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Can You Reheat Popcorn? – The Ultimate Guide

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Popcorn is one of the best possible snacks you can have. Whether you’re at home, in the car, at the movies, or even at a party – you simply can’t beat popcorn. It’s so crunchy, airy, and light all at the same time. 

Not only that, but you can also enjoy a multitude of flavors and styles of popcorn. No matter what your tastes are, there is sure to be a popcorn flavor you can get on board with. Popcorn is not always for everyone but most could agree that it’s a fun and delicious treat. 

When you make popcorn, it always seems like you end up with an abundance of popcorn. It may be because your eyes are bigger than your stomach or maybe you just made a large batch to have leftovers. Whatever the case may be, you need an option for that leftover popcorn. 

Can you reheat popcorn? You can reheat your popcorn in the microwave or in the oven if you want to have it warm. Or you can even eat it at room temperature if you prefer. 

In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about proper ways to both store and reheat your popcorn. We will make sure you have all of the tips and tricks to enjoy great-tasting popcorn even when it’s not freshly made. 

Keep reading to learn all about how to reheat popcorn and more. 

The Ultimate Guide to Popcorn – Storing and Reheating

It’s safe to say that popcorn is one of the most delightful treats. Many of us enjoy it at home on movie nights or when we go to the movie. You can find popcorn served at stadiums and events and it’s relatively inexpensive to purchase or make on your own. 

Popcorn Explained

If you’re not very familiar with popcorn, it is a type of corn kernel. When you heat the kernel, it expands and turns into a fluffy ball of yumminess.

In the process of popping popcorn, you can expect each kernel to expand to somewhere between 20-50 times its original size. It’s amazing! 

There are many varieties of popcorn. You can have it seasoned, buttered, sweet, or plain. For instance, if you order popcorn at the movie theater they often ask you if you want butter. Some of you may even ask for extra butter. 

Many movie theaters are also now set up with stations where you can salt, season, or butter your own popcorn as well. This is because there are so many varieties and everyone likes popcorn in their own way. 

You can also purchase specialty popcorns. There are many companies around the nation that make various flavors of popcorn and sell them. They can add just about any flavoring you can imagine to popcorn, and it’s delicious! 

Making Popcorn

Making popcorn is another versatile function. You can make it in more than one way. First of all, there are popcorn popper machines that will do most of the work for you. In commercial industries, this is the primary way popcorn is made. 

Apart from that, you can buy kernels and pop your own popcorn on the stove. There are specialty pans for doing this or you can use your own pan with a lid. We’ll talk a bit more about this.

Then, there is microwave popcorn. A little bag that takes 2-3 minutes to pop to perfection in the microwave. 

Popcorn is usually cooked with butter or oil as a base. It is necessary to use one of these with the kernels but it can be a small amount. If you want buttered or salted popcorn, you then can add more to fulfill your personal tastes. 

Popcorn kernels are not very expensive at all and the art of making popcorn is pretty simple. Anyone can do it. And if you want the easy way to enjoy popcorn, simply go for microwave popcorn or purchase some pre-made. 

To give you an idea, here is a quick walkthrough of a recipe for making popcorn at home on your stove. 

  1. You will need oil, kernels, and salt (optional)
  2. Start by covering the bottom of your pot with oil and warming the oil over medium-high heat. 
  3. You can place 3 kernels in the center of the pot and wait for them to pop to indicate when it is ready. Remove them when popped. 
  4. Add about ½ cup of kernels, spreading out in an even layer. 
  5. Cover the pot with a lid and remove it from the heat. Leave for about 30 seconds. 
  6. Put the pot back on the heat and the popcorn will begin popping quickly. 
  7. When the popping intensifies, shake the pot back and forth.
  8. When the popping begins to slow down, remove the pan from the heat. 
  9. Remove lid and immediately pour popped popcorn into serving bowls. 
  10. Sprinkle with salt or seasoning to your tastes. You can also add melted butter if you prefer. 
  11. Serve and enjoy

As you can see, you can enjoy homemade popcorn in a matter of a few minutes! It’s a pretty simple process and as long as you don’t overcook it, you really can’t go wrong. This recipe is simply shared as an example. You might find that other recipes vary and that is ok. 

Popcorn Varieties

We previously touched on just how versatile popcorn can be. If you go down the popcorn aisle for microwave popcorn, you will see salted, lightly salted, butter, extra-butter, kettle corn, and more. There are so many possible ways to enjoy your popcorn it’s just unreal. 

Just to give you an idea, here are a few ideas of just some of the many popcorn flavors you might find. Whether you look at salts, popcorn stores, or somewhere else. 

  • Cheddar
  • Bacon
  • Sea salt
  • Ranch
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate
  • Peanut butter
  • Red hot/cinnamon
  • Nacho cheese
  • White chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Toffee
  • Buttered
  • Kettle corn
  • Garlic and herb

This list barely touches the surface. You can also find specialty gourmet popcorns and popular seasonal flavors like dill pickle or pepperoni depending on where you look. The options are pretty limitless. 

And you don’t have to go out and purchase gourmet popcorn to get a particular flavor. There are seasoning salts available for purchase so you can purchase whatever flavor of salt you like and then season your popcorn at home. 

Proper Popcorn Storage Procedures

If you eventually want to enjoy reheated popcorn you must first understand the proper ways to store your popcorn. Even popcorn that is cooked or covered in butter is easy to store. You can store at room temperature for quite some time. You can also store it in the fridge and the freezer as well. 

Storage methods very well might vary based on the type of popcorn and the toppings of the popcorn. If you have purchase gourmet popcorn, pay close attention to any instructions specifically attached to that popcorn. 

Other than that, these simple instructions we provide you for storing your popcorn are primarily universal and can be used for any type of popcorn, unless you are working with popcorn that specifies otherwise. 

Let’s cover proper storage methods for room temperature storage, refrigerator storage, and freezer storage. 

Popcorn Storage at Room Temperature

The key to keeping your popcorn delicious is to prevent it from drying out. Follow these instructions for the best results. Sadly, the refrigerator can actually dry out your popcorn so room temperature is your best option at first. 

  1. Place all popcorn in an airtight container or a sealing storage bag. 
  2. Try not to leave in a cool dark place. It’s best on the open counter and not closed in a cupboard. 
  3. Seal storage method tightly to prevent drying. 
  4. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. 

Popcorn Storage in the Fridge

Some would argue that the fridge is the best place for preservation. But we disagree when it comes to popcorn.

The fridge is actually more likely to make your popcorn taste stale and dry. It is because of this that we do not highly recommend the fridge for storing your popcorn 

However, some say the fridge will actually draw out the flavor. There really is no right or wrong so you choose what you think will be best for you. 

  1. Place popcorn into a storage bag or an airtight container with a lid. 
  2. Seal in tightly and place in the least cold part of your fridge. Be sure you don’t place it right next to a fan. If you can get it close to the light without the fan, that’s a great option also. 
  3. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

As you can see, storing your popcorn in the refrigerator does not necessarily extend storage time so it simply becomes a matter of personal preference. 

Popcorn Storage in the Freezer

If you think you need an extended option apart from the 2 weeks you can store at room temperature, the freezer is an ideal option. You can take your popcorn immediately to the freezer if you want to. 

The great thing about the freezer is you will not have stale popcorn when you take it out. Also, it takes very little time to reheat it.

You don’t need to thaw or defrost but you will probably want to reheat it after freezer storage just to ward off the chill off the freezer and bring it back to life. 

  1. Place popcorn into a heavy-duty freezer storage bag. You can use a plastic container if you prefer, just be sure your storage method is airtight. We feel a freezer storage bag works best for popcorn. 
  2. Seal storage method tightly to prevent any air from reaching the popcorn. Proper sealing will prevent stale popcorn. 
  3. Label and date packaging to keep track of time. 
  4. Store popcorn in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

We will mention that if you make your own popcorn and freeze it, it is best if you don’t season what you plan to freezer. However, if you are working with already seasoned popcorn, it doesn’t hurt anything to go ahead and freeze it. 

You can actually enjoy your popcorn straight out of the freezer or you can reheat it. The choice is up to you. 

Methods and Instructions for Reheating Popcorn

We’ve already discussed that you do not have to reheat your popcorn to enjoy it a second, third, fifth, or even sixth time. But the beauty of it is, you CAN reheat it if you prefer it warm. Reheating it might also just bring a little extra something back to your saved up popcorn. 

You can easily reheat popcorn in the microwave or in the oven. Both of these methods are short and sweet. They don’t take a lot of extensive effort or a lot of time. This means you get to choose which method you want to use, if you use a reheating method at all. 

Reheating Popcorn in the Microwave

The microwave is the quickest and easiest way to reheat your popcorn. There is not necessarily one way that is better than another.

Both methods work great and once again it boils down simply to a matter of your personal preference or what you have available to you at the time. 

  1. Place popcorn into a microwave-safe dish. 
  2. Cover with plastic wrap to retain moisture, or cover with a paper towel. 
  3. Microwave for 20-30 seconds. 
  4. Stir and reheat an additional 15 seconds if necessary. 
  5. Serve and enjoy. 

This is so easy. It takes even less time than the initial process of making popcorn. Next, let’s talk about using the oven. 

Reheating Popcorn in the Oven

If you don’t have a microwave available or simply prefer to use the oven, it provides another great option for you. 

  1. Heat oven to 300 
  2. Spread popcorn out in an oven-safe dish. It does not have to be a single layer. 
  3. Bake popcorn at this temperature until warmed through. It should take only about 5-10 minutes. 
  4. Remove and immediately serve and enjoy

Related Questions

We hope that this guide to reheating popcorn has been useful and informative. We are quite sure you are now fully prepared for anything that might need to happen with your popcorn reheat process – from beginning to end. 

Take a look at the following section. It includes several common questions and answers that could provide you with additional information. 

What’s the Difference Between Yellow and White Popcorn Kernels?

You may not notice a difference in flavor unless you are a popcorn connoisseur. Ultimately, the outer shell of the white kernel is not as thick as that of the yellow kernel.

This means the white kernel will generally pop smaller and softer popcorn in the end. 

Can I Use Any Oil for Stovetop Popcorn? 

You can use any oil you prefer but the key to getting good popcorn is using an oil that has a high smoke content.

Vegetable oil has always provided the best results. However, coconut oil is another great option as well. 

Is Popcorn Healthy?

This is a loaded question. The answer could easily vary depending on what type of popcorn you’re eating. Most popcorn is relatively low calorie, which makes it a great snack option.

This could vary as you get into different flavors, salts, or gourmet popcorn options. Just be mindful of additives in your popcorn. 

Up Next: 9 Best Popping Corn Kernels

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