What causes a popcorn kernel to pop?

Inside each kernel of popcorn is a tiny droplet of water surrounded by a hard shell called a hull. As the popcorn is heated, the water turns into steam, which builds pressure inside the kernel. When the hull can no longer contain the pressure — POP! — the kernel explodes and a fluffy new piece of popcorn is born.
A.

What causes some popcorn kernels not to pop?

The primary reason is moisture loss. Popcorn pops because it has an impermeable membrane (pericarp) that holds in water. The water inside the kernel superheats, causing so much pressure that the shell bursts. (See What makes corn kernels turn into the shape of popcorn?
  • What causes some popcorn kernels not to pop?

    The primary reason is moisture loss. Popcorn pops because it has an impermeable membrane (pericarp) that holds in water. The water inside the kernel superheats, causing so much pressure that the shell bursts. The popcorn may get stale, or become dried out.
  • Who popped the first popcorn?

    Deep in a dry cave known as the "Bat Cave" small heads of corn were discovered, as well as several individual popped kernels. This discovery was made by Herbert Dick and Earle Smith in 1948. The kernels have since been carbon dated to be approximately 5,600 years old. Decorated funeral urns in Mexico from 300 A.D.
  • Which state has the most popcorn?

    Nearly all of the world's popcorn production is in the United States, with 25 states growing the crop. Over one fourth of the national production is in Nebraska, and Indiana produces only slightly less. Other major popcorn-producing states are Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri.
B.

Can you pop popcorn underwater?

Can popcorn pop underwater? Popcorn works by heating up the tiny amount of water in the kernel, which then forces open the watertight shell, causing the little explosion of tasty goodness. It takes a minute or so in an air popper to heat the kernel to the point of popping.
  • How do you pop popcorn in the microwave?

    Place the popcorn kernels in a 2 1/2-quart microwave-safe bowl. Cover completely with a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high (at 100 percent power) until the popping slows down to about 4 seconds between each pop, 4 minutes and 45 seconds.
  • Can you use melted butter to pop popcorn?

    Drizzle that clarified butter into a large pot then add a half-cup of unpopped popcorn. Put a lid on it, and heat over medium-high heat until your popcorn begins to pop. In less than five minutes, you'll have a batch of buttery butter-popped butteriness without a single bit of soggy.
  • Why do some corn kernels pop and some don t?

    The primary reason is moisture loss. Popcorn pops because it has an impermeable membrane (pericarp) that holds in water. The water inside the kernel superheats, causing so much pressure that the shell bursts. The popcorn may get stale, or become dried out.
C.

Can you soak popcorn kernels?

Soak Unpopped Popcorn Kernels to Give Them a Second Chance. No matter what method you use to make popcorn, you always seem to end up with a few kernels that didn't pop. Soaking the kernels overnight in water can help them pop the second time around.
  • What is the difference between regular popcorn and kettle corn?

    In the pantheon of popcorns, kettle corn sits somewhere in between plain popped corn and caramel corn. It's lightly golden — more or less so depending on the amount of sugar you use — and salty-sweet. It has a crisp crunch from the sugar coating, but won't stick to your teeth the way caramel corn sometimes does.
  • Is caramel popcorn good for you?

    Although popcorn can be a healthy choice -- it's a whole grain that's packed with fiber -- the plain version is friendlier for your waistline than caramel popcorn. Caramel is made from sugar, and adds empty calories to your snack, providing no benefit besides taste.
  • Why popcorn is bad for your teeth?

    Popcorn is one of the worst dental offenders. “Its not just the kernels that are bad for your teeth, but also the thin shell that surrounds the kernel,” says Chevy Chase, MD cosmetic dentist Claudia C. Cotca, DDS. If it isn't removed in time, it can cause bone loss and possibly the loss of the tooth, too.

Updated: 2nd October 2019

Rate This Answer

3 / 5 based on 3 votes.