One of the few downsides of eating popcorn?
How fast it turns stale.
Now, this isn’t usually a problem since you can eat an entire bowl even before the movie opening credits roll. But in case you do have leftovers, can you freeze popcorn safely or will it be a bad idea?
Let’s settle this once and for all.
Can You Freeze Popped Popcorn?
Yes, it’s safe to keep cooked popcorn in the freezer, as long as it stays in a well-sealed container that protects it from moisture (aka your popcorn’s worst enemy). The kernels won’t get frozen and will stay good for up to three months.
Just a heads up — it won’t taste as crunchy or as good as freshly popped popcorn.
Can You Freeze Popcorn Kernels That Haven’t Been Popped?
While sticking popped popcorn in the freezer will extend its shelf life, we don’t suggest doing the same for uncooked kernels.
To understand why, let’s have a quick refresher on what makes popcorn pop.
Each kernel has moisture trapped inside it. Cooking kernels at a high temperature will turn this moisture into heat. And once there’s enough pressure from the steam, the hulls will burst and you’ll have fresh, crunchy popcorn ready for you to eat.
So when you freeze unpopped kernels, they’ll lose moisture and turn into old maids way before they even have the chance to pop.
You’re better off keeping unpopped kernels in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.
Can You Freeze Microwave Popcorn?
It depends. If you’re talking about unpopped microwave popcorn, then no. Just let it stay in your cupboard like normal and pop it before it expires. Cooked microwave popcorn, on the other hand, can last a little longer in the freezer.
Tips for Storing Popcorn in the Freezer
Wait! Don’t stash your leftover popcorn in the freezer just yet. Read these tips first:
- Before putting your popcorn inside the freezer, wait for steam to escape and allow it to reach room temperature. It’ll be chewy if you place it in the freezer right after popping.
- Stash your popcorn in airtight containers or resealable freezer bags. If you’re using the latter, remove as much air as possible before sealing. This will help you avoid freezer burn.
- For extra defense against freezer burn, you can double wrap the popcorn. You can store it in a freezer bag first and then place it inside an airtight container.
- Label the popcorn with the date you placed it in the freezer to keep track of freshness.
- Divide your popcorn into portions. The bigger the batch of popcorn you freeze, the tougher it is to thaw. Using separate containers instead of keeping everything in one place will guarantee you end up with a crunchy, mouthwatering snack each time.
- Once you thaw the popcorn, don’t refreeze it. It will affect the crunch and taste. That’s another reason we recommend freezing individual servings.
- Wait a few minutes before eating kettle corn or caramel popcorn (or any glaze-coated popcorn, for that matter). Tempting as it is to dig in immediately, you might hurt your teeth. The kernels might also be stuck together, so break ‘em up first.
- Don’t freeze stale popcorn. It won’t revive its crispiness.
Make Special Moments Last
Storing popcorn in the freezer can prolong its lifespan beyond two weeks, but only if you’ve already cooked it. Unpopped kernels belong in your cupboard where they can stay dry and safe from heat.
Of course, nothing tops warm, freshly popped popcorn so if you want to make the right amount of popcorn every time, try our Oh Sooo Buttery Popcorn or Classic Kettle Popcorn. These kits come pre-measured with all the ingredients you need to make a perfect amount of delicious popcorn.