How Do I Measure Popcorn?

Popcorn is light and easy to measure.
Popcorn is light and easy to measure. (Image: popcorn image by Ewe Degiampietro from

Popcorn is a light snack typically served sweetened or salted. The snack is high in fiber and low in calories, making it a desirable food when dieting or managing your weight. To get an accurate calorie count or for certain recipes, you need to measure the amount of popcorn that you are using.

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Clear Measuring Cup

According to Jane Kirby, author of "Dieting for Dummies," a glass or clear plastic measuring cup works best for measuring popped popcorn. This allows you to determine an accurate measurement quickly.

Popped Popcorn

Place popped popcorn into a measuring cup and shake it lightly to allow the kernels to settle against each other. Do not press on the top of the popcorn as this breaks it and produces an inaccurate measurement. The popcorn should be level with the measuring line rather than creating a rounded top for the most accurate measurement.

Popcorn Kernels

Measuring un-popped popcorn to determine popped yield is never perfectly accurate, but helps when determining how much to make. Use a measuring spoon to scoop up un-popped kernels and level the top by running your finger across it. Two tablespoons of un-popped kernels typically yield three to five cups of popcorn, says Kirby.


  • "Dieting For Dummies"; Jane Kirby and The American Dietetic Association; 2003
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