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Popcorn is a popular snack food the comes in many variations, consisting of dry kernels, popped, and also microwave packs with different flavors.

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If you enjoy them often, possibilities are girlfriend buy many packages at once. So, you can wonder does popcorn go bad and also how long does popcorn last. The answers are best below.

Does Popcorn walk Bad?

Popcorn pops due to the tiny amount of water the each kernel contains. In fact, 15% kernel is water, relying on the corn sort. When you heat them, the moisture within transforms into popcorn.

That way you can pop castle as lengthy the corn doesn’t dry the end entirely. That process doesn’t constantly depend top top time. Archaeologists found well-preserved, about 4,000 years old kernels in brand-new Mexico. Think it or not, those kernels popped and were edible.

As you can see, the popcorn won’t go poor over time. However, lock will shed the expected quality and also flavor if friend don’t keep them right. Plus, countless kernels won’t pop if you store them for also long.

On the other hand, popped popcorn has actually an expiration date, and it deserve to spoil much quicker than dry kernels. The exact same goes because that microwave popcorn packs.

How lengthy Does Popcorn Last?

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The popcorn storage referrals are pretty similar, no matter which package you decide to buy. That would help if you preserved them in a dry, cold, and dark location to save their quality until consumption. Her pantry or kitchen cabinet deserve to be ideal locations for the purpose.

Place popcorn alongside containers with cornflakes, flour, and also other dry foods. Maintaining it in a frozen fridge isn’t safe since they quickly lose your taste at short temperatures.

How lengthy Does Popcorn critical (Chart)

Popcorn type

Dry kernels

1 come 2 years

Microwave unopened

2 come 3 months
Microwave popped

1 come 2 weeks

Unopened popped

1 to 2 months
Opened popped

1 to 2 weeks


1 to 2 weeks

Dry kernels can last because that years if you keep them far from moisture and in one airtight container. When you have actually the microwave packets and also pre-popped popcorn, days on a label room a pretty good guideline, although the is for sure to use them for one to two weeks after ~ that.

Once opened the pack, you must use popcorn in the next one to two weeks. The same is the situation with homemade popcorn. When you popular music the kernels, you can store them because that a best of two weeks before ending up being stale.

5 advice to phone call if Popcorn have actually Gone Bad

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Basically, the popcorn can’t walk bad, however they deserve to lose their features to the allude it is no longer edible. Unfortunately, there is no way to phone call if the microwave or commercially popped popcorn has spoiled till opening the pack. Still, some indications may indicate it is time come discard them:

Smell – Sniff popcorn or dry kernels to assess their condition. If you use the microwave pack, you need to prepare popcorn first. Anyway, discard them if you feeling mold odor or the smell of rancid oil.Texture – as soon as you pop the popcorn, obstacle a few between your fingers. If they feeling different, firmer, gristly, or the oils and spices from the packaging room unevenly distributed, you need to throw lock away. Those popcorns are more than likely safe come eat yet entirely tasteless.Taste – flavor is the surest means to determine if this food is unable to do bad. Once you prepare them, try one or two. They room edible if you feel the common buttery flavor you enjoy. However, the readjust in saltiness and also oiliness shows you do not do it consume the remainder of them.Bugs – Sometimes, the pantry bugs have the right to be drawn from flour and also other foodstuffs into a container with dry kernels if you nothing close the properly. Litter them away once noticing any type of signs that infestation, including any kind of organic particles and bugs.Mold – If you view kernels infected v black or white mold, don’t popular music them. Separating healthy ones is pointless since mold has arisen in the totality container also if friend can’t view it. Therefore, stop risking your health and also buy new popcorn.

How to keep Popcorn for Longer

As i have already mentioned, you need to keep popcorn in ~ room temperature come ensure its best quality. Plus, keeping it far from moisture can level its shelf-life. However, there room a couple of more top that deserve to save popcorn longer.

Dry kernels

Use airtight containers

Picking the ideal vessel is vital for kernel storage. Avoid keeping them in a plastic or document bag.

Instead, usage a plastic or a glass container that you need to seal tightly to protect against moisture loss. Girlfriend can likewise use a vacuum sealing courage or a Mason jar. The way, pantry bugs can’t infest your kernels.


If you store dry kernels because that over 2 years, they will dry out, and also most won’t completely pop when heated. ~ above the various other hand, those that react to warm will revolve out right into smaller and also harder popcorns. Surprisingly, you can solve this problem by adding water friend usually keep the popcorn from.

Add one teaspoon of clean, cold water for each lb (454 g) of dried kernels in a container. Shake them numerous times a day come distribute moisture evenly, and pop a section after a week. Girlfriend will an alert they are fresh as choose you have just bought them.


You need to dry the new popcorn if they have been exposed to excessive moisture or you have accidentally flood water on the kernels. Instead of throwing castle away, you can solve the trouble by utilizing a dehydrator.

Preheat kernels and also evenly arrange lock on the tray. Collection the temperature to 130 F (54.5 C) and let the kernels sit for 10 to 15 minutes. When they cool off, put them earlier in a dry, clean container and close it chop to protect against future accidents.

Microwave packets

Some microwave flavored popcorn brands room an exception in the rule about storing popcorn exclusively in the pantry. That is specifically true of necessary popcorns.

If the product label claims the recommendation to save this product in the refrigerator, you must follow the advice. Place the popcorn in the original packaging in ~ the shelf bottom, away from the door as much as possible.

However, mental to take the popcorn out of the fridge fifty percent an hour before preparation come let them change to room temperature. Otherwise, most kernels won’t pop.

As one alternative, you deserve to purchase a hot air popper machine. That way, girlfriend will keep the popcorn flavor while having actually a healthy and balanced snack.

Commercially popped popcorn

You deserve to keep commercially popped popcorn in one unopened original packaging also after the expiration date. However, the product will slowly lose quality as soon as you open the package.

Store the leftovers the same method as you store dry kernels in her pantry or a kitchen cabinet. Again, use airtight containers because otherwise, popcorn will end up being rubbery, firm, and also stale.

The hazard of consuming Expired Popcorn

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In the worst-case scenario, expired dried kernels won’t pop together they must if you keep them too long, and popcorn odor will acquire worse. However, they won’t make you noble after consumption.

Improper warehouse will influence popcorn quality and can an outcome in mold or pest infestation, making castle unsafe to consume. Such popcorn can lead come food poisoning, bring about fever, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

On the various other hand, microwave popcorn carries specific risks. Some additives in packaging can cause allergic reactions. Because that instance, diacetyl gives a buttery taste to popcorn, but it is also linked to cancer and an illness well-known together popcorn lung.

Some manufacturers use PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) because that coating microwave popcorns. Unfortunately, this compound belongs come the so-called forever chemicals, meaning your human body can’t detox when you consume them.

Can You freeze Popcorn?

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Theoretically, you deserve to freeze popcorn, and some human being do it. However, friend won’t benefit anything native it. When the water in the kernels freezes, it will certainly damage and dry them. The just you can gain in the finish is a bowl complete of old maids and kernels that don’t pop.

It is equally unnecessary to freeze a commercially popped popcorn. The salt, oils, and other additive they contain are difficult to freeze.

Since popcorn is a shelf-stable and cheap product, you can purchase castle in any store whenever you want. That makes freezing this food unnecessarily. Plus, the kernels’ texture will readjust at short temperatures, and their taste i will not ~ be the same when you thaw them.

Once you take it the package the end of the freezer, your popcorn will be for sure to eat. Unfortunately, girlfriend won’t gain them as much as a freshly opened up pack. Save in mind that a microwave document bag will certainly be damaged after placing the in the freezer, and also unsafe to put it in a microwave.

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Popcorn space a popular snack that comes in a variety of shapes, flavors, and also packaging. If you store them in a dark and also dry place, it can last past the expiration day without going bad. However, lock will lose their flavor over time. Freezing and also refrigerating popcorn is not recommended due to the fact that the kernels lose quality end time.