You Shouldn't Pre-Salt Your Popcorn. Here's Why

Popcorn can be a wonderful snack that's perfect for a movie night at home. When prepared in a heart-smart way, it's also a great whole grain that's high in fiber that helps curb cravings (via American Heart Association). But adding too much salt, especially before you even pop the kernels, can do more than just make the snack unhealthy. Pre-salting your popcorn can make your fresh bowl of popcorn taste downright bad. 

In a recent interview with Samin Nosrat, Mashed found that Americans need to be salting their food a lot earlier than what's currently done in the kitchens of most homes. And while you might want to add more salt to your pasta water or salt your meat a lot earlier than a few hours before you cook it, popcorn is not something that needs salt sooner. In fact, pre-salting your popcorn can change the treat in ways you might not expect.

Pre-salting changes the texture of popcorn

According to, salting kernels before popping them can actually cause the popped popcorn to be tough instead of light and fluffy. And let's be honest, nobody wants overly chewy popcorn. That's why you definitely need to wait until the entire bowl is popped before you decide to add salt. Besides, adding a spritz of cooking oil or a drizzle of melted butter will help the salt to stick to the popcorn better. If you are looking for a way to make your popcorn taste even better without piling on even more salt, you might want to try adding some different spices to the snack. 

According to Shape, you can try sprinkling your bowl with lemon pepper, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, and other spices like chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and even onion powder. Using what you have in your pantry will allow you to make your own seasonings that pack a lot more flavor than salt alone. So use what you have and resist the temptation to salt too soon when it comes to this snack.