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  #1  
Old 10-04-2000, 10:58 PM
Qwisp Qwisp is offline
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Okay we all know why popcorn pops. What would happen if you boiled it? Would it pop into a soggy mess? Maybe the kernels would just soften up.I don't know and unfortunatly I have none in the house to experiment with. This stupid question has been bothering me all day.Help!
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2000, 12:37 AM
Kat Kat is offline
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I have some popcorn. Do you wish me to experiment for you?
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2000, 12:55 AM
Enderw24 Enderw24 is offline
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Go ahead Kat. I'm sick of cleaning up the experiments at my place when curiousity gets the better of me. Let us know how it turned out.

My guess: Nothing will happen. The kernel will shield the water inside just a few degrees. At least enough to keep it from popping.
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  #4  
Old 10-05-2000, 01:25 AM
Kat Kat is offline
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Results of Boiling Popcorn: Wet, hot popcorn kernals. They don't pop and they don't soften. They do dance around the bottom of the pan, though.
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2000, 01:34 AM
USCDiver USCDiver is offline
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My guess is that boiling water simply isn't hot enough; by definition, only 100 degrees C. Oil can get hotter than that, and contact with the bottom of the pot probably allows popcorn to get hotter during normal popping methods. I'm not familiar with the critical temperature for popping, but you might try adding a good deal of salt to the boiling water to raise it's temperature. That way, if it pops it will already be salted.
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2000, 10:30 AM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Feeling really brave(*)?

Try it in a pressure cooker! When it's a maximum pressure, remove the lid and maybe the kernels will all pop at once.... ummm, throwing boiling water and live steam into the air.

Maybe you'd better not do this....

(*) by "brave", I of course mean "extremely stupid".
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2000, 01:44 PM
Qwisp Qwisp is offline
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WOW!

Thanks everyone. I'm impressed.I am surprised that nothing happened to the kernals when boiled. Another mystery solved.
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:29 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Salt in the water probably won't help, either. It does increase the boiling point of water, but by a darn small amount. The only reason to add salt is flavor.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2000, 07:21 PM
KevinB KevinB is offline
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Popcorn pops because the moisture inside the kernal turns into steam. Being inside the kernal, the water will be under pressure, so the boiling point of the water inside the kernal will be higher than the boiling point of water at room pressure. I suspect the pressure cooker bit probably won't work either, since the moisture in the kernal will still be under pressure relative to the water in the pressure cooker. I don't plan on conducting this experiment, as the results will either be hot, soggy kernals, or hot soggy popcorn, neither one of which sounds very appetizing.

Kevin B.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2000, 07:31 PM
Kyberneticist Kyberneticist is offline
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KevinB is correct.

A recent blurb I read was about some fun experiments in what happens to popcorn in low pressure. Result, popped corn several inches in width. They even had a little formula for working out how wide it was going to get in a given pressure.

Wish I could dig it up again, unfortunately, all my search terms seem to turn up blood pressure and salted popcorn debates.
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2012, 11:16 PM
mutessi1978 mutessi1978 is offline
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making corn, by boiling?

I was curious that since i heard that you can grind popcorn and make mush and bread, etc. Can I boil pop corn and make regular corn. Like a dehydrated corn. After reading what i have so far, I'm guessing not. If any have any thoughts on this please do tell.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2012, 11:53 PM
california jobcase california jobcase is offline
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There is, or was, a touristy shop in downtown Dahlonega, GA that sells/sold popcorn grits, which amounted to coarsely ground popcorn. Some people told me it cooked up just like regular grits. I don't think you'd ever get anything like sweet corn no matter how long you boiled popcorn.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2012, 12:06 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Not even if you boiled it non-stop since the last time this thread was active 12 years ago!!!

It would soften up some after boiling, but never get to the level of tenderness as fresh corn before turning to mush.
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2012, 12:37 AM
mutessi1978 mutessi1978 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Not even if you boiled it non-stop since the last time this thread was active 12 years ago!!!

It would soften up some after boiling, but never get to the level of tenderness as fresh corn before turning to mush.
Lol. Thank you. Good to know. 12 years and still got a quick response. Amazing. Has anyone here tried grinding it to use it for mush or corn bread, before I buy way too much for my food storage. Thanks again.
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2012, 09:02 AM
BubbaDog BubbaDog is offline
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mutessi1978 - to answer your first question, popcorn is corn that pops because it is a breed of corn that grows with less water within the kernels. It isn't just regular corn that has been dehydrated. And since the husk of the kernel is fairly hard and watertight, boiling doesn't penetrate it and soften the kernel.

As for your second question, I bet that you can get more responses if you take your question to the "Cafe" section of this board and post it there. It would be an interesting topic there.

Doesn't hurt to start a new thread since this one is a zombie.

On edit: I see that these are your first posts. Starting a new thread is pretty easy and anybody can do it. Just look for the "new thread" button in the top left area of the "Cafe" page.

Last edited by BubbaDog; 09-20-2012 at 09:05 AM..
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  #16  
Old 09-20-2012, 10:35 AM
AaronX AaronX is offline
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I saw this machine a few days ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N98JFxNFLYY it appears to be what would happen if you cooked popcorn in a pressure cooker, then suddenly depressurised it. (It's a machine to make popped rice snacks, a healthier alternative to chips. I guess it's like rice krispies, as a giant cracker.)
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  #17  
Old 09-21-2012, 05:19 AM
Anaglyph Anaglyph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyberneticist View Post
A recent blurb I read was about some fun experiments in what happens to popcorn in low pressure. Result, popped corn several inches in width. They even had a little formula for working out how wide it was going to get in a given pressure.

Wish I could dig it up again, unfortunately, all my search terms seem to turn up blood pressure and salted popcorn debates.
Google "vacuum popcorn"
Discover magazine: "The physics of popcorn"
Nature: "Popcorn gets poppier"
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2012, 10:29 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronX View Post
I saw this machine a few days ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N98JFxNFLYY it appears to be what would happen if you cooked popcorn in a pressure cooker, then suddenly depressurised it. (It's a machine to make popped rice snacks, a healthier alternative to chips. I guess it's like rice krispies, as a giant cracker.)
Pressure is apparently the preferred way to go about things in China; you can find lots of videos like this one where the popcorn doesn't so much "pop" as "BOOM".

A very similar operation is used to make lots of breakfast cereals out of puffed rice, wheat, corn, and oats. Look up "gun puffing"; the name comes from the fact that the first such pressure cookers used were made from recycled cannons.
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2012, 10:58 AM
Suburban Plankton Suburban Plankton is online now
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Originally Posted by mutessi1978 View Post
Has anyone here tried grinding it to use it for mush or corn bread, before I buy way too much for my food storage. Thanks again.
Yes, we have a grain mill and that's how we obtain all of our cornmeal. Cornmeal isn't exactly expensive to buy, but popcorn is even cheaper, and the end product is essentially identical. We don't do mush, but it makes for excellent cornbread.
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  #20  
Old 09-22-2012, 03:34 AM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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According to On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee, popcorn pops at around 380 F (190 C). This is far hotter than boiling water.

The mechanism by which popcorn pops requires that the temperature be above boiling for it to pop - the pressure from the heated water inside the kernel must be high enough to make the kernel explode. Water boils in a pot when its vapor pressure exceeds atmospheric pressure. At this point the water pressure inside the kernel just about balances the air pressure outside the kernel. This just isn't enough to make the kernel pop.
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Last edited by Jeff Lichtman; 09-22-2012 at 03:34 AM..
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  #21  
Old 11-18-2012, 09:05 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
Pressure is apparently the preferred way to go about things in China; you can find lots of videos like this one where the popcorn doesn't so much "pop" as "BOOM".
The latest MythBusters episode had a bit where they popped popcorn using something from China that looked like the popcorn pressure cooker in that link.

Of course, on the show they just shot the popcorn into the air...
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  #22  
Old 11-18-2012, 09:34 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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It is worth noting that, since this thread began, Starbucks has begun selling their bags of popcorn with the handy note printed on the bag: "100% Whole Grain!"

I tried to point out to them that actually, ALL popcorn is 100% whole grain, but they kind of glared at me.
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  #23  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:08 PM
user_hostile user_hostile is offline
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Back in the 80's, I worked for a microwave company. One the assistants told me a story about using a 100,000 kW klystron to make popcorn for open house in the 60's. They set up screens to keep from giving people cataracts (!). Then they would take a grocery bag, put in a measured amount of popcorn, tape the top, place it under a horn, and the press the button.

Boom! Sometimes the tape would pop and popcorn would fly all over the room. People loved the demonstration. And eating "space-age" popcorn.
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  #24  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:18 PM
Michael63129 Michael63129 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
It is worth noting that, since this thread began, Starbucks has begun selling their bags of popcorn with the handy note printed on the bag: "100% Whole Grain!"

I tried to point out to them that actually, ALL popcorn is 100% whole grain, but they kind of glared at me.
That's just a marketing gimmick, since the public perception is that whole grain is healthy, probably even if it is cake or cookies (although I suppose you could make cake and cookies with all healthy ingredients, not that many people would eat them).
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  #25  
Old 11-19-2012, 04:26 AM
gracer gracer is offline
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(although I suppose you could make cake and cookies with all healthy ingredients, not that many people would eat them).
Humpf. I make healthy cakes and cookies all the time. And many people eat them.



To the (zombie) OP: it sounds like you'd end up with Brazillian "canjica", if you were to use the right kind of maize. You boil the kernels in condensed milk and coconut, add a little cinnamon and... yum! Tia Celia in Rio would start cooking me some whenever I called to say I was coming to stay.

Now I'm homesick for Brazil....
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  #26  
Old 11-19-2012, 10:14 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBeam View Post
The latest MythBusters episode had a bit where they popped popcorn using something from China that looked like the popcorn pressure cooker in that link.

Of course, on the show they just shot the popcorn into the air...
I watched that last night; I'm kinda surprised that they didn't show a YouTube video like mine, if for nothing else then to show how Asian people usually catch the popped corn. And Alton was right, that popper was just way too much mass to heat up to make the method "quick", at least from a cold rest.
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  #27  
Old 02-26-2013, 11:15 PM
raine1200 raine1200 is offline
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you can boil popcorn in microwave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwisp View Post
Okay we all know why popcorn pops. What would happen if you boiled it? Would it pop into a soggy mess? Maybe the kernels would just soften up.I don't know and unfortunately I have none in the house to experiment with. This stupid question has been bothering me all day.Help!
OK I found your post asking that same question. I make plain microwave popcorn all the time in microwave popper. It gets messy with shells and whatever I add. So I just tried it, put 1 teaspoon of water in the bottom. It worked but I think regular dry method is better. So I would say you can steam it. Best thing was I could chew up the non- popped ones cause the water softened them a bit.
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  #28  
Old 02-27-2013, 12:07 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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zombie or no

a little bit of water in the microwave does nothing besides make a little steam, not enough to do anything. it does boil the popcorn nor does it put moisture into the unpopped kernels.
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  #29  
Old 02-27-2013, 06:56 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
It is worth noting that, since this thread began, Starbucks has begun selling their bags of popcorn with the handy note printed on the bag: "100% Whole Grain!"

I tried to point out to them that actually, ALL popcorn is 100% whole grain, but they kind of glared at me.
Actually that's not quite true. I'm sure I've seen "dehulled" popcorn for sale. I'm not even sure if this stuff is real popcorn that has been dehulled, or some sort of reconstituted puffy product....
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  #30  
Old 08-23-2013, 01:34 AM
Chrysantheus Chrysantheus is offline
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'Murica!

Try boiling it in grease!
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