Sarah Browning: Popcorn goes from garden to snack | Home & Garden

Properly cured and stored popcorn should retain its popping quality and flavor for three to four years. After that, it may develop a slightly stale or rancid taste, and popping quality may fall off.

Sarah Browning: Dividing (perennials) and conquering

However, if your storage conditions are not ideal popping problems may develop during storage. Again, moisture content of the kernels is the probable cause.

If your popcorn is too dry, add one tablespoon of water per quart, seal and shake well twice a day for a couple of days. If a test popping shows the corn is still too dry, repeat the treatment.

If your popcorn is too moist, spread it out on a pan and let it dry until a few test kernels are popping well again. Avoid oven or rapid drying since this can reduce popping quality.

Popcorn Poppin’ month

For more than 30 years, October has been celebrated as National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, but in 1999 it was made official by then Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. For more information, history and fun facts about popcorn, visit

Photos: Harvest time in Nebraska in the past decade

Sarah Browning is an extension educator with Nebraska Extension. To ask a question or reach her, call 402-441-7180 or write to her at [email protected] or 444 Cherrycreek Road, Lincoln, NE 68528.


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