popcorn kernels pop. We will also discuss the reasons behind the unpopped popcorn kernels and other related questions. So, let’s get started with the topic.
How Can You Make Every Single Popcorn Pop?
As we discussed why you might encounter a few unhappy unpopped corns in the pan, you must understand how the heat distribution plays a crucial role in making the popcorn kernels pop.
Sometimes, even the fresh popcorn kernels might not pop to your expectation. It happens when you provide sufficient heat but in a wrong manner that is not favorable for popping. If you heat the popcorn kernels too slowly, the steam and pressure built inside the kernel will escape through the leakage on the tip.
However, heating it too fast is also not advised. If you heat the corn kernels too quickly, the popcorn kernels will pop, but the center of the kernel will stay hard. In that situation, the starch is cooked but doesn’t get enough time to gelatinize and turn fluffy.
So, follow the steps below to make the best popcorns that do not remain unpopped.
1. Take a saucepan or pot that is sufficiently big to accommodate all the popcorn after they are popped. Remember that the corn kernels will turn into 20 to 50 times their initial size after popping.
2. Pour some oil into the pan and set the flame to medium. Add two to three popcorn kernels to the pan and watch them pop. Make sure to put the lid on. It might take a couple of minutes before that happens.
3. When all the kernels inside the pan pop, turn off the heat and remove the kernels from the pan. Now, put the rest of the popcorn kernels in the same oil. Ensure that all the kernels are coated with heat.
4. Put the lid back on and wait for around 30 seconds. This step makes the heat distribution even and warms the popcorn kernels. You might have noticed that the oil was the exact temperature needed to pop the kernels.
However, the temperature lowers when you add all the kernels into the oil. The temperature at this stage will not make the popcorn kernel pop but provide some heat to warm the kernels so that when we put the pan on the stove, all the kernels can pop at the same time.
5. After 30 seconds, put the pan back on the stove and leave the lid ajar so that the steam can escape that environment. Heat the pan again on medium flame, and wait until you hear the popping slowing down.
6. When you hear the popcorn popping, shake the pan with its lid on so that the unpopped kernels fall into the bottom and gather more heat while the fluff is on the top.
7. If you don’t hear any popping for 10 seconds, turn the stove off and transfer the popcorn into a bowl. You can add your favorite seasonings at this stage. Now, give your popcorn a good toss and enjoy your tasty treat!
Simply preheating the popcorn can make all the kernels rise to a specific temperature to ensure that no popcorn kernel is left uncooked. If you follow these instructions carefully, you can see how not a single corn kernel stays unpoped.
The Best Oil For Popping All Your Popcorn Kernels
One of the least talked about factors about popping corn in the oil used. The ideal oil for making popcorn is the one that can retain high heat. Since even heat distribution is the key to the best popcorn, it’s essential to know the oil preference.
The oil should not burn at a high temperature. Moreover, you should avoid a strong-flavored oil if you want to add seasonings to the popcorn later. However, the oil preference can be personal, and you can choose any high-heat cooking oil for making popcorn.
This section will talk about some of the most preferred oils that can pop your corn kernels without burning.
1. Refined Coconut Oil
Since popcorn popping occurs in high heat, coconut oil is the most popular choice. Refined coconut oil has a smoke point of 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It makes coconut oil one of the best options for high-heat cooking purposes.
Besides the smoke point, it gives the popcorn a neutral and nutty flavor. Most of the ready-to-make popcorn packs come with coconut oil.
2. Safflower Oil
Safflower oil is also perfect for making popcorn due to its high smoke point. It has a smoke point that is as high as 510 degrees Fahrenheit. Its flavor and aroma are also one of the reasons why you might want to try it in your popcorn.
3. Canola Oil
Canola oil has a smoke point of 435 degrees Fahrenheit. It is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a healthy option. It comes with plenty of good fatty acids and helps absorb necessary nutrients in the body.
Why Do Some Popcorn Kernels Not Pop?
Why do some popcorn kernels not pop while others do? The popcorn kernels have some moisture inside them, approximately 15% on average, and a lot of starch. When we heat the popcorn kernels, the heat cooks the starch, and the moisture inside the kernel transforms into steam and tries to escape.
You might wonder whether it is possible to make all the popcorn kernels pop. The popcorn kernel’s hard coating (popcorn hull) doesn’t allow the steam to escape easily, resulting in a blast. That is what we call the popping of the popcorn kernel.
Let’s talk about the factors that govern the popping of popcorn that makes our lives happier.
1. The water inside the kernel.
So, whether the popcorn kernel will pop depends on the water content present inside the kernel. If the popcorn kernels are fresh, they will have the necessary moisture, making them pop if the optimum temperature is provided.
In some cases where the popcorn kernel does not have the necessary moisture content inside it, the kernel doesn’t pop.
2. Sufficient heat to build the pressure inside the kernel.
Moreover, if sufficient heat is not provided to the kernels, the popcorn kernels will fail to pop. Therefore, both these factors are equally important when it comes to the right state of popping.
3. Steam leakage from the kernel while cooking
As mentioned earlier, the heat provided to the corn kernels builds pressure inside it, resulting in the popping. But what if the steam inside the kernel had a leak, and it could easily escape the shell?
The starch is cooked but stays inside the shell. No blast occurs, and this results in unpopped corn kernels. Indeed, it is sad to see such popcorn lying on the bottom of the pan.
1. How to get the popcorn to pop round?
The best popcorn recipe is about using plenty of oil. If you use the oil too little, the corn kernel will not be surrounded evenly by the hot oil, which will affect the way it pops. Moreover, keep agitating the pan for the best results.
2. Can I re-pop the unpopped popcorn kernels?
It is difficult to re-pop the unpopped popcorn left in the pan because they have a crack that will allow the pressure to escape the shell. However, some of them might still pop if you provide sufficient oil and heat.
3. Do all corn pop?
No, popcorn is the only variety among all corns that have the ability to pop. Unless labeled as popcorn, you cannot pop the corn you might find at the nearby grocery store.
Nobody likes to see the unpopped popcorn resting in the bottom. Popping popcorn is easy unless you are challenged to pop every single popcorn kernel inside a pan. But now you don’t have to worry because you know the secret of popping popcorn that might never disappoint you.
In concluding our discussion, we know that fresh popcorn kernels will not leave any popcorn kernel unpopped when provided with perfectly heated oil. The heat distribution across the popcorn kernels ensures that all popcorn kernels can pop.
Furthermore, choosing the right oil is as essential as the other factors. It will not only enhance the flavor of the popcorn but will also prevent the popcorn from burning out. Hence, take note and follow this recipe the next time you plan for a movie!