Skip to content
Home » Is Popcorn Sweet Corn?

Is Popcorn Sweet Corn?

    Is Popcorn Sweet Corn?

    You can use any sort of kernel to produce fresh popcorn at home, right? Considering that popcorn is derived from corn kernels, it makes perfect sense. Not at all, not even close!

    Is popping corn made from sweet corn? No, there is only one variety of corn that can be used to make popcorn. This is despite the fact that there are many different types of corn. Sweet corn kernels are incapable of popping due to their comparatively soft exterior, lower starch content, and higher moisture content; in contrast, the kernels of normal popcorn are often quite hard, starchy, and dry, making them ideal for popping.

    Find out more about the many varieties of popcorn kernels, how they are produced, and which is the ideal kernel to use when you want to make wonderful popcorn!

    What Causes the Pop in Popcorn?

    As a tasty snack, popcorn has been around for hundreds of years. Additionally, in the past, many people thought of it as an affordable lunch option, which was particularly useful during times of shortage such as the Great Depression.

    Corn kernels may be found in a wide variety, each of which has its own set of qualities; yet, not all corn kernels can pop due to the fact that there are so many different kinds of corn.

    The structure of a corn kernel is more important than any other factor in determining whether or not it will pop.

    We need to take a look at the anatomy of a common kernel in order to understand how something as basic and little as a kernel can burst into a tasty snack. This will also help explain why certain kinds of kernels can pop while other types of kernels cannot!

    The Structure of Popcorn

    Each kernel is composed of three distinct layers:

    • A tough outside covering known as the hull.
    • A layer composed of starch
    • A coating of germs

    To explore these layers, heat has to flow from the hull to the centre of the kernel; but, as it does so, each layer is impacted in a slightly different way. This is because the layers are stacked one on top of the other in a manner similar to that of Russian nesting dolls.

    You can see that there is a trace amount of moisture located in the very core of each kernel.

    Even when popcorn kernels are dried, there is almost always going to be some moisture remaining in the lowest layer, and this is something that is very necessary in order to make popcorn!

    The Process of Popping Popcorn

    The bursting of a maize kernel takes place in three stages:

    Heating Stage Pressure Stage Eruption Stage

    1. The Phase of Heating

    It is necessary to subject kernels to heat in order to cause them to pop, and the most effective method for doing so is to provide heat to the kernels via a medium such as oil or butter.

    The kernels are given a uniform coating of oil and butter, which enables them to cook more effectively. In addition to this, the fat forms a barrier that prevents the kernels from being scorched.

    The kernels start to heat up very immediately after being introduced to the oil in the pan. When the heat has finished rendering the outside hull, it will reach the starch layer, and then it will reach the middle, which is filled with moisture.

    This brings forth the next step, which is pressure.

    2. Pressure Stage

    At this point in the process, all of the layers of the kernel will begin to render, and the centre will start to generate pressure as a result of the water evaporating.

    Because popcorn kernels are more robust, their hulls are able to withstand a certain amount of pressure; but, after some time, they will inevitably give in to the powerful internal pressures, which will result in the kernel exploding.

    3. Eruption Stage

    During the eruption stage, the hull breaks free, allowing the starch to forcefully flow out of the shell. This results in the characteristically fluffy and puffy form of the pufferfish.

    Repeat the previous step for each individual popcorn kernel in the saucepan until the vast majority of them have popped!

    Let’s have a look at a different kind of corn now that you’ve got a basic understanding of how a popcorn kernel pops in your mouth.

    Popcorn made with sweet corn (?)

    To cut to the chase: there is no such thing as sweet corn popcorn. Period. End of discussion.

    Because they are not the same as popcorn kernels, kernels of sweet corn cannot be popped. Actually, out of all the many kinds of corn that may be grown across the globe, only one of them—the Zea mays everta variety—can be used to make popcorn.

    But how does this account for the many forms that popcorn may take?

    When the seeds are burst, the several sub-variations of the Zea mays everta species, sometimes known as “strains,” generate a variety of distinct forms. These strains are the product of genetic abnormalities or natural alterations that have occurred over the course of many centuries.

    Because each strain has its own unique set of structural characteristics and proportions, the starch may blast out in a variety of various forms.

    For instance, one strain might result in the production of popcorn in the form of a butterfly, while others can result in the production of popcorn in the shape of a flower, a mushroom, or other appealing shapes.

    In conclusion, popcorn is derived from a single species (of which there are several sub-variations) that is particularly cultivated due to its unique qualities and traits that it has.

    Comparison of Popcorn and Sweet Corn, Including Both Their Similarities and Differences

    Why doesn’t popcorn be produced from sweet corn? In order to understand this, we will now go over each of their individual characteristics!


    The taste of sweet corn is not too sweet, making it an excellent complement to a wide variety of seasonings, sauces, and other components.

    The kernels, when consumed on their own, have a taste that is clean, earthy, and starchy, however, this flavour profile might change according to the strain. On the other hand, in general, you can anticipate that sweet corn will have a taste that is notably more robust than popcorn kernels.

    The use of sweet corn in dishes that also include salty or earthy components is highly recommended. Because of this, they are often combined with fiery sauces, and they may acquire an even more robust taste when roasted over charcoal.

    It goes without saying that this does not imply that traditional popcorn kernels lack taste.

    Raw popcorn kernels may not have the same buttery sweet taste as buttered popcorn kernels, but they do have a flavour note that is notably earthy.

    The popping of the kernels, on the other hand, is when the true magic occurs. The taste of normal popcorn kernels is mostly contributed to their level of starch content.

    There is a very faint whiff of sweetness, but the remainder of the kernel has a taste that is somewhere between nutty and earthy. This works to its advantage since its mild flavour makes it possible for it to be combined with a variety of other components.

    This indicates that they are versatile enough to be savoured with savoury, buttery, umami, or even herbaceous tastes in addition to sweet components like caramel. Additionally, they may be coupled with sweet components like caramel.

    If you want to test your mettle and do something different, give caramel peanuts and fresh popcorn a try.


    Sweet corn is often softer than regular corn, and it also contains more moisture; in appearance, sweet corn is typically lighter.

    Consider this: have you ever noticed how sweet corn just disintegrates on your tongue and has a really buttery feel, particularly when it is prepared in the appropriate manner?

    Imagine now that the same kind of soft kernel is used to manufacture popcorn. It is quite probable that the kernel’s shell will burst as soon as the soft kernel comes into contact with the oil, much before sufficient pressure has a chance to build up within the kernel.

    Popping a sweet corn kernel will result in a kernel that has only partially ruptured, which will not appear very appealing and will not produce the desired mouthfeel.

    It’s possible that popping these kernels will also result in waste that you don’t want, which is why you won’t see sweet corn popcorn on store shelves.

    You may believe that drying out the kernel would make things better; however, you would be correct about that and wrong about that at the same time. It’s true that a dehydrated kernel will make things a little bit better, but the issue isn’t only with the outside of the kernel; it’s also with the inside of the kernel!

    Even after being subjected to dehydration, the kernel’s inside will still contain a considerable amount of moisture due to the fact that it was just mentioned. A sweet corn kernel that has been dehydrated will still fail to pop properly and is almost certainly inedible.

    On the other hand, ordinary popcorn kernels have a tough shell that makes them inherently prone to popping when exposed to heat.

    It is also essential to remember that popcorn kernels include some moisture when they are collected; nevertheless, in order to prepare them, producers often just dry them on the surface so that they can pop correctly.

    It is interesting to note that the form of both kinds of kernels is the same, despite the fact that their inside may be different; the only difference in colour is that popcorn kernels are more vibrant than sweet corn kernels.

    Products Made with Popcorn

    Popcorn has gone a long way since its inception. Even though we’ve been popping the kernels the same way for the last few decades, popcorn has gone through a lot of changes in taste as a commercial product.

    In the past, the only toppings allowed on popcorn were butter and, of course, salt.

    People all throughout the world had been sticking with the tried-and-true combination of butter and salt for many decades prior to the “popping up” of caramel popcorn (we had to).

    People learned that they could utilise the very mild taste of the popcorn kernels as a canvas and couple them with other substances to give them a range of flavours when caramel popcorn was added to the mix. This realisation came about as a result of the inclusion of caramel popcorn.

    Additionally, the timing of this transformation couldn’t have been better since microwavable popcorn was just beginning to gain popularity as a snack choice among consumers.

    It didn’t take long before a variety of popcorn products with a wide variety of artificial tastes and spices began to appear on store shelves.

    The introduction of synthetic flavourings has been the driving force behind the meteoric surge in the popularity of popcorn products.

    Check out this company that offers fire-roasted popcorn with a sweet corn taste; this is the closest you will ever come to eating sweet corn popcorn! Today, you can even purchase popcorn with a flavour similar to sweet corn.

    There are also a great number of different popcorn products on the market that have the potential to provide an even more enticing taste, but in the end, the one thing that they will all have in common is that they will be manufactured using the same kernel type.

    The Secret to Cooking the Ideal Portion of Popcorn

    We have spoken quite a bit about the distinctions between popcorn kernels and sweet corn kernels; but, how are both of these types of kernels prepared for eating?

    Let’s begin with the classic kind of popcorn first!


    50–100 g of popcorn kernels (for one bowl)
    2–3 tablespoons worth of butter


    • Place the butter in the pan and let it melt over low heat. After that, add the kernels, and give them a little coating of salt before serving.
    • After giving the kernels a thorough mixing, immediately bring the heat up to high and cover the pot with its lid. Allow the kernels to cook without being stirred.
    • After two to three minutes, you should start to hear a few kernels burst, which is an indication that the pot has begun to rise up to the appropriate temperature.
    • Let the kernels pop, keeping the heat on until the popping slows down significantly.
    • As soon as you hear one to two pops every two seconds, turn off the heat. After the heat has been turned off, keep the popcorn in the pan with the lid on for two to three minutes so that any unpopped kernels may be popped.
    • After carefully emptying the pot into a dish, give the popcorn a thorough toss in the bowl to ensure that the seasoning is distributed evenly.
    • To ensure that the tastes are uniformly distributed throughout the popcorn, it is recommended that you add any extra flavours, such as caramel or artificially flavoured spices, while the popcorn is still hot and fresh.


    You can probably assume that popcorn kernels grow at an exponential rate, which means that you may need to begin with a small number of kernels and then alter the amount in subsequent batches.
    Even though this method of cooking takes some experience to perfect, it is one of the most effective methods to get 95–100% of the kernels to pop without wasting any of them. You may even make things even simpler by using a separate popcorn-making gadget in your kitchen.

    How To Make Corn That Is Sweet

    In contrast to popcorn, sweet corn is nearly generally prepared by cooking it in steam or water that has been brought to a boil. This is the technique that is recommended for cooking corn since sweet corn kernels do not take as much energy to render as other types of corn kernels do.

    Corn that is naturally buttery, yielding, and delectable may be made by simply placing the kernels in a saucepan of water that is boiling and stirring them occasionally for ten minutes.

    Following these steps will allow you to create sweet corn at home:

    • To start, pour water into a big saucepan. Be sure that the pot is big enough to hold all of the sweet corn since the kernels need to be completely covered in water in order for them to cook correctly.
    • While the water is heating up to a boil, remove the husks from the corn and put them aside. In the interim, you may take the kernels from the cob if you want to eat them directly off the cob. Another option is to just leave them on the cob.
    • After the water has reached a rolling boil, gently place the sweet corn cobs in the pot, then reduce the heat to low and let them simmer for a few minutes (without covering the top).
    • This should take roughly six to eight minutes to complete. After the first six minutes, you should check to see whether they are done to your liking by cutting one apart and looking inside.
    • After the cobs have finished cooking, take them out of the water as soon as possible and place them on a platter. After drying them off with a paper towel, you may serve them with the flavours that you like most.

    Click here for more Articles