Best Popcorn Kernels

There are lots of great reasons to make your own popcorn at home. First, home-popped popcorn kernels are less expensive than buying a bag of popcorn at the mall or movies. Also, you ever know what’s in that pre-popped popcorn. By purchasing your own popcorn kernels, you can control the flavoring and make sure it is healthy. You can choose cheese powder instead of salt, olive oil instead of vegetable oil, or control the types of toppings you use. If you are vegan, you can use vegan butter instead of regular butter. The possibilities are endless.

Let’s find out about some of the best and most popular popcorn kernels available on the market today:

Amish Country Baby White Popcorn Kernels

This baby white gourmet popcorn is an old fashioned blend made in Amish country (Indiana).  This popcorn is simple and natural, low calorie, delicious, and healthy. It is gluten-free, preservative-free, and non-GMO, so you can eat this popcorn with no worries. It is also peanut- and tree-free so you do not have to be concerned about allergies.

Baby white popcorn is a bit smaller than most other popcorn, and it tends to produce fewer unpopped kernels. It is very tasty, crunchy, tender, and light.

You can pop this popcorn in the popper or microwave. You can also try popping a 1/3 cup in a large pasta pot with some olive oil to cover the bottom, and set to medium low. The kernels will pop in about five minutes, almost in unison, without leaving burn marks on your pot.

This popcorn comes with an eBook containing 15 fabulous recipes.

In addition to baby white, this manufacturer makes popcorn kernels in 12 other varieties, including rainbow, yellow, blue, and caramel. Their popcorn is available in a range of sizes, from four ounces to 25 pound bags. You can also buy a wide variety of toppings to go with your popcorn, including butter salt and caramel glaze.


  • Simple and natural, delicious and healthy popcorn kernels
  • Baby white variety is smaller than most popcorn, tasty, crunchy, tender, and light
  • Low calorie, preservative-free, gluten-free, non-GMO
  • Peanut-free and tree-free, so no allergy worries
  • Makes fewer unpopped kernels than other popcorn brands
  • Can be popped in popper, microwave, or in a large pasta pot on the stove


  • None mentioned by users

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Anthony’s Organic Yellow Popcorn Kernels

This unpopped yellow popcorn is organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. The popped kernels are large, fluffy, and crisp. Simply add butter and salt, and they are even more delicious. For a more savory treat, try adding parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder.

These popcorn kernels are low calorie and contain polyphenols, which are antioxidant compounds found in plants. Each serving of this popcorn is high in fiber – about six grams – which can help with digestion.

This popcorn is 100% grown and packaged in California. It comes in an air tight, vacuum sealed package, with a visible expiration date of two years.

You can make this popcorn on your stovetop, or in the electric popper or air popper.

One drawback is the kernels can turn out hard, with numerous unpopped kernels. This is common with yellow popcorn kernels.


  • Yellow popcorn kernels are large, fluffy, and crisp
  • Organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO
  • Low calorie and high in fiber
  • Contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants
  • Comes in air tight, vacuum sealed package
  • Can be popped on stovetop, or in electric popper or air popper


  • After popping, there may be numerous unpopped kernels – common with yellow popcorn

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Great Northern Premium Popcorn Portion Packs

These popcorn kernels are fresh, high quality, and easy to make. Each pouch is full of delicious, mouth-watering popcorn. It pops up fluffy each time, no matter who is making the popcorn. It is buttery without tasting like heavy butter, and salty without being overbearing.

These kernels come in a pack of 24 pouches. It’s the perfect way to have your popcorn stash readily available whenever it’s home movie time. Each pouch is premeasured so you do not have to measure anything out. Just open, pour in your popper, and pop!

There are no loose ingredients to clean up afterwards. And since you do not have to use measuring cups, you don’t have to clean those either.

This popcorn is also easy to store, and because it is packed in premeasured pouches, you will be able to avoid spills or overportioning, and keep this popcorn fresh.

The manufacturer sells popcorn machines if you don’t already have one. You can also pop this popcorn on your stovetop.

One drawback is, some users have mentioned the popcorn is drier than they expected. However, others have said this is due to issues with how the users have been cooking their popcorn on the stovetop. By starting with coconut oil at room temperature (i.e., not preheating the oil in the microwave), the popcorn should come out just fine.


  • High quality, fresh, easy to make popcorn kernels
  • Pops up fluffy each time; buttery and salty without being overbearing
  • Comes in packs of 24 pouches
  • Each pouch is premeasured – no need to measure anything, no messy clean up
  • Easy to store


  • Popcorn may come out dry if not cooked properly

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Hoosier Hill Farm Gourmet Mushroom Popcorn

This gourmet white mushroom popcorn is huge, fluffy, crunchy, and delicious. It is called mushroom popcorn because it expands into a round ball shape rather than the butterfly shape associated with most types of popcorn. It has outstanding quality, taste, and texture. You will want more and more of this slightly sweet delight.

It’s not just tasty, though. It is non-GMO, and high in fiber. It contains more anthocyanin and cyanidin – strong antioxidants – than yellow popcorn. It makes a nice, healthy snack.

This popcorn is grown, packaged, and shipped from Indiana.

It comes in a large four pound jar.

You can pop it on the stove, in a popper, or in the microwave. This popcorn pops bigger and heavier than other types of popcorn, so make sure not to overfill your popper.

Some drawbacks are it is expensive and yet leaves around 20% unpopped kernels.


  • Gourmet white popcorn – huge, fluffy, crunchy and delicious
  • Referred to as ‘mushroom’ popcorn because it pops into a large ball
  • Non-GMO, high in fiber and antioxidants – makes a nice, healthy snack
  • Can be popped in popper, microwave, or on the stovetop


  • Expensive
  • Leaves around 20% unpopped kernels

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Nostalgia Best Tasting Premium Popcorn

This premium popcorn contains four ounces of kernels, coconut oil, salt, and seasonings all in one pack. Simply drop it all into your popper and you will have delicious fluffy popcorn in no time. It tastes and smells just like the popcorn you would buy at the movie theater.

You can buy 24 individually portioned and sealed packs of this popcorn in one case. Simply store them in a convenient location so you can grab one and pop whenever the feeling strikes you. Each pack pops about 16 cups of hot, buttered popcorn.

Because the packs are sealed and individually premeasured, there is no need for you to measure out anything or mess up your measuring cups.

The salt, seasonings, oil, and popcorn all come in individual packages, so if you do not want to use the salt or seasonings, you can leave them out. This popcorn is buttery tasting but you can always drizzle on more butter if you want to.

This popcorn is healthy too. It does not contain GMOs, diacetyl, gluten, trans fats, saturated fat, or cholesterol.

The only drawback mentioned by users is this popcorn is expensive.


  • Individually packaged four ounce pouches of popcorn kernels, oil, salt, and seasonings
  • Tastes and smells like movie theater popcorn
  • Each ingredient is premeasured and sealed – no mess to clean up afterwards
  • Kernels, salt, seasonings, oil come in individual bags – leave out salt if you wish
  • Healthy too – does not contain GMO, gluten, trans fats, or cholesterol
  • Buy in a case of 24 packs


  • Expensive

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Orville Redenbacher’s Original Gourmet White Popcorn Kernels

This gourmet white popcorn is made by one of the most well-known popcorn manufacturers in the world. It pops up light and fluffy, and fast. Add some of the manufacturer’s butter flavored popcorn oil and shake for a bit to coat the popcorn to give it a rich, buttery taste. It tastes like you’re at the movie theater!

This popcorn is made with 100% natural whole grain. It is non-GMO and gluten-free.

You can pop it in your hot air popper or stovetop popcorn popper, or in your microwave.

This popcorn comes in jars of 30 ounces, and you can buy a pack of six jars at a time. You can of course buy jars as large as eight pounds but keep in mind there is an expiration date and you might not get through all that popcorn. Alternately, you can buy their all in one popcorn kit which includes premeasured packets of popcorn kernels, salt, and oil.

One drawback is this popcorn is expensive. Also, some users have noticed that once in a while the popcorn arrives close to its expiration date.


  • Pops up light, fluffy, and fast
  • Tastes like you’re at the movie theater
  • Can be popped in air popper, microwave, or on the stovetop
  • Made with 100% natural whole grain
  • GMO-free and gluten-free
  • Available in jars of kernels or all in one kit containing kernels, oil, and salt


  • Expensive
  • Popcorn sometimes arrives close to its expiration date

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Tips on choosing popcorn kernels

Now that we’ve seen some of the most popular popcorn kernels available on the market today, let’s look into what to consider when purchasing this type of snack for yourself and your family.


Popcorn is tasty all on its own of course, but sometimes you want a little extra flavor. You can choose popcorn kernels that are pre-flavored, or simply buy unflavored kernels and spice them up yourself. Choose kernels that are known to absorb flavor, to make the most of the toppings you add.

Healthy and chemical free

So much of our food today contains GMOs, which are artificially infused with chemicals to make them grow faster or bigger. When we ingest these GMOs, they can harm our bodies. Popcorn kernels are sometimes available in GMO-free varieties, or they are made from organic corn which has no chemicals added.


The fresher your kernels, the better they will taste. Fresh kernels pop evenly and quickly, and they are crisp, not chewy. However, sometimes buying online can compromise freshness. To avoid this, order in smaller batches if possible and find out if the product is shipped in airtight containers.

Also find out where your popcorn is grown and packaged. If it is grown in the USA, it will be fresher when it reaches your door.


Check how the popcorn is stored. If it comes in a bag or box, it may not be sealed tightly, which could compromise freshness. A better choice is to find popcorn that comes in a glass or plastic jar with a resealable lid.

Ease of preparation

There are different ways to make popcorn, such as cooking it on a stove with oil, using an air popper, or heating in the microwave.

If you prefer to cook popcorn on a stove, make sure to choose kernels that are round in shape, as they generally can withstand high heat and they will make big fluffy popcorn. Elongated kernels will not cook as evenly.

If you are planning to cook your popcorn in the microwave, again, use the round kernels. They absorb oil better while you are cooking. Simply put your kernels in a paper bag, add oil, shake for about a minute to coat all the kernels with oil, and put in the microwave on high for 90 seconds.

The most health conscious way to make popcorn is to use an air popper because it does not involve using any oil. Also, you are not limited to round kernels. However, because there is no oil, it can be a challenge to get the flavor to stick on the popcorn. Try using a butter or cooking spray.

By checking out different brands, and making sure they are healthy, tasty, fresh, and packaged well, you are sure to find the popcorn kernels that work best for you and your family. Happy popping!

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