Reheat Popcorn In Your Air Fryer And Thank Us Later

Popcorn in a bowl on wood surface
Popcorn in a bowl on wood surface - Naaz Stock/Shutterstock

It's not news to say leftover popcorn doesn't have the same crunch factor as fresh. But instead of tossing that pricey bag of unfinished movie popcorn into the trash, toss it into your air fryer. An air fryer is essentially a small convection oven, meaning when leftover popcorn sits in the fryer's basket, the heat can reach all sides. This can evenly re-crisp old popcorn better than other re-heating methods can manage.

Following a few simple steps can revive your leftover popcorn in no time. Depending on how much butter or oil your leftover popcorn already has, you may or may not need to add additional fat -- although a spritz of oil can increase the crispy factor, and can help seasonings to stay on your popcorn.

Not all air fryers are created equal, so your cooking time may differ, but using an air fryer to reheat popcorn typically only takes two or three minutes. Don't overfill your fryer, as crowding will prevent even re-crisping, and also give your basket a shake every minute or so, to make sure every kernel has an equal opportunity to experience the heat.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

Just Keep It Out Of The Heating Element

Burnt popcorn in a bowl
Burnt popcorn in a bowl - Natalia Mylova/Shutterstock

The kernels of microwave popcorn are contained in a paper bag; a lidded pan keeps stovetop popcorn from flying all around your kitchen when it begins to pop. But in an air fryer, it's the heating element above the basket that can catch your old popcorn if the hot air sends it upward. Anything caught in the heating element can smoke and catch fire -- which is why you might want to avoid popping unpopped kernels in an air fryer from scratch.

Reheating already popped corn is not likely to have as much activity, but take note if there are any unpopped kernels in your leftovers bag. The good news is that your air fryer might wind up popping those kernels; however, there's also the possibility they can shoot into that heating element, or that already popped pieces might blow around and upward, so stay close and check in often.

More Ideas For Reheating And Repurposing Old Popcorn

Popcorn balls on parchment
Popcorn balls on parchment - Bhofack2/Getty Images

If you don't have an air fryer, you can still revive your leftover popcorn with other tools. Spreading that stale movie snack in a single layer on a baking sheet and then popping it into a traditional oven can achieve a result similar to an air fryer. Reheat your popcorn with low heat for about five minutes, turning it on the sheet intermittently to make sure heat reaches all sides of the popcorn pieces.

You can use a lidded pot or pan on the stovetop to reheat old popcorn but the heat won't circulate as effectively as it does in your air fryer. You'll need to be diligent about shaking the pan or stirring the popcorn during the reheating process or the popcorn might heat inconsistently or possibly burn on the bottom of the pan.

Once you've used your air fryer to resurrect your leftover popcorn, give it a punch of new flavor by grinding homemade popcorn seasonings,  or find premade options at your local store in flavors ranging from cheddar cheese to birthday cake. If you have more leftover popcorn than you can reheat and eat, don't fret. There are plenty of ways to repurpose popcorn, from making classic popcorn balls to adding popcorn to a cookie recipe. You'll never be sorry you held onto your leftover popcorn, no matter how you enjoy it.

Read the original article on Daily Meal