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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 To Avoid And Fix Chewy Popcorn

Here is a checklist for you to 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


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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 🙂

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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