Yes! You can freeze popcorn, both popped and in kernel form. In fact, when you place popcorn in the freezer, it doesn’t freeze, but it will stay fresh longer. Continue reading to learn all about freezing popcorn.
What Happens When You Freeze Cooked Popcorn?
When you place popped popcorn in the freezer, it can stay fresh for up to three months. It is unique in that when you place it in the freezer, it doesn’t actually become frozen. The freshness of popcorn depends on how much moisture is in the air around the popcorn.
When you leave popcorn on the counter, it will take in the moisture from the air. This is what makes the popcorn chewy and stale. You can place your popcorn in a container that is sealed, and put it in the freezer. It will stay fresh for months. In addition, the sealed container blocks the outside air in the freezer and keeps it out.
If you plan to put your popcorn in the freezer, you should make sure that it cools and then place it in the container and make sure that it is sealed. Once it is, you can place it in the freezer, and it will stay fresh.
What Happens If You Put Uncooked Popcorn in the Freezer?
Although you can put cooked popcorn in the freezer, you shouldn’t put uncooked popcorn kernels in the freezer. The problem is that uncooked kernels pop because they have a hard shell that surrounds a moist center. When you heat the kernel, the moisture inside expands and breaks the hull open, causing the pop.
When you freeze uncooked popcorn, the moist center dries out. If it does pop, it might not taste as good, and there is a good chance that it won’t pop because the moisture won’t be there to expand. You should always store uncooked popcorn kernels at room temperature, but you can put them in the freezer once you have cooked it.
How Long Does Popcorn Last?
How long your popcorn lasts will depend on a few different things. Uncooked kernels can last up to a year, while cooked, it might last a few days on the shelf or the counter. If you buy precooked popcorn, it will depend on how they make it. Companies that make the popcorn in smaller batches have products with a longer shelf life, while those that pop their popcorn in big batches might only stay fresh a day or two once you open the package.
When you buy uncooked kernels of popcorn, you can get the longest life out of them by choosing dry, plain kernels. Then you can add oils or butter later when you cook it. These kernels can last up to a year.
If you buy microwave popcorn, it doesn’t last as long as kernels because it has oil and additives. You can microwave kernels by placing them in a brown paper bag with some olive oil, so these kernels are a better option no matter how you want to cook the popcorn.
If you cook popcorn, you can extend its life by placing it in the freezer once it reaches room temperature. Place it in a sealed container before you place it in the freezer.
How to Store Popcorn for Freshness
When you have uncooked popcorn, keep it on a dark, cool shelf in a sealed container. Many brands come in this kind of container, and you can reuse them when you finish. Make sure that you never keep your popcorn in direct sunlight, and keep it at room temperature.
If you have cooked popcorn, you have a couple of options. First of all, you should keep it in an airtight container. This helps the popcorn hold onto its natural moisture so that it doesn’t become dried out and stale.
You can place it in the cupboard away from the sunlight, or you can place it in the freezer. Make sure that it reaches room temperature before you put it in the freezer. You can create a tighter seal by using plastic wrap over the top of the container before you put the lid back on.
If you have toppings such as caramel or peanut butter on your popcorn, it will freeze. You should consider this before you place it in the freezer.
If you want to store your popcorn, you can freeze it if it has been cooked. As long as you wait until it is room temperature and place it in an airtight container, it will stay fresh, and it won’t actually freeze. However, you should not store uncooked popcorn. The moist centers will dry out, and the popcorn is likely not to pop when you try to cook it.