What does non-GMO mean?

Non-GMO means non-genetically modified. GMOs are novel organisms created in a labratory using genetic modification/engineering techniques. In genetic modification of food plants, scientists remove one or more genes from the DNA of another organism, such as a baterium, virus, animal or plant and recombine them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter. By adding these new genes, they hope the plant will express the traits associated with the genes.

Is your popcorn non-GMO?

Yes, all of our popcorn is non-GMO.

How should I store my popcorn?

The best way to store popcorn is to place it in a container with a tight lid. Glass is best, but plastic is also fine. Keep the container in a cool, dry place such as a pantry. Storing popcorn in the freezer or refridgerator is not recommended because it may alter the moisture content of the kernel. Also, never store popcorn in a humid basement or garage.

What is "hull-less" popcorn?

There really is no such thing as hull-less popcorn. The popcorn hull is the seed, or kernel, that when heated pops under the pressure of the steam that builds up inside and causes the more tender inner portion of the kernel to expand. Hull-less popcorn does have a hull - it must because the hull is the seed, and without the seed, there is nothing to pop - but the kernels are small so the hulls are smaller, more tender and fragile, virtually disappearing when popped. Hull-less popcorn also has a reputation of being more easily digested. 

Why doesn't my popcorn pop like it used to?

Usually popcorn does not pop because it is too dry. The popcorn's "pop" is caused by moisture inside the kernel heating up and causing steam. When there is not enough moisture, there is not a good "pop". As popcorn ages it tends to lose needed moisture. You may try adding moisture to dry popcorn by adding 1 teaspoon of water to 1 pound of popcorn. Put it in a glass jar and shake it up. Shake it several times a day for 3 days. After the moisture has been re-absorbed into the kernels, it is ready to pop. Keep the un-popped corn stored in an airtight container. Be careful not to add too much moisture to the kernels.

What is the shelf-life of popcorn kernels?

Popcorn kernels have an indefinite shelf-life when stored tightly sealed in a cool, dry area. However, for the freshest tasting popcorn we recommend using it within one year from purchase. Fresh popcorn will pop into larger kernels with more consistency than older, dried out kernels.

What is the best way to pop popcorn?

There are many ways to pop popcorn. Appliance poppers, such as a Stir-Crazy, are the most consistent, fool-proof, and easiest methods. Hot air poppers work well for the Black and Tender White varieties. The Baby Rice does not work well in a hot air popper because the small kernel tends to blow out before it pops. There are bowls available that are made for popping corn in the microwave. They can be used with or without oil. Many people do enjoy the experience of stove-popping their corn.

How do I pop popcorn on the stove?

Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a 3-quart or larger sauce pan on medium-high heat. Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels in the oil and cover the pan. When the kernels pop, add 2/3 cup of popcorn, cover and remove from heat for 30 seconds. 

This method will heat the oil to the right temperature. Removing from the heat for 30 seconds will bring all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so when they are put back on the heat they will all pop at about the same time.

Return the pan to the heat. When the kernels begin popping, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner to prevent burning the corn.

Once the popping slows to a second or two between pops, remove the pan from the heat and immediately dump the popcorn into a bowl. You may then use that hot pan to melt butter.

Salt may also be added to the oil before popping the popcorn. When the popcorn pops, salt will be well distributed throughout the popcorn.

Why don't my microwave packs of Baby Rice and Gourmet Black popcorn pop completely?

Both the Gourmet Black popcorn and Baby Rice popcorn take a little longer to pop then other varieties of popcorn. If you put the microwave packs in the microwave and just hit the 'popcorn' button, there is not usually enough time to pop all the kernels. The best way is to put the popcorn packs in the microwave and cook on high for 3-5 minutes.  When popping slows to 1 or 2 seconds between pops, cooking is complete. Do not overcook the popcorn or it will burn. 

Cooking times will vary depending on the microwave used. Our microwave takes slightly more than 2 minutes to pop completely. Be careful when opening the microwave bag. Popping creates steam and makes the bag very hot. Open the bag away from your face.

How much oil and popcorn should I use?

We recommend a 3-to-1 ratio of popcorn kernels to oil.

What kind of oil should I use?

Any high-heat oil may be used. That includes canola oil, sunflower oil, peanu oil, vegetable oil or coconut oil. We prefer coconut oil.

I like coconut oil, but it is hard to work with. Any tips for working with coconut oil?

We also prefer to pop our popcorn with coconut oil. Coconut oil is a solid when it is less than 76 degrees F. If you let hot water run over the container of oil (or let it sit in a hot water bath) for a minute or two, the oil will soften up and be much easier to use.

Why do the Baby Rice and Gourmet Black popcorn varieties pop better some years than they do other years?

Both the Baby Rice and Gourmet Black are heirloom varieties of popcorn. They have not been changed over hundreds of years!

The biggest factor affecting the popcorn is almost always the growing conditions over the summer months. Newer hybrids of popcorn are being bred and altered to produce larger yields and better popping. In doing so, the taste, texture and overall eating quality of the corn is sacrificed. While the Baby Rice and Gourmet Black popcorn may not pop as completely every season, we believe that the unsurpassed eating quality of both varieties far outweigh a few un-popped kernels!