When using an air popper to pop popcorn, it never seems fully dry as the healthier bagged popcorn from Smartfood, Skinny Pop, etc.

Before putting any toppings on the air-popped corn, I taste some of the plain popped corn and it seems to still have some moisture content.

I've tried to place the popped popcorn on a sheet pan in the oven at 200°F for a while in an attempt to dry it out further, but it never seems fully dry.

My wife makes kettle corn using oil, sugar, salt, and popcorn and it turns out much drier… but then it also has a salty-sweet coating. Perhaps I have to kettle pop plain popcorn to get a drier result?

How do I make really dried out popcorn?

  • Get yourself a whirley pop!
    – moscafj
    May 9, 2018 at 19:24
  • Are you adding anything to your popcorn?
    – 1006a
    May 13, 2018 at 6:29
  • @1006a - I added a bit to clarify I'm talking about plain air-popped popcorn.
    – beausmith
    May 14, 2018 at 3:49
  • @beausmith I am serious about the whirley pop. If, by "dry", you also mean "crisp" (as much as that means with popcorn), the whirley pop produces the best results, in my opinion. It's inexpensive (get the cheapest, aluminum, version...as aluminum is better for this task anyway).
    – moscafj
    May 14, 2018 at 10:46
  • Lol! Thanks @moscafj. There is a whirley pop in my Amazon cart right now. If you want answer credit… you'll have to post an answer. :)
    – beausmith
    May 14, 2018 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


The problem is not water content but mouth feel, smartfood and skinny pop are coated with a fine powder which has a dry mouth feel. You can dry your popcorn as long as you like but you'll never get to the same place with it.

You can replicate smartfood cheddar popcorn by tossing your corn with mac and cheese powder, I'd give it a try and see if you get where you want to go, if it still seems wet in comparison then some extra drying may be good.

  • Thanks GdD. Can you provide more examples of the "fine powder" you refer to? Also, how do you know this answer is correct? Can you point me to any papers, documents, urls, etc which back up your answer?
    – beausmith
    May 10, 2018 at 18:58
  • I don't have any scientific papers to link to @beausmith, most of what I know about popcorn and potato chips comes from a food scientist friend of mine who is a flavor designer. Smartfood uses cheddar cheese powder while skinny pop uses non-cheddar flavoring and rice flour.
    – GdD
    May 10, 2018 at 19:41

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