Best Popcorn Kernels for Hot Air Popper – Top 9 Options

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Do you love making fast, healthy batches of popcorn?  If so, then you need this list of the best popcorn kernels for hot air popper use.  We’ve compiled a list of 9 excellent varieties that are sure to dazzle your taste buds.

best popcorn kernels for hot air popper

Quick Summary

ImageProductWhere to Buy
4000 Great Northern Popcorn 2-Pack Organic Yellow Gourmet Popcorn 5 LB All NaturalGreat Northern Popcorn Yellow Gourmet Popcorn

  • Bulk quantity
  • Moisture proof
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  • Fewer unpopped kernels than others
  • Best with air popper
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    JOLLY TIME Select Popcorn Kernels – Gourmet Yellow Popping Corn, 30 Ounce Bulk Jars for Air Popper Machine or Stovetop (Pack of 6)Jolly Time Select Premium Yellow Popping Corn

  • Grown and packaged in the USA
  • Kernels pop quickly
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    Pop Secret Jumbo Popcorn Kernels, 50 Oz JarPop Secret Popcorn Jumbo Kernels

  • Stays fresh for long
  • Excellent taste, no seasoning needed
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    Organic White Popcorn, Heirloom variety, Penn. Dutch Butter Flavored, non-GMO, Farmer Direct, 1 1/2 lbs.Organic White Popcorn Dutch Butter Flavored

  • Softer, more tender popcorn
  • Light and airy
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    Best Popcorn Kernels for Air Popper

    Great Northern Popcorn Yellow Gourmet Popcorn

    4000 Great Northern Popcorn 2-Pack Organic Yellow Gourmet Popcorn 5 LB All Natural

    This gourmet yellow corn from the Great Northern Popcorn Company comes with two bags that are each 5-pounds so you will be able to enjoy delicious popcorn for a long time.  The corn kernels selected are chosen because they expand into large, fluffy pieces of popcorn while retaining tenderness and great taste.

    Store the kernels in a cool, dry location such as a cupboard or pantry in an airtight container so they don’t lose moisture.  After being harvested, the kernels are stored in special bins so they are fresh when they reach your home. With proper storage in your kitchen, they will last for a long time.


    • Bulk quantity gives great value for the money
    • The bag is moisture proof so kernels stay fresh
    • Certified organic and gluten free
    • Made from corn that is grown in the USA and is not genetically modified


    • A few customers reported that their corn tasted stale when they got it
    • Some said that their popcorn resulted in many unpopped kernels

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    The classic popcorn company, Orville Redenbacher, has made a name for themselves when it comes to quality corn kernels.  Their original yellow corn is so versatile and can be used in an air popper to make scrumptious batches of this addictive snack.

    After popping, you will have a fluffy, light popcorn with a bright white color that has a crispy outside and soft corn on the inside.  All that’s left to do is sprinkle it with your favorite seasonings and enjoy.

    You will get the classic taste you’ve come to know and love along with the ease and convenience of popping it your way.  With an air popper, you will have a much healthier popcorn so you can indulge your cravings guilt-free.


    • Many said they got the biggest, fluffiest popcorn they’d ever had with these kernels
    • Has fewer unpopped kernels than other brands
    • Highly recommended for use with an air popper because it doesn’t burn


    • Some customers had their containers damaged upon arrival which resulted in spilled kernels
    • A few people said it had too many hulls

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    Jolly Time Select Premium Yellow Popping Corn

    JOLLY TIME Select Popcorn Kernels – Gourmet Yellow Popping Corn, 30 Ounce Bulk Jars for Air Popper Machine or Stovetop (Pack of 6)

    Is it time to stock up and replenish your supply of popcorn?  If so, consider this package of 6, 30-ounce jars of premium yellow corn from Jolly Time.  You can trust this 4th generation, family-owned company that has been making excellent popcorn since 1914.

    Now you can buy once and forget about it for months on end while your pantry stays full of popcorn, ready whenever the mood strikes.  Just put it in your popper and enjoy knowing you are eating a snack that’s high in fiber and is naturally vegan and gluten-free.

    Read Also: Best Popcorn Kernels for Popcorn Machine

    Those with allergies will be glad to know such a snack can be prepared in minutes without any annoying side-effects.  Instead, you can eat it as often as you want and feel great after each bowl.


    • Grown and packaged in the United States
    • Certified gluten free
    • These kernels pop quickly and result in few hulls or unpopped kernels
    • Results in light, fluffy and large popcorn


    • A few people mentioned the popcorn was chewy and did not taste fresh
    • One user reported the seal on their jar was loose

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    Pop Secret Popcorn Jumbo Kernels

    Pop Secret Jumbo Popcorn Kernels, 50 Oz Jar

    Those who love huge, fluffy popcorn that they can eat by the handful will be glad to discover Pop Secret’s jumbo popping corn.  You won’t be able to get enough, which is why it’s good that this 2 pack comes with 50-ounce jars so you can have unlimited popcorn.

    This brand has been a favorite for generations and you may have even grown up eating it.  Now it’s easier than ever to make a healthy, wholesome snack by putting these kernels into your air popper and having a hot, fluffy, crunchy bowl of popcorn.

    If you are trying to be healthier, this popcorn is an excellent choice because it tastes great without oil or salt.  You can add your own seasonings or just have it plain for a low-calorie snack throughout the day.


    • Stays fresh for a long time
    • Almost everyone reported that it has excellent taste and can be eaten without seasoning


    • A few people said they only received one bottle even though they purchased two
    • Some found it was too expensive

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    Organic White Popcorn Dutch Butter Flavored

    Organic White Popcorn, Heirloom variety, Penn. Dutch Butter Flavored, non-GMO, Farmer Direct, 1 1/2 lbs.

    This organic white popcorn comes from an heirloom variety of corn called Pennsylvania Dutch Butter Flavored popcorn.  It’s a butterfly popcorn which means it pops into fluffy, large pieces of corn compared to the globe-shaped ones.

    Read Also: Best Popcorn Kernels for Stovetop

    Although the name butter flavored can be deceptive, this product is vegan and contains only corn kernels without any additives or flavorings.  Butter flavor comes from the variety of corn that the kernels are harvested from.


    • Has a fresh and delicious flavor with tender, softer popcorn
    • When popped in an air popper it is light and airy with a delicious taste
    • Made from heirloom, non-GMO corn grown in Illinois


    • Some were disappointed by the small size of the popcorn
    • A few mentioned that it may have gluten cross-contamination

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    Hoosier Hill Farm Ruby Red Popcorn

    Hoosier Hill Farm Ruby Red, Popcorn Lovers 4 lb. Jar.

    Indulge your taste for popcorn with this luxurious ruby red corn from Hoosier Hill Farm. It comes in a 4-pound container with a lid that screws on tightly to keep the kernels fresh inside. No more stale batches of corn to disappoint when you’re hungry.

    Although the kernels themselves are red, the popcorn will pop up white like other varieties of corn.  However, these ruby red kernels are known for their slightly sweet taste. If you haven’t tried it but want to add some variety to your popcorn, this is a great option.


    • Crisp popcorn that is medium-sized with few hulls to irritate gums
    • Works great in an air popper
    • Easy to chew because of the tender popcorn


    • Some found the corn was on the smaller side and that it burnt easily

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    Amish Country Popcorn Rainbow Blend

    Amish Country Popcorn | 2 lb Bag | Rainbow Popcorn Kernels | Old Fashioned with Recipe Guide (Rainbow - 2 lb Bag)

    Have you ever heard of rainbow popcorn?  If not, then you’ve got to try this variety of corn from Amish Country Popcorn.  Grab this 2-pound bag and get your air popper ready because you are in for a treat.

    The rainbow popcorn combines four colors, white, yellow, blue, and red for a unique blend. It will make for a fun popcorn experience.  However, you should know that it’s just the kernels that are colored and the popcorn will still be white but with a variety of tastes and textures.

    Their signature hulless popcorn means kernels that are smaller and more tender. You won’t get irritating pieces stuck in your gums or poking your mouth while you try to eat.


    • Comes with an eBook, “15 Amazing Popcorn Recipes”
    • This product is non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free
    • Grown, manufactured, and packaged in the United States


    • Some reported that the blue kernels resulted in small corn and tended to burn
    • A few thought it was not a good value for the price

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    Mushroom Popcorn Kernels by Just Poppin

    Mushroom Popcorn Kernels 2 Lbs - Just Poppin Brand

    Are you in the mood for something a little bit different when it comes to your popcorn?  Perhaps you want to try making your own caramel corn at home.  If so, this mushroom popcorn by Just Poppin is the one for you.

    These kernels are called mushroom because they pop into a ball shape instead of the more common butterfly one.  The corn it comes from has been cultivated over time to produce kernels that result in more mushroom than butterfly popcorn.

    This kind of popcorn has more surface area and can hold caramel, toffee, chocolate, or other toppings and seasonings.  It also looks great and has a great expansion rate of 36-38:1 so you will get large piece of fluffy popcorn.

    Be prepared for a few pieces of butterfly shaped popcorn to show up as well.  You should have a majority of mushroom corn but, because this corn is not genetically modified, there will be some butterfly kernels as well.


    • Just Poppin prides themselves on clean kernels that are air washed to remove dirt and debris
    • Get professional looking popcorn that can be added to cakes and other treats as decoration
    • By volume, you will get more popped corn from fewer corn kernels


    • Mushroom popcorn usually has more hulls than the butterfly variety and some people didn’t like this aspect
    • A few people who tried it said it tasted rather stale and wasn’t very crunchy

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    Quinn Snacks Popcorn Kernels

    Quinn Popcorn Kernels - Made with Non-GMO Corn, Unflavored, 28 Ounce (3 Count)

    Those who shudder at the thought of purchasing anything in a plastic bag will be happy to discover corn kernels sold in something different.  These cartons of corn from Quinn Snacks come in 28-ounce containers that are easy to open and pour directly into your air popper or measuring cup.

    The corn is grown in Indiana on family-owned farms and, with their farm to bag transparency program, you will know where the product you’re consuming comes from.  Just go to the company’s website and put in your batch number to get all the details about every ingredient.

    You’ll get plump, white popcorn that has a light taste. It pops very consistently and evenly so you can rely on it to make a great batch of popcorn every time you want a quick and healthy snack.


    • Butterfly-style popcorn pops up big and fluffy with few unpopped kernels or hulls
    • Carton-style container is easy to store and pour from
    • Stays fresh even though it is not packaged in any plastic


    • Some people said their first batch was great but the second order was disappointing
    • A couple customers said the price increased since their previous order and found it too expensive now

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    Things to Consider When Buying Best Popcorn Kernels for Air Popper


    Whatever the corn kernels come in makes a big difference to how convenient you are able to store them.  Bags can easily burst during shipping and cause a mess of corn kernels scattered all over the box they are packaged in.

    Although plastic containers can also break, it’s usually a good idea to get a jug like this with a lid that can be reused.  A tight lid means the corn will stay fresh in the pantry, not to mention it’s easy to open the lid and pour some into a measuring cup when it’s time to make popcorn.


    If you’ve tried many different brands of popcorn, you know that the corn it is harvested from makes a difference in taste and texture.  Companies that put a lot of care into harvesting their crops and storing the kernels in special storage containers usually result in much better popcorn.

    Gourmet popcorn and other heirloom varieties that have been cultivated for flavor are always a good choice.  You’ll know that you are getting a better product and every batch, from the first to the last, will be delicious and fresh.

    Type of Corn

    Some may think that there’s only one type of popcorn.  If you’ve only ever had the same kind, you may think that’s all there is.  But there are so many others to choose from, including classics like white and yellow but also red and black.

    There’s also butterfly popcorn which is fluffier and has a more complex pattern than the mushroom type which is rounder.  White corn is often smaller when popped and more tender. So depending on your preferences, you’re sure to find a corn that you will love which you may have never known about before.


    Popcorn lovers agree that freshness is essential to a good batch of corn.  There’s nothing worse than chewy, stale tasting corn. Instead, you want it to have a nice crunch to the texture but not too hard either.

    Keeping the kernels in an airtight container helps ensure freshness.  The company also shouldn’t ship them too long after they have been harvested.  Storage containers at the packaging facility should ensure no moisture leaks out so you get the best popcorn experience.

    Do some research to make sure the manufacturer takes this into consideration because moisture can ruin the kernels.  Although proper storage once you get the product home can account for a lot, it won’t be able to save corn kernels that haven’t been handled with care from the start.


    Making popcorn in an air popper instead of on the stove top is going to save you time simply by choosing this method.  In addition to the mechanism you use to pop the corn kernels, you should also look for a product that is easy to use so you can make snacks fast.

    One of the reasons popcorn is so appealing is because it’s so easy to make.  It doesn’t require any preparation or chopping and it’s difficult to make a bad batch.  Starting with high-quality kernels makes the process even simpler.

    Kernels that come cleaned and ready to be popped right away will save even more time.  A container that can be opened within seconds without spilling means less clean up time too.  The size of the bag or jug will make a different too because that will make it convenient to pour the right amount of kernels into your air popper.

    Cook Time

    If you’re hosting a party or a movie night with family and friends, you’ll want a continuous supply of popcorn to make sure you don’t run out.  Of course, you could make a huge batch in advance, but it will become cold and stale over time.

    One of the advantages of having an air popper is so you can have a fresh, hot batch of popcorn almost instantly.  Then all you’ll have to do is pause the movie or step away from the party for a few minutes and return with a big, heaping bowl of delicious popcorn that is sure to delight everyone.

    Starting with the right popcorn makes a huge difference.  To save on cook time, get kernels that come with their own oils and seasonings.  Or make a mix of seasonings and spices in advance to sprinkle on top once the corn is ready so it can be enjoyed immediately.

    Wrap Up

    If you’re new to popcorn and just read through this list, you may be overwhelmed or just excited to try a bunch of different types that you just discovered.  We hope to have introduced you to some amazing new popcorn that will soon become a favorite.

    If you have to choose just one for today though, we recommend the Pop Secret Popcorn Jumbo Kernels because everyone loves huge pieces of popcorn.  Plus many people agree that it’s delicious on its own, so it’s healthy and will make a quick and easy snack. Try it out and see for yourself if it’s as good as they say!

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