Why Is My Popcorn Chewy? Here Is The Answer For You

More than often you think you follow the exact recipe to make to crisp and flavorful popcorn, yet the results coming out tough and rubbery. How many times have you thought “this time will be different” and your prayer still die? After all, what’s the secret technique to make a tasty popcorn? This piece of writing will now thoroughly deal with the question “Why is my popcorn chewy?”


Why Is My Popcorn Chewy?A Common Question

Popcorn is the combination of hard starch and a little moisture. And the moisture is locked inside the kernel. When the heat rises, the moisture turns into steam, and the pressure begins to build up. The pressure will then keep increasing to the extent that the kernel cannot withstand. It explodes into the goodness that we usually know and enjoy. However, there are some factors that can disturb this process, causing the popcorn to be tough and chewy.

Not Enough Oil

Remember an old kitchen fact that oil and water don’t mix. Instead, the oil coats the popped corn and then repels. It acts as a protective barrier and ensures the texture of the result. When the oil is so thin, it cannot evenly cover the kernels when they pop. However, the oil must also be firm enough so that it won’t make the popcorn become a gooey mess.

Also, not using enough oil when you add butter, margarine or butter spray will make the popcorn rubbery and less enjoyable to taste. Meanwhile, the oil has the benefit to repel the water in the butter. Thus, not enough oil will make your popcorn soggy with stale texture. The advice is that you should use pure, raw coconut oil. It looks like lard, but it does really help.

Not Enough Salt

Many people ignore this ingredient without realizing its significance. The popcorn is absorbent, and the salt is a great factor to help the kernel explodes properly to come out as a fluffy popcorn. However, don’t use granulated table salt, you will still eat bland popcorn with all the salt waiting at the bottom of the bowl.

Instead, use the popcorn salt, which is very finely ground like powder. The small particles will cling better to the oil on the kernel surface. Thus, it will end up in your mouth instead of at the bottom of the bowl. But if you are using coconut oil, it’d be better to have an extra flavor shot from the salt.

Not Enough Heat And Agitation

If you heat the kernel unevenly, you will be burning just one side of the kernel. And instead of exploding, it will lose the strength and burst prematurely or not even explode at all. It will end up like either and oil maid or a small “dud” kernel. Also, when you heat the kernel too slowly, the kernel’s shell will leak out the moisture, and the starch will overcook.

Much as important as heat, agitation is a major factor contributing to the texture of the popcorn. If you don’t keep the kernels moving, the heat will not go evenly to each one. And again, it disturbs the popping process and gives out the chewy popcorn.

Improper Steam Control

When the kernels pop, they release a burst of steam. And what happens to the steam can decide whether the popcorn will come out crispy. You guess it right. If the steam does not go out of the pot, the popcorn will absorb the steam and become tough. Thus, when you pop popcorn in a tightly covered popper, there is a significant possibility that they popcorn will come out chewy.

If you are using a popper, make sure it is well vented to leak the steam away and do no harm to the popcorn. The popper does not need to be expensive and high-tech. Instead, it should ensure the popping process occur properly. The steam should be able to escape, move past the corn and out of the pot.

The Popcorn Itself

More than often it’s fair to blame on the quality of the popcorn. Actually, popcorn loses moisture as it ages. Thus, old popcorn will have more old maids and less enjoyable flavor. Even when you follow the exact recipe and the best popper, the popcorn is not going to be crispy in any way. So anytime you buy it, make sure the expiration date is still far away.

How Long Is Popcorn Good For?

The Popcorn Itself

Like any of other grainy snacks, popcorn has its expiry date. But how long does popcorn stay fresh?
Naturally, the raw popcorn the in packs may have an infinite date of use on the shelf. If you keep the unpopped snack in a tightly sealed jar in a cool area, it should remain usable for a very long time (Indefinitely).

Popped Popcorn

However, the time lapses when you pop it out. Due to the added moisture that makes the kernel burst out, it squeezes down the popcorn shelf life, making the food go spoiled in only a few weeks.

How To Avoid And Fix Chewy Popcorn

What Makes Popcorn Pop

What makes popcorn pop

It’s fun to listen to the popping sound when you put a popcorn pack in the microwave. Do you know what causes the hull to extend its size?
There is a microdroplet inside the kernel wrapped by the hard shell of the seeds we can see on our hand. When you add heat via microwave or a hot pan, it steams up this liquid and builds pressure that explodes the fluffy part.

How To Make Air Popped Popcorn Taste Better

While plain air-popped popcorn can be boring, people seek to add flavor to the food. There are various options of taste to make your popcorn more delicious besides the already seasoned pack in the stores. Here are a few:


Crushed basil or oregano with some chilly powder will make your bowl of popcorn hard to resist. Simply toss the mixture into the hot popped corn and mix them evenly.

Olive Oil

For huge fans of olive oil, it is possible to drizzle your dish with a tablespoon of the liquid. You can sprinkle the pan with your favorite seasonings and mix until you like its taste.


It’s hard to resist the sexy bite of the hard, salty Parmesan cheese in your popcorn. One tablespoon of the ingredient will elevate the tasty level for this very ordinary snack.

Soaking Popcorn Kernels In Water

soaking popcorn in water

You might have cursed the dud kernels that wouldn’t pop its fluffy content out. But here is this little “hack” you can apply to puff the hulls.
Fill the bowl with kernels, then cover them in water and let them soak in 10 minutes. After that, drain out the water and start to pop the seeds.
You may notice the yielding time of the wet corns is faster, and it produces fewer duds. Some pieces are noticeably fluffier than the dry ones.

If all above can not satisfy you, why don't you try to follow my below checklist o ensure the popcorn coming out fluffy and crispy:

#1. Avoid chewy popcorn
  • ¼ cup of popcorn oil for ½ cup of kernels
  • Three tablespoons of unsalted butter for a 5-quart pot
  • Vent the moisture when popping and open the Plexiglas door immediately after popping
  • Don’t store popcorn in the fridges or moist basement
  • Store popcorn on a pantry shelf at room temperature
#2. Fix chewy popcorn
  • Add a little bit of moisture: 1 teaspoon of water for 1 pound of popcorn
  • Shake it up 2-3 times a day for three days
  • Pop it again

How Popcorn Is Made

how is popcorn made

Enter your text Most of us enjoy popcorn while watching movies, but not many care about how it’s made. So, popcorn is a crop bred to have the greatest pop-ability. It has moisture content drained in a giant bin that pumps warm air to dry the seeds until it leaves about 14% of wet in the kernels.

These corns continue going through a purification process to sort out the optimal pieces that pop the best.

People also figure out how to make air popped popcorn taste good by adding flavors to the food. The best tasting popcorn is typically up to one's most preferred seasonings.
Conventionally, cravers make quick popcorn in the microwave. But can you make microwave popcorn on the stove?

Technically YES. You will need a large pot with a lid and some oil, flavors of your taste. Set the stove at medium heat, pour in the crop, wait for a few minutes, and you’re good to go.
Have you heard of popcorn without hull?

Hulless popcorn is a kind in favor for those who are with sensitive gums. The pain-free snack with no husk won’t stick to your teeth.here...



Chewy popcorn has never been enjoyable to taste. And this texture of popcorn can be the result of many possible tiny errors during the popping process. Thus, it’s crucial to put all the factors above into consideration every time you make the popcorn. Follow these tips, and you will never have to ask “Why is my popcorn chewy” ever again. My blog have some related topics you may care about : Can You Freeze Deli Meat, How Long Does Cauliflower Last, How Long To Deep Fry Shrimp. Enjoy 🙂

Updated: 08-July-2019

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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