How To Cure Homegrown Popcorn

Popcorn is my favorite food.

I love snuggling in with a fuzzy blanket and big bowl of buttered popcorn to read a good book or watch a new movie. So, when I was planning the garden last spring, I knew I wanted to try growing this delectable treat.  

To my delight, the corn grew beautifully, and by the time fall rolled around, there was a bountiful harvest of shiny golden ears.

But growing the corn is only half of the battle…you still have to cure it before it becomes pop-able. You need those kernels to have a 13%-14% moisture content in order to get the best pop.

The key to drying your popcorn is good airflow.

I hang mine on the banister…it doubles as fall décor. However, I’ve also heard of people placing their corn in mesh bags and letting it dry that way. What you don’t want to do is put your corn in a box with no airflow. You’ll end up growing mold and ruining all your hard work (ask me how I know…).

How do you know when you hit the appropriate moisture content?

Take a few kernels and try popping them. If they don’t pop, you have to wait a bit longer. Keep testing every week of two until the majority of your kernels pop.

Many sources say your popcorn should be done curing in a few weeks. For whatever reason, mine took way longer than the typical 3-6 weeks to dry out. In fact, I waited a solid 10 weeks to get a consistent pop rate from my corn.

But it was well worth the wait! Now my corn is cured and popping well and it’s time for me to take the kernels off of the cob and package my popcorn into mason jars.

Removing the kernels by hand is pretty easy, but this nifty tool makes the process a whole lot faster.

I am super happy with how my popcorn growing experiment went this year and am already plotting how I can plant more next year. With the world still white with snow, gardening will have to wait for another day. For now, I’ll enjoy my homegrown popcorn and dream of warm summer days.

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