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Best Popcorn Kernels

Expert Reviews & Buying Guide

quadcopter reviewsBest Popcorn Kernels

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How to Choose Popcorn Kernels

If you’re looking for the best popcorn kernels, you’ve come to the right place! We reviewed 10 of our favorites to create a popcorn kernel buying guide that will make everyone happy. Do you want to stock up your home pantry? Would you prefer pre-portioned pouches? Do you need enough to feed a crowd? We’ve got you covered! Before we get into the reviews, there are a few things you should consider to get the most bang for your buck!

Best Popcorn Kernels

Non-GMO: GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods are commonplace now in grocery stores, and many people have concerns over how safe or nutritious these modified foods are. Thankfully, finding non-GMO popcorn is easy – all popcorn made in the United States is non-GMO!

Best Popcorn Kernels

Pieces: When looking for popcorn kernels for sale online, pay careful attention to the number of pieces that come with your package. Some orders will be for one large bag of popcorn, while others will come with several individually-portioned bags.

How to Choose Popcorn Kernels

Package Size: Another thing to look for is the package size to prevent buying too much or popcorn going bad! Whether you prefer individual bags at home, or large bags to feed a small army, there are plenty of options for you!

Best Popcorn Kernels

Organic: In addition to non-GMO products, many companies also make organic popcorn too! Popcorn is by nature organic, but the additional butter or seasoning isn’t always organic. If we say “yes” to organic, it is a 100% certified organic product!

Best Popcorn Kernels

Microwaveable: If you cook your kernels on the stove or in an air popper, all of the products we reviewed work well. However, if you want to microwave them, we let you know which ones work, and which ones to avoid!

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Type: Yellow popcorn kernels produce large, sturdy popcorn that can hold up well to heavy seasoning and lots of butter. White popcorn kernels are a bit smaller and more delicate, making them great for eating plain or with some light seasoning!

Top 10 Products

Now you know what to look for in your search for the best popcorn kernels to buy, let’s get into the reviews! We found the best popcorn kernel brands for a variety of tastes and popping methods. Each company uses non-GMO popcorn kernels, and many of the brands are also 100% organic too! If you’re short on time, that’s fine! Check out our Top Pick and Budget Pick, then come back when you have more time! Okay, let’s get started!

Great Northern Popcorn

Top Pick
Our top choice for the best popcorn kernels comes to us from Great Northern. We like that this stovetop popcorn is pre-portioned, so you don’t have to mess with measuring out kernels, oil, or seasoning. The pouches come with kernels, coconut oil, and butter-flavored salt that you put together yourself on the stovetop. This is awesome because we can control how much butter or salt we want on our popcorn! The 24-pack of 4 oz. pouches is a great deal, and the portions are perfect for two people to share…or one very hungry person! They also come in single-serving 2.5 oz. packs, or larger 6, 8, and 12 oz. packs for the whole family! We also like that the ingredients on the list are vegan-friendly, so even our plant-based friends can enjoy some buttery popcorn without needing to make a special batch just for them! If you want to stock up your pantry, these are one of our absolute favorites!
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Snappy White Popcorn

Budget Pick
Our favorite for the best cheap popcorn kernel comes to us from Snappy, a company that has been making popcorn in Iowa since 1940! Their small, white popcorn kernels come in a whopping 4-pound container, so you can feed a crowd without spending a lot! Want to know the best part? For the price, Snappy makes surprisingly tasty popcorn! The white kernels, which typically make small and tender puffs, are perfect for even the pickiest eater. This popcorn can stand up to whatever seasoning and butter you choose, but it is also sweet and tasty enough to eat without anything on it! We like that the kernels are smaller, which means you’ll also have less junk to pick out from between your teeth! We think that this is great popcorn to buy if you want to stock up your pantry. This will also make plenty of popcorn for your next family movie night, camping trip, cocktail party, or sleepover!
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Bob’s Red Mill Popcorn

Our next pick for the best tasting popcorn kernels comes from the Oregon-based company Bob’s Red Mill. This is another great pick for white popcorn, which is tender and tasty enough to eat plain, or jazz up how you want! This comes in a set of four 27 oz. bags to keep your pantry stocked up for quite a while! Just like our Budget Pick, you can heat these kernels up however you want, including in the microwave! Bob’s Red Mill encourages you to experiment with all kinds of toppings – the bag even comes with a tasty recipe for Nacho Popcorn! We don’t mind paying a little extra for this popcorn because it’s so good, and it supports a great company. They have been an employee-owned company since 1978, and all of their products are either vegetarian or vegan friendly! If you’re looking for high-quality popcorn that is GMO free, vegan, and easy to make, we highly recommend ordering some!
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Amish Country Popcorn

Here is yet another great option if you need enough popcorn to feed an army! This bag comes in at 6 pounds – plenty to keep your pantry stocked! Amish Country Popcorn is made of extra small kernels, which are picked out from their medium white corn (which you can also buy if you like larger popcorn). The smaller kernels make for tender popcorn with fewer “old maids,” a fun term for un-popped kernels! It’s easy to digest the popcorn and hulls, making this perfect popcorn for kids. We like that you can pop this corn any way you like: on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in an air popper! The bag comes with a booklet with 15 different popcorn recipes to try, which is great if you’re tired of the usual butter and salt! We think this is one of the best hot air popcorn kernels out there. You can try out those 15 recipes with plenty to spare!
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Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn

If you’d rather have pre-portioned popcorn to eat at home, we highly recommend these mini-kits from Franklin’s! They come in pre-packaged 2 oz. bags with kernels, coconut oil, and seasoning to make a small amount to share (or not…it’s pretty darn good). This version is made of yellow kernels, which are hearty and stand up well to lots of oil, butter, and spices. It’s more like your traditional movie theatre popcorn! You can make this popcorn on the stovetop, but we also think it’s the best popcorn kernels for air poppers too! Another great bonus is that this popcorn kit is vegan friendly, so even your vegetarian and vegan friends can enjoy buttery, salty movie-style popcorn without worrying about what’s in it! We think this is a great option for people who want a portion-controlled bowl of popcorn, or throw it in a gift bag with a movie, warm blanket, and boxes of candy for a movie theatre themed gift!
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Arrowhead Mills Organic Popcorn

Looking for hot air popcorn kernels that are organic, kosher, and GMO-free? Look no further! This popcorn from Arrowhead Mills comes in six 24 oz. bags, making it almost 10 pounds of popcorn to keep your pantry stocked up for a long time! We also like that it comes in 6 bags. Instead of opening one giant bag every time, you can use what you need while keeping the rest airtight and fresh. This popcorn is USDA certified organic, and the corn comes from organic farms within 250 miles of their processing facility. This means the corn will be fresh and ripe when processed, instead of being stored for months before packaging. We like that the white kernels taste really good, too! They are tender, easy to chew, and a dream to cook up on your stovetop or in your hot air popper! If you care about where your corn comes from and how it’s made, check out Arrowhead Mills!
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Paragon Yellow PopCorn

Do you need to make a whole lot of popcorn for your next PTA meeting, scout troop meet-up, birthday party, or other big event? Consider picking up this 12.5-pound bag of yellow popcorn from Paragon! It’s one of the best popcorn kernels for hot air popper machines because it will make a huge quantity of popcorn that also tastes great! The yellow kernels are sturdy and will stay crisp for a long time, which is a plus any time you make a lot. It holds up great to butter, oil, seasoning, and anything else you can think to top it with! You can heat this up on the stovetop, in an air popper, and even cook up a small batch in the microwave! If you need even more popcorn for your next event, you can also buy this in a 50-pound version! We think that this popcorn is a great-tasting snack for any big event you have on the calendar!
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Trader Joe’s Organic Popping Corn

Our best popcorn kernels reviews wouldn’t be complete without a favorite among many shoppers – Trader Joe’s! They are known for making organic, high-quality products at a reasonable price, and their popcorn is no exception. This yellow popcorn is USDA certified organic and a great option for people looking to add more fiber in their diet without extra fat. You can easily cook up this popcorn on the stovetop or in your air popper for a fresh, crunchy treat any time of the day – or make some and take it with you! We like that this yellow popcorn is hearty enough to handle butter but tasty enough to eat on its own. It’s also widely available online and in their stores, so you can stock up whenever you need more. The large kernels they make also give you more bang for your buck – a couple tablespoons of kernels will make plenty of popcorn for a couple people…or one very hungry person!
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Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn

For over 60 years, Orville Redenbacher has been a name most people think of when they think of quality popcorn. It’s been the gold standard in grocery stores for decades, and for good reason! The popcorn these kernels make is consistent, tastes great, and is made to work best in hot air poppers – but you can totally make them on the stovetop too. The 30 oz. airtight container keeps your popcorn kernels fresh better than a plastic bag, and it’s the right amount for most people to use before needing a fresh batch! These all-natural whole grains are a great snack option if you’re looking to cut down on salt or fat because you control the seasoning. They are GMO-free, which is another bonus coming from such a large brand. Using family farms since 1952, Orville Redenbacher’s figured out how to bring small-batch style popcorn to the masses, which is why they’re still considered one of the best around!
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Hoosier Hill Farm Popcorn

For a truly gourmet popcorn experience, we end our popcorn reviews today with a high-quality luxury popcorn from Indiana company Hoosier Hill Farm. Their Gourmet White popcorn kernels make a light, sweet, tender popcorn that’s perfect for eating plain, making into gorgeous popcorn balls, or adding any one of their amazing flavor powders. You can always flavor them with traditional butter and salt, but they also sell cheddar cheese, blue cheese, peanut butter, and even vegan “cheeze” powders you can buy to make your popcorn taste even better! They also have different color kernels, from the traditional yellow to the more exciting red or blue kernels! Since they are grown and packaged locally in Indiana, the corn is picked when ripe and comes to you fresh and ready to pop – no stale kernels here! We think this makes a great addition to your gourmet snack shelf, or give them out as gifts to friends and family throughout the year!
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