What Makes Popcorn Pop? A Fun Guide.

The perfect accompaniment to a movie night at home and a snack synonymous with movie theaters, popcorn has been popular with movie lovers since the Great Depression when there were popcorn salesmen selling these corn kernels outside the movie theater doors on the street. It was an inexpensive treat that is still going strong today.

There's nothing like taking a handful of popcorn, whether sweet or salty (or both if you're so inclined), and enjoying munching your way through it while watching the latest release or an old classic. But isn't it annoying when you get to the bottom of the bag, or even worse, you encounter that crunching sound where for a second you wonder if you've broken a tooth, and realize you've come across the corn kernels that haven't popped? All those popcorn kernels that could have become wonderfully light and fluffy but instead are rattling your teeth or are tossed into the bin with the wrapper. Why are some of these corn kernels missed, and what makes popcorn pop?

Popcorn Popping

It's all down to heat. That's not as simple as it sounds, however. First, you need to make sure you've got the right sort of corn for popping! Not all corn is created equally. Popcorn is made from a type of flint corn with a hard exterior shell and a soft starchy center (remember this starchy center for later, it's important). To get your popcorn popping temperature perfect, it depends on the amount of moisture in your corn kernel and that the rate of the heat is not too slow but not too quick, who knew popcorn has a Goldilocks complex? Optimal kernel moisture content is approximately 14%.

The Best Popcorn Popping Temperature

The best popcorn popping temperature has been noted as being between 400-460 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the water inside the popcorn kernels turns to steam which builds pressure and stretches the starch cells, and turns them foamy. As it cools, the starch (told you the starch was important) turns back into a solid but in this foam state which is why popcorn is light and fluffy. This building up of pressure happens very quickly and when the hull can't take any more, the popcorn pops! This is what makes popcorn pop. It is now the delicious treat we all love to enjoy.

Get Your Popcorn Popping With C. Cretors and Company

Those poor kernels at the bottom of the bag either didn't have enough water in them or didn't become hot enough to burst. Now you know what makes popcorn pop!

With our range of concession equipment, your popcorn will get up to the right temperatures so that all of those little corn kernels will be bursting to their full fluffy potential to be a delicious snack enjoyed by all. We offer small poppers to large poppers in a wide range of styles, popcorn cabinetspopping supplies such as our delicious butter flavored salt and cheese pastes, as well as all of the cleaning supplies needed to keep your poppers at their best. Contact us today to buy your popcorn popper for your business, home theatre, concession area or for more information.