When Popcorn Doesn’t Pop (Plus an Extra Delicious Tip)

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Popping PopcornI thought when Popcorn lost it’s pop, that’s it – game over. Do you know how much popcorn I’ve used to make foot warmers or beanbags? Do you know how much popcorn I have thrown away? Un-popping popcorn was always been depressing and upsetting but I figured it was one of the many disappointments of life.WRONG!

When I tried this “fix” I was super skeptical. It seemed too easy. I had lost too many kernels to the abyss to have this easy of a trick work. But I had half of a 25 lb bag of popcorn left. I had to at least give it a try! (Who buys that much popcorn at a time anyway??)

We had been craving some of the good stuff – stovetop popped corn. While we’re all for a microwave bag here and there, nothing is the same as popping it yourself over a nice hot burner. (Not too mention, I bought a huge bag of kernels!!) So we rummaged it out and I set to popping. Only, the kernels didn’t really pop so much as sizzle and squeak. It was the strangest popcorn experience of my life! Nothing popped! I thought I had the heat too high, then too low, then maybe not enough oil. Experiment, experiment and nothing but hard, tiny little “popped” kernels with at least half not even pretending to pop! What happened?!?! I looked and looked and found that popcorn harbors a little tiny drop of water inside it. When that gets hot, it causes the burst of beautiful white kernels. When popcorn gets old, that water evaporates and the kernels will never pop, no matter how you heat them. Luckily, the water can be restored!! All it takes is about 1 teaspoon of water per cup of corn. This may be a little more or less depending on the age and dryness of your popcorn. Let it set in an airtight container for a few days and shake it around occasionally and wa-la!

After reading that, I felt a little flicker of hope. So, I measured out my popcorn. I put it in a plastic tub. I added some water. I shook it around for a few days. I tried popping it again. Magic. Beautiful. Perfect. Better than brand new. Not even kidding. Miraculous results! We had popcorn several times over the next few days, possibly checking to see if it was a fluke, possibly because it was the most perfectly delicious popcorn I had ever had. It always popped full and beautiful.

So, I hope I just saved you all a bunch of money and disappointment and heartache over your lost kernels. Water them and they shall pop!

Now on to the extra delicious tip. My husband came up with this all on his own. I can not take the credit. We always melt a splat of butter for drizzling over our popcorn because, hello, it’s popcorn. For those of you that eat it plain, this tip is worthless to you. Plus, how can you do that?? Anyway, so when he melts the butter, it’s always a pretty large splat of butter because he likes good coverage. I always get a bit upset because we aren’t trying to clog arteries here! (Even though his version was so much better than mine!) The miracle popcorn day, he had a thought. He melted a very small splat of butter and found our basting brush. He brushed it over the top of the bowl of kernels, stirred and repeated until the butter was gone. Might I just say, I have NEVER HAD MORE FABULOUS POPCORN IN MY LIFE! Every piece was coated but not a single one was drowned. Every kernel had that delicious flavor. And he used less than half as much butter to do it! It doesn’t take long to baste it either. I thought it would but it doesn’t. Try it. I beg you. Because you will never go back to the drizzle.

So here is your handy hint for the day. (Or two. …Hints…not days.) You are welcome. Let me know how it works for you. And if any of you are hoarding other super useful and amazing things like this, PLEASE share them with me!!

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