Can You Reheat Popcorn? – The Ultimate Guide

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I have seen the question of ‘Can I reheat popcorn’ more times than I could count, simply because we tend to make popcorn in large batches. I mean, it is always fun whenever you’re sitting with a bunch of friends holding a big bowl of popcorns enjoying a nice movie!

Despite how delicious it is, you will often find yourself left with some leftover popcorn. Don’t even think about throwing it away, because I am going to tell you exactly how to reheat popcorn back to life!

Believe it or not, you actually have a couple of options to heat up popcorn, either using the oven to keep the popcorn warm or the microwave as a quicker alternative. Or you can simply eat it at room temperature by learning how to properly store the freshly made popcorn so that it doesn’t turn stale.

All of these important topics, at least in my opinion, will be discussed in this article.

The Ultimate Guide to Popcorn – Storing and Reheating

Since we can all agree that popcorn is just a freaking amazing snack, and healthy too by the way, we can move on to all the different ways we can make it even better, which lies in its proper storage and warming up. But first, for all the people that are not relating to popcorn.

Here’s a brief about popcorns:

What is Popcorn:

Popcorn is basically corn kernels that pop up to about 30 times their size when exposed to a certain heat, hence their name. But that’s a very broad definition because they actually turn into a fluffy, crunchy, and amazing treat.

They are also the easiest to make for sure. A little sprinkle of salt or a drizzle of butter could take this simple snack to a whole new level.

Some places even offer a whole stand of different flavors and all the butter you can imagine for you to have popcorn however you like it best!

The point is, the sky is your limit when it comes to flavoring your popcorn. What matters is how enjoyable it actually is.

Different Popcorn Varieties:

You can never imagine just how many different popcorn varieties actually exists. Starting from the salted to the lightly salted, buttery, or extra-buttery. Not only that, there are actually plenty more flavor ideas that can be added with popcorns.

Here are a few ideas of just some of the many popcorn flavors you might find:

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

Not to mention the gourmet specialties, seasonal flavors like dill pickle or pepperoni, which are also sold as separate salts for you to flavor your homemade popcorns.

How to make Popcorn?

The exact method of popcorn making is not that limited or exclusive to only one way. In fact, you can make popcorns in so many different ways.

You can either use the natural corn kernels to make popcorn by heating them on the stovetop using a pan, you can also buy the already prepared bag, ready to be popped in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, or simply go for the popcorn popper machine that will require no work whatsoever to make you the most satisfying snack ever.

Just remember the most important ingredient usually added with the corn kernels to make popcorn is either butter or oil. And the butter used here isn’t solely for flavor, it is actually used to help the kernels pop.

Here is a quick walkthrough of a recipe for making popcorn at home on your stove:

  1. Layer a wide pan with some oil or butter, whichever you prefer, then put on a medium-high heat flame till the oil warms up.
  2. To test the temperature of the oil, add 3 to 4 corn kernels in the pot and see when will they pop. Once they do, remove them, and add about ½ a cup of corn kernels.
  3. Stir with a spoon the kernels so that they are all coated with the oil. Try to be quick in this step.
  4. Cover the pot with its lid, remove the pot from the heat for about thirty seconds, then return the pot back to the flame. The corns should start popping now.
  5. Don’t be alarmed by the sound of the corns popping, just shake the pot well so that the corns have more room to continue popping.
  6. Once it slows down a bit, remove the pot from the heat. Serve the popcorns into a big bowl.
  7. Don’t forget the seasoning, sprinkle some salt and any type of seasoning you prefer, then drizzle a bit of melted butter and ENJOY!

It is really that simple. Doesn’t require more than 3-4 ingredients, a pot, and a serving bowl. That’s it. That’s all it takes to have the perfect snack for any get-together. Just make sure not to elevate the temperature much so that the popcorn doesn’t burn.

Methods and Instructions for Reheating Popcorn:

Generally speaking, you don’t actually need to reheat leftover popcorns. If stored correctly, they should taste as good as new. However, a little warming up won’t hurt either.

You have two options, both of them are efficient and pretty simple. Either use the oven or the microwave to warm up your popcorns. There isn’t one specific method that I prefer.

Reheating Popcorn in the Microwave:

It is a bit quicker in comparison with the oven method. However, both of them almost give the same results.

Steps of reheating using the microwave:

  1. Put your leftover popcorns on a microwavable plate.
  2. Before you transfer the plate to the microwave, wrap the plate with a paper towel or a microwave-safe plastic bag so that the moisture doesn’t escape the popcorns and cause them to dry or burn.
  3. Allow the popcorns to microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Mix the popcorns together, then transfer the plate back to the microwave for another 15 seconds.
  5. Let them rest for a few minutes. Sprinkle some salt, and enjoy!

Reheating Popcorn in the oven:

This is the other alternative for the microwave if it is not available, or if you simply prefer to keep your popcorns warm.

Steps of reheating using the microwave:

  1. Place your popcorns in a baking tray.
  2. Transfer the baking tray with the popcorns to a preheated oven at 250 to 300°F.
  3. Allow them to heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Or until they are warm enough.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Proper Popcorn Storage Procedures:

It is actually a common misconception that already made popcorns, whether salted or even buttered can’t be stored. Here’s a surprise for you. You can actually store flavored popcorns and buttered ones in many different ways including freezing and refrigeration.

Different types of readymade popcorns might have different storage instructions, as gourmet popcorn for example. That’s why you need to check the storage instructions written on the back of the bag if found. However, as a general note, you can store any popcorn using the following simple steps.

How to store your popcorn in the fridge:

Despite the fact that the fridge is almost always the best place where you can store any type of food, yet when it comes to popcorn, it is quite a special case. Storing popcorns in the fridge could result in a bit of dry and stale popcorns.

That’s why it is not my preferred method of storage. However, it is pretty successful in preserving the flavors of the popcorns, so it is really up to you to decide whether it works for you or not.

Here are the steps you need to follow to store your popcorns in the fridge:

  1. Place your leftover popcorns inside of an airtight container or any sealable bag.
  2. After making sure that the container is tightly closed, place it away from any fan in the fridge, and preferably beside the light, or more like the least cold position in the fridge.
  3. You can let it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

How to store your popcorn at room temperature:

If properly done, storing your popcorns at room temperature might be your best option to prevent them from drying out.

Here are the steps you need to follow to store your popcorns at room temperature:

  1. Place your leftover popcorns in an airtight container or a sealable bag.
  2. Tightly seal whatever option you chose, and keep it on an open counter and preferably in a warm place.
  3. The stored popcorn can last for up to two weeks.

How to store your popcorn in the freezer:

Unlike refrigeration, freezing popcorns don’t dry it out or make it go stale. It keeps the popcorns in their best shape, just like storing it at room temperature, but for a longer time than two weeks.

I like to freeze my popcorns if I am sure that I won’t need them before at least two weeks, as they would need to be warmed up after freezing for them to be edible.

Here’s the steps you need to follow to store your popcorns in the freezer:

  1. Use either a heavy-duty freezer bag or an airtight container that must be sealed tightly to preserve the popcorns inside the freezer.
  2. Once you place your popcorn in whatever option you choose, make sure it is tightly sealed, then transfer it to the freezer after labeling it with the date and the name of the contents.
  3. Freeze for up to three months in the freezer.

Freezing non-seasoned popcorn is preferred in general. However, if you have readymade ones that are flavored and seasoned, go ahead and freeze them anyways.

You don’t have to reheat frozen popcorns, if you like them cold, you can eat them just like that, it is okay.

Frequently asked questions:

Now that you are done with the detailed guide to store and reheat your leftover popcorns. These are some questions that were previously asked that might help you if you have any trouble with the previously mentioned points.

Can I Use Any Oil for Stovetop Popcorn? 

Always go with any oil that has a high smoke point like vegetable oil, or maybe coconut oil. Olive oil is not preferred.

Can you reheat unpopped popcorn?

Once the unpopped corn kernels are separated from the already made popcorns, you can easily put them in a paper bag and into the microwave for another round to allow them to pop. Or in a pan on the stovetop with some oil.

Can you microwave popcorn twice?

Well, according to the company’s instructions at the back of the bag and my own trial. You, unfortunately, can’t microwave popcorns twice.

You see, the corn kernels basically pop because of all the steam that builds up inside the kernel of the corn till it finally explodes into popcorns. Once that’s done, it can’t happen again. If you tried to microwave it again, the popcorns will probably burn.

How to Revive Stale Popcorn?

The oven should be your best bet in refreshing your leftover, stale popcorns. It can warm up your popcorns and bring them back to life.

Here are the steps:

  1. Align your leftover popcorns on a baking tray. Make sure not to layer them on top of each other.
  2. Transfer the baking tray to a preheated oven at 250°F.
  3. Allow them to heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are warm enough.
  4. Take them out of the oven, allow them to rest, then sprinkle some salt and a drizzle of butter. Enjoy!

The most important thing is to just monitor the popcorns inside the oven carefully so that they don’t burn and brown in color.

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

Well, you won’t find a big of a difference between both types of kernels, but generally speaking, the white kernels have thinner outer walls, which will cause them to produce smaller and a bit softer popped corn kernels.

Is Popcorn Healthy?

I am tempted to say yes, as most of the recent health trends almost always include popcorns. However, it really depends on the amount of salt added and any additives that you prefer with the popcorns.

So, if you are asking about the bare popped corn kernels, then yes, they are low calorie and pretty healthy.

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