Popcorn kernels
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A tasty and nutritious snack, popcorn stores well, which makes it a good item to have on hand for when the munchies strike. It's important to maintain the proper moisture content of the kernels, or they may not pop properly. If you purchase already popped popcorn, or you pop a large amount and have some left over, you must store it properly to keep it from becoming stale. Following a few simple pointers will keep your supply fresh and ready to enjoy.

Storing Popcorn Kernels (Unpopped)

Pour the popcorn kernels into a glass or plastic container or seal-top plastic bag.

Cover the container tightly or seal the plastic bag after removing as much air as possible.

Place the sealed container or plastic bag in a cool, dry cabinet or on a shelf.

Use the popcorn kernels within two years.

Storing Popped Popcorn

Seal the bag completely if you have already opened it, or place the popped popcorn into an airtight container for best results. If you haven't opened the bag of popped popcorn yet, store as-is.

Place the sealed bag or container in a cool, dry storage location (such as in a cabinet or on a shelf).

Store popped popcorn that you have already opened for one to two weeks. Keep unopened popped popcorn for two to three months.


While “Use By” dates on a popcorn package are useful, consider them a guideline given by the manufacturer. Usually the popcorn kernels will still be suitable for consumption after the “Use By” date passes, as long as you stored the kernels properly.


If you notice an odd odor or flavor, or you find mold on the kernels, discard the popcorn.

Never refrigerate popcorn kernels because this can speed moisture loss and prevent the kernels from popping.