Make Homemade Popcorn from a Dried Ear of Popcorn

Ever wondered how take a dried corn cob and turn it into homemade popcorn?  Are you interested in growing your own so homemade popcorn can be an everyday occurrence?  Let’s chat.Popcorn off the Cob l How to make popcorn from a dried ear of corn l Homestead Lady (.com)

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Growing Popcorn on the Cob

We were down the road at our neighborhood farm and saw a bunch of dried corn cobs lazing around in a small bucket.  What ho!  Popcorn?

It was indeed popcorn – one yellow and one red.  Well, all five of my kids were with me and so, naturally, we bought several of each color and would have cleaned them out if my wallet had held up.

Have you ever grown your own popcorn?  Did you know it’s different from the sweet corn that we eat all summer? Popcorn is different from sweet corn, the corn we reserve for heaps of butter and Sunday afternoons.

I’ve always been curious about growing popcorn but I’ll need to isolate it from my sweet corn because they will cross pollinate.  If they do that, each will ruin the other.  Crossed popcorn becomes too soft to pop and sweet corn becomes hard and nasty.

The best way, in my opinion, to control cross pollination in different varieties of corn is to isolate them by time.  You do this by planting one variety one week and a different variety two weeks later. This requires planning and thinking, so you can see where I might struggle with the idea a bit.

After purchasing and using popcorn cobs, I’m really inspired to try it.

The one thing I can’t control is what varieties of corn my neighbors will plant and since corn is wind pollinated….

Here’s how to grow your own popcorn from Mother Earth News.

Here’s how to dry your homegrown popcorn – no, you can’t eat it the day of harvest.  Sadly.

It should be pointed out that if you use an heirloom variety of popcorn, AND prevent cross-contamination, you can save some dried kernels back for planting next year.

Get the Popcorn Off the Cob

Before you can make homemade popcorn, you’ve got to get the kernels off the cob.

We took the cobs we had and spread out some tablecloths on the kitchen floor.  The kids tried butter knives and banging the cobs together.  They also tried plastic spoons and banging the cobs on each other. 
How to make homemade popcorn from a dried ear of popcorn - - fun project for kids!

Instead of whacking your family with the cobs, try this method:

  1. Wash your hands and dry them well.
  2. Over a large bowl or mat, pop off a few popcorn kernels with your fingers or a butter knife.
  3. Clear an area about an inch in diameter.
  4. From there, start twisting the cob between both hands.Homemade Popcorn from a Dried Ear of Corn
  5. Pile the kernels from your cobs and gently blow away the light chaff that falls from the cobs.
  6. Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place.How to make homemade popcorn from a dried ear of popcorn - - popcorn kernals - who knew they were pretty!!

Homemade Popcorn

The freshly dried popcorn popped up beautifully.  We use an air popper most often because they’re quick and easy.   We usually melt butter and coconut oil together, add a touch of sea salt and mix that all together with the homemade popcorn.

If you’d prefer to use a stove-top popper, here’s a healthy way to do that.

We noticed that the yellow kernels made a golden colored popcorn and the red kernels made a popcorn with a decidedly rosy hue.How to make homemade popcorn from a dried ear of popcorn - - the red kernals make light pink popcorn and the yellow kernals make a butter colored popcorn

Recipes for Homemade Popcorn

For a truly divine experience, try making this Coconut Chocolate Popcorn from The Untrained Housewife.

We don’t have a microwave so this one was new to me but Angi over at Schneider Peeps was getting her son ready for college and the only cooking apparatus they’d allow in the dorm room was a microwave so they figured out how to pop corn kernels in a glass bowl in his little unit.  Necessity = Invention.

Here’s a sweet and salty popcorn recipe from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition.  Oh, and this delectable Maple Popcorn recipe from Schneider Peeps.

And don’t toss those corn cobs!  Here are a few ideas on how to use those dried corn cobs (ignore the first two since they apply only to fresh corn cobs).How to make homemade popcorn from a dried ear of popcorn - - farmgirl popcorn 

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19 thoughts on “Make Homemade Popcorn from a Dried Ear of Popcorn

  1. That looks so fun, and the children look so happy! I grew a small patch of corn once, sweet corn. I had a true square foot garden (Mel Bartholomew style) at the time so only 16 plants fit in the square. I remember shaking each stalk to make sure every one was pollenated. Helping the corn do it’s thing was a pretty neat feeling. 🙂

    1. I grew corn in my square foot garden once but decided I wouldn’t again because I didn’t want to let the goats loose to eat up the stalks in my garden so I had to dig them out by hand – yikes! Now I grow corn somewhere with fencing so the animals can just have at it when I’m done harvesting. This year I ditched corn altogether because I just didn’t have time or energy. I discovered that I like buying it from farmers and will probably do so again as long as I can find organic, non-gmo. It’s such a space hog in the garden! Although, I do like to see it waving in the breeze and watch the bees on it all day…

    1. It was a pretty cool thing; I’m always amazed at the food we can make right here at home! I went and linked to Real Foods Friday and pinned in to my Homestead Blog Hops Pintrest board so I’ll remember it from here on out. Thanks for the invite!

  2. We grow popcorn every other year. Our favorite is Japanese hulless. We have done other varieties as well. It stores great in jars with an oxygen absorb er for years. The way you shelled it is best unless you can find a corn sheller at an estate sale or antique shop. Thank you for sharing on Rural Wisdom and Know How. I hope to hear from you again next week. And, you are man enough to grow popcorn.

    1. Awesome! Thank you for the encouragement! I’ve read about Japanese hulless and am glad to know it grows for you. An every other year rotation is a great idea! How close are your closest corn growing neighbors – ever had a problem with cross pollination?

  3. Mom used to raise popcorn when we were growing up. She would put the cobs ( after shelling) in a small amount ( about one inch) of kerosene to start fires in the wood stove.

  4. There is nothing like farm fresh popcorn! I grow my corns together. Different varieties mature at different rates, so I haven’t had a problem with cross-pollination ruining my corn. I don’t save seed from it though, because that’s where you really see the pollination issues… I found this on the Backyard Farming Connection. 🙂

  5. We tried raising popcorn for the first time this year. We have a pretty short season but I did find some shorter season popcorn (smaller ears) to grow too. Still I think they might not have had quite enough time. We have some ears of it in the house finishing up drying and we did try popping one batch in a kettle on the stove. I was very excited because it was popping like crazy but when I took the lid off only a very few had fully popped open and out – most of them still looked like seeds. They were very tender seeds however and the kids enjoyed eating them anyway. We are looking forward to trying again.

  6. WOW I never thought to grown my own popcorn!! I actually don’t eat it that much any more unless at the movies…I know I know…killing myself slowly. But that is my only indulgence. 🙂 Great post.

  7. Hi there! I found your blog through Fresh Food Wednesday. Thank you and I would love it if you dropped by my blog, We have a lot in common. I’m trying to “homestead” – ha! More like make a mess 🙂 I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    1. So glad you stopped by and I’m happy to return the visit. Don’t you sometimes wish it was part of our culture to still “pay calls”, with a calling card and everything? Been reading too much Austen!
      Every homestead is a mess so you must be doing something right!

  8. Hi Tessa, I saw your comment on the webpage DIYHomeThings that used these photographs without permission in a collage (and then slapped their watermark on them!) I noticed it because they have taken 9 of my posts (that I’ve found!) and turned them into collages without permission. I’ve had no luck leaving comments (don’t think they care about the legality, to be honest) but I have had luck filing a DMCA notice with their host. If you’d like to do the same, to get your content taken down, their host is Rackspace and the email is Just thought I’d let you know–content thieves are the worst!

    1. Thank you, thank you! I’ve been meaning to go back and deal with this all week! You just made it so much easier!

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