boiling water popcorn

Back when I was a kid, we made our popcorn on the stovetop but we didn’t boil our popcorn kernels.  We loved making Jiffy Pop when we went camping.  In the 80s, we purchased our first air popper. When they invented the microwave, another way to make popcorn was introduced.  Even with all these methods available, I never, in all my years as a kid or young adult, ever thought about making popcorn in boiling water. 

You can make popcorn in boiling water at home, it takes around 30 minutes of boiling. You then need to pop the kernels once dry on the stove, air popper, or microwave. The kernels are boiled, then popped and they are called half-popped popcorn since they do not pop like normal popcorn kernels.

You might even be surprised to learn that you can purchase half-popped popcorn at the grocery store.  I highly recommend this treat and I wish I knew about it sooner.

Can You Make Popcorn in Boiling Water?

You can make popcorn in boiling water.  However, it will not come out pretty and fluffy.   Instead, you will wind up with half-popped kernels of popcorn.  It may not look like you expect, but they are still yummy. 

The pieces are different than your traditional popcorn but good in a different way.  Half-popped popcorn can be quite crunchy and a tasty treat. 

You can put toppings on it just like regular popcorn.  I would recommend that you make it plain the first time to try its natural flavors before you put any seasoning on them.

Is There Ready to Eat Popcorn Made in Boiling Water?

Boiled popcorn has become so popular that multiple companies are selling ready-to-eat options.  There is not currently a monopoly on half-popped popcorn, which is surprising considering most people are unaware that half-popped popcorn is a thing. 

It comes in a variety of flavors from butter and sea salt, kettle corn, and dill pickle.  It seems like they are always popping up new flavors.  I saw a black truffle and sea salt flavor the other day online and was surprised that the flavor was sold out.  I like anything kettle corn, so that is my favorite flavor.

If you like the half-popped kernels at the bottom of the bowl when you make homemade popcorn, then you will like these.  I have to fight my family over the half-popped kernels when I make popcorn on the stovetop. 

Now, I must hide my kettle corn flavor, or else it is eaten by the time I am ready for my afternoon snack.  I recommend you try it and see if you like them.

You can buy the pre-packed options at your local grocery store or order them online from Amazon.

If you like hot sauce, you might enjoy the article Can I Put Hot Sauce On My Popcorn?

Tips on Making Popcorn Kernels in Boiling Water?

There are two ways to get your half-popped popcorn ready for consumption.

First, you need to boil your kernels, drain them, and dry them.  Then you will need to pop your boiled kernels like regular popcorn. 

Once you have boiled the kernels, you can pop them in the microwave, in the air popper, in the electric popper, just like regular popcorn kernels.  I think the best way to pop already boiled kernels is on the stovetop, so I will include those directions below in the steps on how to boil the kernels.

You will probably be surprised by how much the half-popped kernels do not fill up the bowl.  I would recommend you start with 1 cup of kernels for your first attempt.  This way you know the yield for 1 cup of kernels and can scale up from there.

You might want to take a quarter cup of the boiled kernels and try popping them in different ways to see which method you prefer. 

If popping in the microwave, you can put the kernels in a paper bag or silicone popping bowl with a cover.  Make sure you take them out as soon as the popping slows down, or they will burn.

If popping in the air popper, watch it to make sure they don’t shoot from the popper and burn someone, as does sometimes happen.

If using the electric popper, follow the normal directions and turn off when the popping has slowed down. 

Like I said earlier, I prefer it cooked on the stove in oil, so I have included those directions below.

Instructions for Making Boiled Popcorn

 Directions to Boil the Popcorn Kernels:

  • Get a bag of your favorite brand of popcorn kernels.
  • Fill a large pot full of water.
  • Allow the water to come to a rolling boil.
  • Drop the desired number of kernels into the boiling water (remember they will only be half-popped).
  • Allow the kernels to boil for about 30 minutes.
  • Turn off the stove and drain the water.
  • Dry the popcorn kernels with a paper towel. It is important that the kernels are dry.

Directions To Pop the Boiled Kernels on the Stove:

  • Put the oil in a pan and drop in a couple of kernels. When those pop, put the other kernels into the pan and cover.
  • Shake the pan to keep them from burning while they are popping.
  • Once the popping has slowed down, turn off the stove, remove the pan from the burner, and put it in a bowl.
  • At this point, you can add some parmesan cheese or other toppings to the bowl and shake to evenly coat the popcorn.

If you are looking for ways to flavor your popcorn check out the article 11 Simple Ways to Flavor Your Popcorn

Toppings That You May Have in Your Pantry:

  • Sugar and salt
  • Sugar, cinnamon, and salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Melted chocolate
  • Paprika and chili powder
  • Italian seasonings

Good luck and enjoy your half-popped popcorn, however you choose to consume it.

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