Popcorn Cob: How to Pop Popcorn from a Cob

popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob

Popcorn Cob? Yes, this is a thing! And if you haven’t tried this yet, I highly recommend it.

This is a fun activity in the fall months when dry corncobs, also known as Indian Corn, are abundant. We recently visited a local farm. After watching them mill dried corn into animal feed, they sent us home with organic cobs of dried corn to make into popcorn. Amazing, right?

Did you know that it’s perfect for popping? I didn’t, so for us this was a true, yummy experiment.

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Where can I find Popcorn on the Cob?

If you don’t have a source for dried corn cobs like we did, don’t worry! You can find them in some gourmet shops and online.

We’ve picked dried Indian Corn at farm stands, and Farmer’s Popcorn Cobs at Sur La Table and Amazon: beautiful ears of corn, non-GMO + Kansas grown.

Supplies for Corn Cob Popcorn

Farmer’s Popcorn Cob (Amazon, pack of 3)

Paper Bags


Before you start

To build excitement and curiosity, ask some questions about popcorn and how it’s made.

What happens when we put dried popcorn and oil on the stovetop?

What do you think will happen if we put dried popcorn in the microwave?

Do you think it would be the same or different if we microwave dried corn cob?

popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob

How to make Popcorn with a Dried Corn Cob

  1. Place the cob in a brown paper lunch bag.
  2. Fold the bag up a couple times to keep the steam in
  3. Cook the cob in the microwave. Set it to a popcorn setting if you have that.
popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob
popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob

My little one (with face paint) was so excited when it started popping in the microwave. We cooked it on the popcorn setting, which is about two and half minutes long. As with any other popcorn, open the microwave door when the popping sounds slow down.

popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob

We opened it up for a peek, and it was gorgeous.

popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob

Marvel at how much popcorn came off of one little cob!

The ends of this ear didn’t pop off and actually singed up a bit.  My daughter loved the whole process, right on down to eating the corn.

popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob

Click here to get our free downloadable list of 50 fun ways to celebrate fall with kids.

popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob
The Popcorn Book and Popcorn Breakfast

To extend this into a fun literacy moment, read The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola. It’s funny, and an instant childhood favorite. My kids love it.

When we read the book we learned that “The Colonists like it [popcorn] so much that they served popcorn for breakfast with cream poured on it.” Try turning your popcorn into an old fashioned breakfast treat with Popcorn Cereal. 

How to make corncob popcorn - an easy and fun fall treat for kids. from TinkerLab

More Fall Ideas for Kids

popcorn cob: how to pop popcorn from a cob

50 Things to do with your family this fall. Are you wondering what to do with the family this fall? Get the free Great Big Family Fall List!

Make Pumpkin Pie Playdough. A sensory favorite for toddlers and preschoolers. > Pumpkin Pie Playdough Recipe

Leaf Collages. If you have access to leaves, I have two really easy projects for you that you can do right away. Try the  Tree Trunk Leaf Collage or Contact Paper Autumn Collage.

Warm your home with this pretty lantern. Make this beautiful fall lantern from crayons.

Create a Leaf Craft: There are so many fall leaf crafts! For example, Make Leaf Critters or try Coffee Filter Leaf Sun Catchers

Make Apple Prints: How to Set up an Apple Printing Station

Preserved Leaves. Avoid watching your beautiful fall leaves break apart and try preserving them in glycerin.


  1. OH wow that’s super cool I’ve never tried putting a cob of corn like that in the microwave it seems so exciting- thanks for the idea:)

  2. Big M’s very favorite veggie is Corn on the Cob. . .I wonder if we could even dry our own? Sounds like an extra fun fall project! p.s. I love the updated pic in the corner.

  3. My grandsons and I tried throwing left over kernels into the campfire. I can’t wait to share this with them. Now…to find a place to get the popcorn on the cob.

  4. I am cracking up at her painted face! I don’t know how many times I’ve taken photos of Michael and he’s all painted up for no reason except that it’s fun. Thanks for sharing your cool experiment!

  5. how cool is that?!?! i didn’t know you could do that either and now will have to try it out! i’m a popcorn junkie!

  6. Wow, I never knew! Ok, knowing how much my son loves corn on the cob and popcorn, I can’t wait to do this with him – popcorn on the cob! Of course, over here we’re just starting to get fresh sweet corn, so will have to wait a few months. Thank you so much for this post!

  7. What fun! I love this idea. It almost makes me want to go out and buy a microwave to try it. Alternatively, we’ll have to borrow our neighbors! 🙂

  8. I have always wondered if this really worked. Now I know it does and I will not have to waste those corncobs as decorations, I will be able to eat them too! You know I am all for eating, anything yummy and organic that is!
    Thanks for sharing this eatable experiment.

  9. I have done this before – so much fun and tasty too!! Now I need Fall to come again! 🙂

  10. I buy dried corn on the cob for the squirrels in my backyard. Will those work? Or are those just for animals?

  11. […] Popcorn From A Cob | Tinker Lab Popcorn is one of the coolest things to learn about it. We eat it when we go to the movies, but has your child ever stopped to wonder how in the world corn turns into popcorn? This is a great experiment to demonstrate the process! […]

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