How Does Popcorn Work?

Popcorn all around the world. But how does popcorn work? The science behind the popping kernels lies in the type of corn it is made from. A popcorn kernel has a hard outer shell or hull filled with air and moisture.

When heated, the moisture within the kernel converts to steam and causes the shell to pop, releasing steam and turning the kernel inside out, revealing the white and crunchy center. The pericarp and endosperm are two components of the hull. The pericarp is the rough outer layer composed of cellulose, starch, and protein, whereas the endosperm is the soft interior layer composed primarily of starch. 

How Does Popcorn Work in the Microwave?

Microwaves are electromagnetic waves that generate heat energy in a microwave. When these microwaves make contact with the water molecules inside the popcorn kernel, they cause the molecules to vibrate rapidly, causing heat and pressure to build up inside the kernel.

Heat and pressure are applied until the kernel pops and fluffy popcorn is formed. When microwaving popcorn, it is critical to utilize the correct amount of kernels and time, as microwaving for too long or with too many kernels might result in burnt popcorn. Furthermore, popcorn bags are made to trap heat within, helping the kernels to pop fast and uniformly. Read more: how popcorn is popped

How does Popcorn Work in the Stovetop popper?

A stovetop popper is a specialized pot with a lid and a built-in metal stirring arm. This stirring arm is responsible for popping popcorn; it constantly agitates the kernels as they heat up, causing them to expand and eventually pop. First, pour 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels into the popper and cover it with the lid to create popcorn on the stovetop.

Then increase the heat to medium-high and wait for the popping to commence. As the popcorn kernels begin to pop, the stirring arm will keep them moving, ensuring that all kernels are heated evenly and do not stick to the sides of the pot. When the popping stops, the popcorn is ready to eat.  For more detail Visit: KUDO Snacks


The secret to “how does popcorn work” lies in the unique corn seed. When the corn kernel is heated, the moisture inside them expands and increases the pressure. This pressure eventually gets too high for the shell, causing it to break open, enabling the water to escape as steam.

As the steam exits, the soft starch inside the kernel pushes outward, resulting in a distinct puff of popcorn. The high heat enables the starch to gelatinize, giving the popcorn its distinct texture. When the steam is removed, the starch cools and solidifies, resulting in crunchy, delectable kernels. As you can see, popcorn is a fantastic food resulting from an intriguing scientific procedure.