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Princeton Popcorn Popping Tips Tear Sheet

Princeton Popcorn Popping Tips Tear Sheet


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This is a PDF version of the Popping instructions that Farmer Bob has on the retail store display. It provides good information on the theory of popping as well as specific instructions to get the best-popping results. 


Here is the text:

Popping Tips from Farmer Bob (please take)
A ton more information is available at

So, in air popping, you want to run the air popper for a minute or two before you put your kernels in. That way the air popper is good and warmed up so they will pop great. Remember, you need to introduce high heat immediately. If you introduce it slowly by putting the kernels in the air popper and then turning it on, you’ll slowly heat up the moisture inside the kernel and let it leak out. The “explosion” is what you are wanting to achieve the giant mushroom-shaped popcorn.

Stove popping with oil is the same concept. Put the oil in the pan (I love olive oil) and turn the heat up to high. With a good oil with a high flash point, you really don’t have to worry too much about burning the oil. Put 3 kernels in the oil and wait until they pop. Then, dump the rest of the kernels in. Keep agitating the pan by shaking it back and forth. You don’t want the kernels to burn before they have a chance to pop. With the high heat, they would burn if you just leave them in the pan. Once they start to pop they will, likely, pop vigorously. Once the popping slows, remove from heat immediately. In my experience, it seems like they all start popping at once and go for a bit and then taper off quickly. Keeping the pan moving during this time is the key to getting all the kernels to pop!!! You need to let gravity get the unpopped down to the heat source by agitating the pan.

Popcorn is the seed of a grass plant. Popcorn is one variety and you may recognize the names of the others; Sweet Corn, Flint Corn, Field Corn / Dent Corn. The popcorn variety happens to have a very tough outer shell.

You really have to understand the way popcorn works to be able to achieve the best results. We provide popping tips, not instructions. The reason for this is because popping our variety involves science but is not an exact science. There are a lot of variables that need to be taken into consideration. Please understand it will likely take you a few tries to get optimum results!

In short, you want to introduce the kernels to a lot of heat really quickly without burning them. This will cause the moisture held inside the kernel by the hard outer shell (later referred to as a ‘hull’) to turn into steam and increase internal pressure. Once the internal pressure becomes too great, there is an explosion that turns the insides inside-out. The white fluffy stuff we eat is the expanded insides of the popcorn seed. Popcorn’s Latin name, Zea mays var. everta, means “corn turned inside out.”

To achieve the best pop ability, seed breeders select for different traits. Some include the thickness of the outer shell, the way the popcorn pops (ie shape), the size of the kernel, the number of kernels on a cob, the size of the cob (effects yield), how well the plant resists pests, and fungus (you have to be able to successfully grow it to harvest a product), etc.

Our popcorn variety is a hybrid where the breeder, which we work closely with, introduces the two specific parent plants to achieve the offspring with the desired traits. Our popcorn is Non-GMO. The mushroom-shaped popcorn is a trait achieved by breeding. Princeton Popcorn’s Mushroom Shaped variety pops that way because of plant genetics combined with a popping method. You have to have both to achieve the mushroom shape.

After we plant and raise the popcorn, we have to harvest at the right time. The moisture content of the kernels in the field has to be just right. It has to be low enough that the kernels will shatter off of the cob while harvesting but not too low that they will crack and break. If the harvested popcorn is too high in moisture, it can spoil in storage. If it is too low, it won’t pop. We have very expensive drying and conditioning equipment on our farm to get the popcorn to the specific, all-important moisture level.

When we package the popcorn to offer it for sale to you, we ensure that the moisture level is just right. The package we sent to you is sealed to prevent the moisture content from going up or down. Please be sure to put the lid back on the container between uses!

Thank you for your purchase. Please enjoy and remember that Everybody Loves Popcorn™

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