1/4 Cup Unpopped Popcorn Equals How Much Popped?

1/4 Cup Unpopped Popcorn Equals How Much Popped?

 

It almost seems like magic when you have popcorn kernels in front of you, knowing that it can turn into delicious popcorn. Whether you cook it in the microwave, an air popper, or in a commercial popper that uses oil, you can make popcorn in just a few minutes.

The question is, how many kernels do you need to make a serving size? A small amount of kernels will go a long way.

¼ cup unpopped popcorn equals how much popped? The easiest answer is around 7 cups, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

How Much Does ¼ Cup of Unpopped Popcorn Make?

¼ cup of popcorn kernels is around 2 ounces. When you pop it in any kind of popcorn machine or kettle, you will get approximately 7 to 8 cups, which also measures out to be 2 quarts.

It’s easy to do the math to know how many kernels you need if you’re going to make 4 quarts of popcorn or significantly more.

Consider that the average serving size of popcorn is 4 cups. If you plan on feeding 100 people that amount of popcorn, you will need to do some quick math. ¼ cup of popcorn kernels will be enough to feed 2 people. For 100, you will need ¼ cup x 50, or 12.5 cups of kernels. That may also be easier to measure out as 100 ounces of kernels.

Basically, if you plan on dishing out serving sizes of 4 cups of popped popcorn, you need 1 ounce of unpopped kernels per person.

How Many Calories are in Popcorn?

If you want to focus on the nutritional value of popcorn, you’ll want to figure out what kind of popcorn you’re serving.

Air-popped popcorn is the lowest-calorie option because it’s cooked with hot air instead of oil. It’s approximately 30 calories per cup. If you were to eat all the popcorn that you get out of cooking ¼ cup of kernels, you would have 8 cups x 30 calories, so 240 calories.

Now, if you decide to use oil in the cooking process, the number of calories will increase to approximately 35 calories per cup. If you have all 8 cups that are popped from ¼ cup of kernels, it would be 280 calories.

And, the calories for movie theater butter popcorn, depending on how much butter you put on, could be up to 90 calories per cup. That same 8 cups of popped popcorn could end up being 720 calories.

What are the Different Ways to Pop Unpopped Kernels?

When you want to pop unpopped kernels, it’s important to know that there are many options.

Air popper. These are residential countertop appliances where you load the kernels into the popper. Within minutes, the heat will cause the kernels to pop.

Commercial air popper. Theaters, convenience stores, schools, and more will have commercial air poppers that are capable of popping a significant amount of popcorn at once. The size of the hopper (the component that holds the kernels) can vary, which determines how much popcorn pops in a single batch. The average hopper will hold 8 ounces, which means that you could pop 32 cups of popcorn at a time.

Microwave. You can either buy prepackaged bags of popcorn or you can choose to buy a microwave-safe container that will help you to pop popcorn.

Most of the commercial air poppers will use oil – coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil are among the most popular.

For every ¼ cup of kernels, you only need 1 tablespoon of oil. This is why the calorie count isn’t too high. Additionally, if you use too much oil, you risk the popcorn tasting greasy.

Once the popcorn is popped, you can choose to flavor it with butter. While melted butter is an option, most commercial locations will use a butter-flavored oil or syrup. This provides the flavoring without moistening the kernels too heavily.

Of course, you can also choose to pop the popcorn with a flavor in mind. For example, kettle corn, which offers a sweeter flavor, is popped using equal parts sugar and oil mixed in with the kernels.

Can You Reuse Unpopped Kernels?

There’s nothing more frustrating than popping your kernels only to find out that there are some that didn’t pop.

First of all, why didn’t they pop? There are a few reasons. Often, it’s because they didn’t get hot enough. You may have put too many kernels into the hopper. It may also be because the popcorn is too moist inside. You can test this out by trying to dent the kernel with your fingernail. If it dents, let it dry out for a day or two and try getting it to pop.

You can gather up all of your unpopped kernels and reuse them to create another batch of popcorn. These can be placed back into a hopper so that they re-pop with your next batch. If you’re at home and have discovered a large number of kernels, you can even place them into a paper bag and place them into the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Additionally, you can choose to place them into a pan over medium heat with just a splash of oil. When you cover the pan, the kernels will heat up within a minute or two and start to pop up.

If you don’t want to try popping the unpopped kernels, there are a few other things that you can do:

  • Use the kernels to feed animals
  • Place the unpopped kernels in grits
  • Use the kernels to create an ice pack

You might be surprised by all of the creative ways you can use unpopped kernels. No matter what, it’s never really a waste.

How to Buy Bulk Popcorn

There are plenty of ways to buy bulk popcorn, regardless of whether you need it for a movie theatre, a convenience store, or you plan on repackaging it for a retail setting. Once you know how much ¼ cup unpopped popcorn equals when it’s popped, you can decide just how much you want to buy. Choosing a reputable bulk supplier, such as Shumway Farms, ensures that you get high-quality popcorn kernels that provide you with great flavor.

Take the time to calculate the amount of popcorn that you actually need. Then, contact a few suppliers. Get a sample of the popcorn and ensure they can provide you with the bulk quantities that you need. Once you have popcorn on hand, you can see how ¼ cup of unpopped kernels can turn into for yourself.

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