How Long Does Popped Popcorn Last?


The next movie is coming up and having popcorn is a must. Most people can’t imagine going to the cinema without it. Salty, sweet, chocolate, “Coca-Cola”, “Strawberry with Cream”, “Pina Colada”: you can pervert with varieties of popcorn flavors as much as you like.

But what if you’ve cooked or bought too many packages of popped popcorn? For how long the popcorn can be stored? Can it go bad after some time?

You can find all the answers in this article and as a BONUS – tips for making PERFECT POPCORN.

How Long Does Popped Popcorn Last? It depends totally on how much you like popcorn and how hungry you are. Popcorn doesn’t go off or spoil very soon. But it doesn’t last forever either, especially its taste. Once you opened the package or make popcorn yourself, its shelf-life is up to two weeks.

If you buy ready-to-eat popcorn than pay attention to the “best by” date that is usually around two to three months after the production date. Will the taste be the same? No, for sure, it will gradually dry out and lose its flavor so it’s best to eat it as soon as possible.

What about the shelf life of microwaveable packets?

Usually, it’s about 3 to 4 months. Of course, its taste can change during that time but it is still worth cooking but always keep it sealed.

If you want to experience the best quality of the popped popcorn, you should finish the whole package in one sitting.

How To Store Popcorn?

Shelf-life of popcorn depends on its taste and type of it. For example, salty popcorn with natural ingredients will not last long in the open air, just for a couple of hours at normal humidity. The same is for sweet and cheese popcorn. They lose their freshness very fast. With caramelized popcorn, things are a little better. Since the caramel mixture covers the whole popcorn, it limits the air access to humidity. But this doesn’t mean that it’s airtight. If you store it in the open air it can stay fresh for not more than one day.

If we are talking about sealed packaging then 

  • salted popcorn – 1 month from the date of production;
  • sweet and cheese popcorn – 2 months from the date of production;
  • caramelized popcorn – up to 6 months from the date of production.

Hard and dry corn grains contain approximately 13% moisture. At rasing temperature, moisture gradually begins to expand, and as a result, breaks the outer hard layer.

Remember that unprepared popcorn safely retains moisture, if it is placed in an airtight container. You can store such a package in a freezer or refrigerator.

If fried popcorn is not oiled it is better to store it in a closed plastic bag, preferably at room temperature, but not more than two weeks.

If you already greased it with oil, then put the popcorn in the refrigerator. To reheat the popcorn, just put it on a baking sheet and place into the oven for 10 minutes, the temperature should be not less than 320 °F.

Don’t forget that its better to store popped popcorn in a dark place, since when the product is under the direct sunlight, the oil that is contained in the corn grains will start to run rancid.

popped Popcorn

Can Popcorn Go Bad? How To Tell If Popcorn Has Gone Bad?

If you store the popcorn in a proper way it can last for a long period. One of the most expected things that can happen – popcorn will lose its taste. Unless moisture involved, it won’t grow mold or anything, that’s why it’s better to store them fried and not oiled.

If we’re talking about microwaveable packets – open them exactly before popping. You can check the quality after the popcorn is done. If the popcorn looks gross, smells off, tastes bitter or you find some unusual stuff – throw it away! Don’t put your health at risk!

Tips to Keep Homemade Popped Popcorn Fresh

Here are some tips to store homemade popcorn that stays fluffy and crisp, even a few days since you popped it.

1 step: don’t season popcorn. You can pop kernels on the stove or in the microwave, without any dressing. But don’t drizzle it with oil, sprinkle it with salt, or add flavorings in order not to make popcorn soggy or chewy.

2 step: make sure that popcorn is completely cool. Remember that it should be stored without moisture and if you try to store warm popcorn, the moisture will be trapped and your popped popcorn will become soggy.

3 step: pack the popcorn into an airtight container. Try to fill your box to the top so there will be less air in it. You can also use a sealable plastic bag but don’t forget to remove all the air from it.

4 step: store the popped popcorn at the indoor temperature for up to two weeks. Don’t refrigerate your popcorn in order not to create moisture.

5 step: season popcorn before you start eating. For the classic popped popcorn just toss it with melted butter and salt.

How to Revive Stale Popcorn

1 step: preheat the oven to 250 °F and spread the popcorn on a cooking sheet. Our advice is to choose a baking sheet with higher sides so the popcorn won’t slide off it.

2 step: heat the popcorn for 5 minutes. After that, you can check if it has become crispy again and if not – leave it for 5 more minutes.

3 step: season your heated popcorn. You can add melted butter and salt, and add some cheese, curry and other species to the taste.

The Benefits Of Popcorn

Popcorn itself isn’t a harmful product; it is just “blown up” corn grains. But the quality of the oil (and especially how many times it has been used) and artificial additives are exactly what sets us up against the use of store popcorn by children.

Its much better to treat children with homemade popcorn, which is safer and tastier. It’s better if the purchased corn grains, intended for self-cooking popcorn, were sold in paper bags since PVC bags are capable of releasing toxic substances.

  • Healthy popcorn is made from whole grains of corn, rich in coarse fibers that maintain a stable level of glucose in the blood.
  • Popcorn contains a significant amount of folic acid, that improves the process of hematopoiesis in the body.
  • Due to the presence of fiber in the popcorn, its use reduces the risk of the formation of certain types of oncology.
  • Coarse popcorn fibers have a positive effect on the digestive system and even help to lose weight.
  • Popcorn contains a large number of antioxidants, especially a lot of them in the form of polyphenols, which protect our cells from destruction.
  • All these useful properties resist the development of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other ailments.

For many people, watching movies is associated with eating popcorn. But before buying this product, you should consider that it may contain harmful components, and may also be expired. Therefore, it is important to understand how to choose the right product in order not to cause significant harm to your health.

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