Bags of popcorn are a popular snack for movie night and super easy to make! It’s a good idea to keep microwave popcorn on hand because you can easily pop several bags of popcorn without spending a long time on prepping snacks! But — stale popcorn is the worst!! So can popcorn go bad? How long does popcorn last?
How Long Does Popcorn Last?
The lifespan of popcorn depends on several factors. A popped bag of popcorn lasts only a couple of days before it goes bad; however, un-popped fresh kernels can last up to a couple of months in an unopened package! Typically, there will be a production date or expiration date listed on boxes or tins of popcorn or popcorn kernels.
If you buy high quality, speciality popcorn that is popped make sure you buy from a reputable company that is making the popcorn fresh and then store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place once you receive it to extend its life.
Can Popcorn Go Bad?
Yes, popcorn can go bad. Typically, it will just taste stale, but there are also a few signs of spoilage to watch for. Popped popcorn, even in its original package, may not have a good taste anymore and in some rare cases – if moisture has gotten into the packaging – you may see a little mold.
Dry kernels in original packaging have an almost indefinite shelf life, but you’ll know if the popcorn kernels are bad based on how they pop. If you notice several kernels didn’t pop when you made it, it’s likely that it needs to be tossed.
How long is the shelf life of popcorn?
The shelf life of your popcorn varies depending on if it’s popped already and its storage conditions. Below, are the different shelf lives for the different types of popcorn.
Shelf life of microwaveable packets
Microwave packets of popcorn usually last around 3 to 4 months un-popped. Sometimes, you can even go up to 3 months past the expiration date! Just watch how the kernels pop to know if it’s still fresh. Typically, these packets are in a vacuum-seal container.
Shelf life of dry kernels
Dry kernels, when stored in an airtight container away from light and moisture, can last 6 to 12 months!
Shelf life of caramel corn & cheese popcorn
If you’re enjoying a bag of popped popcorn, it last 2 to 4 weeks if it’s in a sealed jar or airtight container.
How to Keep Popcorn Fresh
Popcorn is a great snack, and you can keep it fresh by storing it correctly in an air-tight container in a dry, cool place. We’ve found the kitchen cabinet to be the best place to store it.
How to Store Popcorn to Stay Fresh Longer
The easiest way to store popcorn is in a sealed bag or container. You should make sure it’s stored away from direct sunlight and at room temperature to preserve it as long as possible. You’ll want to store any leftover popcorn in an airtight container.
Can You Freeze Popcorn?
You can freeze popped popcorn in an airtight container to make it last longer if you want. You shouldn’t freeze un-popped kernels though because this will effect their ability to pop later.
How to Freeze Popcorn
- Seal any popcorn in an air-tight, freezer safe container. If you’re using a container with a lid, add a layer or plastic wrap around the container.
- Wrap the container in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place on an even surface in the freezer.
- When you’re ready to enjoy the popcorn, let it sit at room temperature until it’s thawed.
The Best Containers to Store Popcorn
Popcorn tins, glass containers with lids, and airtight Tupperware are the best containers to store your leftover popcorn. You could also use a Ziplock storage bag.
The good news is good quality popcorn is affordable and can last a long time! We hope these tips will help you enjoy a delicious bowl of popcorn and not be afraid to try different flavors during your next movie night!