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Where can I purchase good popcorn kernels for home use?

I'm a big popcorn eater, and I really want to purchase kernels that make the puffy - brain type popcorn (think screaming yellow zonkers!) Does anyone know where I can order this, or what it's called? Thanks!!

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  1. Arrowhead Mills has good organic popcorn. Whole Foods or Fresh Direct. Been using this for a couple of years. It may not be giant sized but pops up big, light and fluffy. When cooked with extra virgin topped by melted Strauss butter and a Lawry's garlic salt....mouth waters..must go make a bowl!!!

    I am with you. Microwave P'corn just doesn't work.

    1. Crown Jewel makes great popcorn, not sure if its available in stores, but you can order from them.

      http://www.crownjewelgourmet.com/

      1. you can buy bulk popcorn from your local co-op grocery-- it will be fresher, and therefore pop much better than old stale grocery store stuff-- this is a quick (cheaper) fix maybe you'd like to try, though i am sure bigger popcorn-heads than i can give you mail-order recs for the screaming yellow zonkers you seek.

        1. You might want to do a little reading up on the web about the different kinds of popcorn. Try some of the famous places that ship. There is one that is in Kansas City, I think and they desribe exactly the type of mushroom shaped pieces you are describing. I think you are looking more for a particulaer variety than brand. My sister lives near the Orville Redenbacher farm so we have always liked theirs. I have to admit when I buy it from other farms, it may be fresh but I am not happy with the kernels. I think white jewel corn is one you will not like. Good luck

          1. My best luck on big popping corn kernels is good ol' Orville Redenbacher and a Whirley Pop popper. Add a couple tablespoons of oil and three kernels of corn to the popper over medium-high heat, then when the kernels pop, add 1/2 cup of popcorn. Turn the crank to stir the kernels until the popping stops. I've used a Whirley Pop on both electric and gas ranges, and can say that on electric, you should do fine bumping the heat up to high; on gas you might want to drop the heat a little bit. If the heat is too high, the kernels don't pop nearly as big. You'll know you have it right when the lid starts to open from the volume of popcorn trying to escape.

            7 Replies
            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

              i use orville, too. i was reading the jar a few months back, and noticed their instructions, and had to try it. they recommend 1/3 cup kernels and, i think, 3 T oil (although i decreased it to 2 T and used olive oil with no ill effects). put the oil and kernels in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot (i use my soup pot). set over medium heat with lid slightly off to allow steam to escape. that's it, stand back and let it go, no shaking/turning required. works great, i get hardly any duds, and, other than having to wash the pot, easy.

              1. re: mark

                We use Orville also. Kroger in Houston was having a buy ten and save in their stores, and I was able to get them at half price, 2.49 per container. I bought twenty. The way we go through popcorn, this should last until around Novemeber, which is the best by on the label.

                1. re: mark

                  Never use olive oil when using it with high heat. The heat destroys all the benefits of olive oil, instead use Canola oil which is much cheaper and also very healthy for you. You can pour olive oil on the popcorn "after" it is popped but never before.

                  1. re: abuiltmale

                    I know this is an old post, but there is controversy regarding canola oil and whether it is healthy for you, so I thought I should say so here.

                    Also, while it is correct that you should not heat olive oil on high, I have found in more than thirty years of stove-popping my corn that HIGH temperature is the wrong way to pop it.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      About which food is there not a controversy these days. I don't know what the Canola Oil kerfuffle is about but i don't think it's yet time to rule it out for popcorn. Wait a few months, the whole picture could well change. Nevertheless, I agree with sandylc about olive oil. I've never had a problem with olive oil, I don't think I've ever noticed it's smoking in the Whirlypop, and besides, the stirring action of the W-Pop dissipates heat. Finally, IIRC the directions for making popcorn specify medium heat. Higher than that and the oil *will smoke* and you'll probably have burned popcorn, too. I take the W-Pop off the heat as soon as popping slows to 1 second per pop, the rest pops after you remove the popper. Finally, I have found that once popping has commenced I slow down stirring further so it takes about 10 seconds per single revolution. That way I almost always have unpopped kernels in the low single digits, sometimes none!

                      1. re: tommy.gossard

                        Sounds like you really have it down beautifully.

                        My oils of choice for corn are peanut, corn, and coconut.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          I love peanut oil but I rarely use it for cooking. Coconut oil sounds fantastic, especially so since I am trying to incorporate a greater variety of saturated fats in my diet. If you or anyone else here wonders why I would want to do that, my I direct you to the blog of Michael J. Eades, author of Protein Power. There you can read about the *multiple benefits* of saturated fats for the purpose of, hang on...lowering your cholesterol, losing fat (and weight), and improving your health generally. Finally research is increasingly showing what I've suspected for many years, that saturated fat is good for you, not bad, as long as kept in moderation. Carbs, sugar etc. are the real culprits in the obesity epidemic, not fat. Reducing your carbs by say 50% (which I think is easily manageable) and increasing your intake of saturated, as opposed to unsaturated and even monosaturated fat, e.g. olive oil, would cut well into the overweight problem in our nation. Now, tell that to your kids and see what they think—don't be surprised if their eyes glaze over, or just don't listen. Unfortunately!

              2. Here's a great site to buy popcorn. http://www.amishcountrypopcorn.com/in...

                I use a whirley pop also, with a bit of olive oil. It's great. I prefer the smaller varieties, but Amish Country also has some of the much larger varieties you describe. If you look at the descriptions, I'll bet you'll want to try a few.

                Have fun!

                1. If you can find Newman's Own popcorn - you will be extremely pleased with the results! It is comparable to Orville Redenbachers, but with more pops (fewer duds) and a bit better flavor, IMO.

                  1. The "Brain" kind of popcorn is called Mushroom popcorn. It's typically used for Caramel corn as it does not break apart easily like the Butterfly type does. It is also tougher than the butterfly type so not often used as home popcorn. Often a few of these kernels sneek their way into commercial bags of popcorn (my wife is never satisfied unless she finds one in a bag on microwave corn) Since it is not typically used in home popping applications, it is almost never found in bags that would be conducive for home use. But if you really like your corn you can find it in 50 pound bags on the net at places like popcornsupplies.com or other concession suppliers. It runs about $30 for a bag that size and may be labled as "Caramel type" corn.

                    1. I get my popcorn from the local farmer's market. Only $2 a bag and I still have a ton left from almost 6 months ago.

                      1. Hi , I saw your Request for GREAT Popcorn Kernels . I Too am a HUGE Popcorn Consumer and I can not find really Good quality Kernels that are avalible everyday in a Local supermarket , Specialty Store ( Boston Mass resident ) So ( Question ) Did you Find any GREAT Big Popping Tasty Kernels ??? Please Reply to email address : COLORFULSUNSET@Rock.com ( Thanks , Happy Salting )

                          1. re: allenwoods

                            Caveat: I know virtually nothing about popcorn except I hear it's healthy. And I'm on a strict diet.

                            I'm looking for a hot air popper that is capable of making small quantities well. The Presto seems to be top rated but will it make small quantities? As for the kernels, are they all the same calories? Bearing my diet in mind, are the gourmet sites such as crownjewel or amish country recommended? Thanks.

                            1. re: jook

                              you can add as little popcorn in an air popper as you want, so it can make small quantities. I would think it would be the same calories but I don't know for sure I would think popcorn is popcorn, I'm not sure how you measure the volume of popcorn for calories before or after its popped

                              1. re: LisaN

                                Adding less than the recommended amount to a hot air popper (usually 1/2 cup) usually results in much more of the raw kernels being flung out by the air flow. That's why if you're going to pop small popcorn kernels like a hulless popcorn, you actually want to use more than the recommended amount just to hold it down. You can always pop the full 1/2 cup, put the left over in a zip top bag and then re-crisp it in the toaster oven when needed (300F 10-15mins).

                            2. re: allenwoods

                              Crown Jewel has horrible customer service. Typically takes months to get your popcorn shipped. They have a BBB rating of "F" based on never communicating with their customers relative to shipment issues.

                              1. re: deant

                                Ooh, they've gone downhill since last time I ordered then. Good to know

                            3. Greatwestern from hollywood al. They supply approx 90% of the movie theatres in north america.

                              1. When I lived in Boise during High School, there was a local farm that sold their popcorn. I remember it having a really fresh, almost grassy taste to it. I tried to do a search for that farm, to no avail.

                                Anyone know what I'm talking about? Sounds weird, but it's the best popcorn I had ever had and I'd love to find something similar.

                                  1. I found Paragon popcorn available from Amazon is better then any store popcorn I've brought. The unpopped corn is even larger when I compared them to store bought corn. When bought in a "large" bag its cheaper too. One secret I've found is to put all the popcorn in the pot , not just a few. It pops much better that way. I would stay away from The Whirlypopper as its not stainless steel and micro particles of the cheap pot can end up in your popcorn ( you won't see it though). Amazon sells The Back to Basics Stainless Steel Popper for $27.79 ( ships free). The quality is so much better then The Whirlypopper.

                                    1. Why do people prefer big bigger biggest popped corn? The biggest (or close to it) I have found is Redenbacher's Yellow Popcorn, but the popped kernels are usually tough and too chewy for my taste. I like a somewhat smaller more tender corn—Redenbacher's White Corn, for example, which is both smaller and more tender than their yellow. Movie theater popcorn (referred to below) is among the smallest popped kernels, and it's tender and quite tasty. I'll try Newman's Own, but I understand they go for size too. Pity!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: tommy.gossard

                                        I'm with you. I have loved popcorn for my entire life, and while yellow corn is good, white is AMAZING! So light and crisp! I do like Orville's quite a lot, but a cheap store brand here is actually better....

                                        1. re: sandylc

                                          I bought Amish Country Popcorn from an Amish store in Fredricksburg, TX. I go the Extra Large Caramel Type but did not make caramel. Very tasty and "corny" tasting! They have many other types of popcorn, too. The popcorn website is. www.amishcountrypopcorn.com

                                        2. re: tommy.gossard

                                          i don't particularly care about size, but mushroom popcorn holds toppings better than butterfly popcorn. i make a lot of caramel corn, and although i prefer mine without nuts, some family like the nuts. it just tends to hold up better than butterfly corn when adding topping.

                                          1. re: Jess2248

                                            Yes, good point. Larger popcorn is necessary for good caramel corn!

                                        3. Years and years ago, my grandmother cleaned out a bowl of decorative corn ("Indian corn") and popped up the loose kernels. All sizes and quite a few colors of popcorn resulted, and it was ALL quite delicious. At least, according to a memory when I was about 8 years old. It would be fun to find some unusual varieties of hard corn and pop them up.