Hulless Popcorn: What Is Is & Is It Better Than Regular Popcorn?

Tina Ruggiero

Popcorn has been a favorite snack for centuries. Almost everyone loves a big bowl of salty popcorn at the movie theater and we all know how to pop a warm bag of popcorn for our home movie nights. The only downside to popcorn is that it occasionally gets stuck in your teeth. This is how the idea of hulless popcorn came to be. 

The idea behind hulless popcorn was to get rid of the dark hull which often gets stuck in your teeth or, even worse, in your throat. It sounds like a great idea. Many brands advertise popcorns that they claim to be hulless but does hulless popcorn really exist? Or are hulless popcorn kernels actually a myth? We wanted to find out.

Why is Hulless Popcorn a Myth?

Before we dive into our hulless popcorn research, we wanted to explain what the popcorn hull actually is. The hull is actually the hard shell on the unopened kernels of popcorn. When the popcorn pops, the popcorn explodes open, flipping the hull to the inside of the popped kernel. That skinny, dark piece in the middle of each kernel is the hull.

In order to figure out if hulless popcorn is real, we started by looking at how popcorn is made. Popcorn is made by healing oil or butter and then adding the popcorn kernels to the hot pan. You can also make popcorn in an air popper. The main point is that popcorn kernels need heat  to pop. Inside each popcorn kernel is a small amount of moisture which, when heated inside the the hard hull, starts to expand. The pressure from the expanding water eventually bursts the popcorn kernel open, flipping the hull to the inside of the popcorn. The soft, fluffy interior of the popcorn is now on the outside while the harder hull is on the inside. 

Now that you know how popcorn works, you can see that making popcorn without a hull is almost impossible. You need the hull to build pressure inside the kernel. Otherwise, the popcorn just won’t pop. Hull-less popcorn cannot be real or you would have bags and bags of unpopped popcorn. It just won’t work.

What Really is Hulless Popcorn?

So if hulless popcorn isn’t real, what exactly are brands selling when they claim to have hulless popcorn? Popcorn that is labeled as “hulless” is actually just smaller kernels of popcorn. The smaller the kernel, the smaller the hull. The small hull is easier to eat and actually softer than the hull on larger kernels. 

When the small kernels pop, the hull actually breaks into very small pieces since it is so soft. This makes it a lot easier to eat, less likely to get stuck in your teeth or braces and it is even easier to digest. So, while the popcorn does still have a hull, it is smaller, softer and a lot less noticeable. 

How to Prepare Hulless Popcorn

Hulless popcorn is made exactly the same way as any other popcorn varieties. You can pop it in the microwave, on the stovetop or inside a popcorn air popper. It is easy to make and absolutely delicious when popped with some popcorn butter. 

Hulless popcorn is also pretty healthy when you are able to customize it at home. Popcorn is actually a whole grain and has helpful antioxidants. Those antioxidants can help fight disease and keep your body healthy. Even more reason why popcorn is the best snack ever.

Best 4 Brands of Hulless Popcorn

Even though there is no such thing as hulless popcorn, there are still brands who advertise this type of popcorn. While it may not be truly hulless, it does have a softer, smaller hull which many people may enjoy. So, if you have beef with those big popcorn kernels, you will want to give these popcorn varieties a try. These brands make some delicious popcorn flavors that you are sure to enjoy. 

#1 Amish Country Popcorn Medium White Hulless

Amish Country Popcorn is known for being a clean, delicious brand that popcorn lovers adore. The popcorn is all non GMO and additive free,.All of the Amish Country Popcorn is grown in Berne, Indiana and comes with a satisfaction guarantee. That means you should definitely buy one of the 25 pound bags of gourmet white popcorn so you can enjoy it every night.  

The medium white popcorn is one of the most popular flavors of hulless popcorn this brand sells. The mid sized white popcorn kernels have a tender hull that is quite enjoyable. The brand also has a baby white popcorn and a Ladyfinger hulless variety that you may want to try as well. 

#2 Dutchman’s White Popcorn

Dutchman’s white popcorn is an old fashioned popcorn which has medium kernels and a classic flavor. Snacking on this vegan, free from preservative, gluten free snack may bring back childhood memories. 

This white popcorn has a very small hull and is the closest popcorn to actually being hulless that we tried. When you choose this brand, you won’t have to worry about pesky hard hulls ruining your snack time. Grab a four pound bag of Dutchman’s popcorn on Amazon and you will be a happy snacker for weeks to come.

#3 Riehle’s Select Popping Corn Hulless Butter Microwave Popcorn

If you are looking for a hulless microwave popcorn, Riehel’s is the brand for you. This microwave popcorn is super easy to make and will upgrade your movie night thanks to the soft, tender kernels. 

When you pop a bag of Riehle’s popcorn, just be prepared for the small size of the popped popcorn. It is quite small. In fact, lots of customer reviews mention the tiny size. However, we don’t see this as a bad thing. That small size means the hull is super small and barely noticeable. Hulless popcorn seekers will be very happy with this delicious popcorn brand. 

#4 Black Jewell Gourmet Popcorn Kernels Crimson Red

Black Jewell popcorn not only has a very small hull, but it is also unique in many other ways. The dark colored kernels are eye-catching and exciting. White the red kernels may pop open to reveal a bright white center, the popped popcorn does have an interesting, rich flavor that is far more intense than other popcorns. You can grab this popcorn in already popped popcorn bags or make the red kernels yourself. 

We also love Black Jewell gourmet popcorn because the company plants pollinator plots which help the honey bee population. They also contribute to pollinator advocacy groups who help make sustainable farming possible. This is a great popcorn with a great cause.

Learn More About Your Favorite Treats

Hulless popcorn may not actually be real but there are some great brands that make popcorn with small, practically unnoticeable hulls. You can eat this type of popcorn with ease; You won’t need a toothpick to get those pesky hulls out of your teeth. 

Let us know which popcorn varieties are your favorites and come back for more interesting popcorn articles. We are always researching and learning about popcorn then sharing all the info here so you can be a popcorn aficionado too. 

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