How To Dry Corn For Popping

Drying Corn

Little compares to seeing your green fingers rewarded by the appearance of towering ears of corn, perfectly ripened by the sun.

They're delicious roasted on the barbeque with a generous coating of butter, or may easily be dried into the hard kernels for making popcorn.


  1. In a dry autumn it’s possible to leave the ears of corn drying on the stalks until the first hard frost. If a damp autumn threatens you can snip the ears away from the plant, peel back the papery husks and hanging them in bunches in a cool dry room for 3 to 4 weeks.
  2. You can make a clever drying rack by balancing a broom across the back of two chairs, and tying the bunches at 20cm intervals along the broom handle.
  3. When you think the cobs are dry you can test a few kernels in a hot pan to see if they’re ready. If they fail to pop allow them to dry for another week.
  4. If you’re extremely impatient, or have an important cinema date fast approaching, it’s possible to dry the ears of corn in the oven.
  5. Set the oven to the lowest possible temperature.
  6. Briefly blanche the ears, softening them enough to allow you to slice the kernels away from the cob.
  7. Shake them onto kitchen paper and allow them to dry for an hour.
  8. Spread them evenly onto a shallow baking sheet and place them in the oven, wedging the door slightly ajar.
  9. Every two hours give the tray a good shake to rotate the kernels.
  10. Six hours should be enough time to completely dry the kernels, they should be visibly shrivelled and feel firm to the touch.
  11. Allow them to cool at room temperature.
  12. The dried kernels are ready to pop into corn immediately, but they may be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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