Do popcorn kernels go bad?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Do popcorn kernels go bad?”, and tell you how to tell whether the popcorn kernels have gone bad or not. We will also tell you if you can refrigerate the popcorn kernels and discuss how long popped popcorn lasts.

Do popcorn kernels go bad?

Yes, popcorn kernels can go bad if not stored properly. There are loose popcorn kernels and microwavable popcorn kernels. Both have a different shelf life.

Loose popcorn kernels will stay good for a year or even more if they are stored properly. They might lose their ability to pop as evenly, but they will be good to eat.

They need to be stored in an airtight jar that has been sealed tightly. This airtight jar should be kept in a cool, dry place. This is because kernels contain moisture inside them. If this moisture is lost, the kernels would not be able to pop and you will end up with no popcorn at all.

Airtight containers ensure that no moisture is lost and no air comes in contact with the kernels. 

On the other hand, microwavable popcorn kernels do not last as long because they have ingredients like oil or butter added to them. These ingredients will go bad over time or just would not taste good. This is why you should consume these popcorn kernels before their expiry or best before that. 

Microwaveable popcorn kernels can be used for upto three months past their expiry date but make sure that they haven’t gone bad before eating them.

How to tell if the popcorn kernels have gone bad or not?

  1. Look for any discoloration. Popcorn kernels that have lost moisture will appear darker than usual. These types of kernels have a low chance of popping.
  2. Look for any mold. Mold might appear as blue-greenish type spots on kernels. Do not use the popcorn kernels that have mold on them.
  3. Since plain loose popcorn kernels do not have anything added to them such as oil or butter, they will have no smell. On the other hand, microwavable popcorn kernels that have gone bad will smell really bad because the oil or butter in them would have spoiled.

    If they have any additives like oil then they might smell rancid due to all the fats in oil getting spoiled.
  4. You can also tell if the popcorn kernels were bad if you eat the popcorn and it tastes bad. This is especially true for microwavable popcorn.
  5. Another way to tell if the popcorn kernels have gone bad is when you are trying to make popcorn but most of them do not pop.
  6. Termites can invade and infest popcorn kernels so always inspect the popcorn kernels that have been sitting for a long time in your pantry to make sure there are no insects in it.

How long does popped popcorn last?

Popped popcorn will last for about 2 to 4 weeks when unopened. They will taste good and will be fresh when you open them.

Opened popped popcorn will last for only about 1 to 2 weeks. This is because popcorn will become stale overtime and would not be enjoyable to eat. 

Learn how to store popcorn kernels so that they last very long here.

Can you refrigerate popcorn kernels?

No, you can not refrigerate popcorn kernels. This is an absolutely bad idea. This is because when placed inside a refrigerator, the popcorn kernels will lose the moisture inside them. Without this moisture, popcorn kernels will not be able to pop and you will end up wasting them.

You should also avoid putting the popcorn kernels inside the freezer as the freezer will also cause loss of moisture and the popcorn kernels would have to be discarded. 

Other FAQs about Popcorn that you may be interested in.

How to store popcorn kernels?

Can popcorn go in the fridge?

Why is my caramel corn chewy?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Do popcorn kernels go bad?”, and tell you how to tell whether the popcorn kernels have gone bad or not. We will also tell you if you can refrigerate the popcorn kernels and discuss how long popped popcorn lasts.

Citations

https://bedfordcandies.com/How-Long-Does-Popcorn-Last_b_6.html#:~:text=Unpopped%20popcorn%3A%20Popcorn%20kernels%20keep,when%20you%20first%20got%20them.

https://www.gourmetgiftbaskets.com/Blog/post/can-popcorn-go-bad.aspx

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.