Making popcorn for movie night snack or other get-together and not sure how much popcorn to pop for your guests, or how many bags of pre-popped popcorn to buy? This calculator will help you decide how much popcorn to make or buy as well as the amount of kernels you’ll need to pop if you’re making your own.

**Read on for more information, or jump to the bottom to use the calculator**.

## The Average Serving Of Popcorn

An average serving of popcorn is 2 cups, which fills a small 1 ounce popcorn bag. If you’re thinking of the servings provided at movie theaters, a Small equals roughly 8-10 cups (4-6 servings), a Medium equals 12-14 cups (6-7 servings), and a Large is equal to 16-20 cups (8-10 servings).

## What Makes Popcorn Pop

The moisture inside kernels, which converts to steam when heated, is what makes them pop and expand up to 40 times their original size. It is recommended that popcorn kernels be used within one year. If you’re popping your own, keep in mind that older popcorn kernels may not contain as much moisture, resulting in lower quantities of popcorn due to smaller popped corn and/or more unpopped kernels.

**Common Popcorn Ratios**

These ratios were derived based on data from the Popcorn Board, presumably using fresh quality popcorn kernels

- 2 tablespoons of kernels, which is equivalent to one ounce of kernels, will make approximately one quart (or 4 cups) of popped popcorn.
- 1/4 cup of kernels, which is equivalent to 2 ounces of kernels, will make approximately two quarts (or 8 cups) of popped popcorn.
- 1/2 cup of kernels, which is equivalent to 4 ounces of kernels, will make approximately four quarts (or 16 cups or 1 gallon) of popped popcorn.
- 3/4 cup of kernels, which is equivalent to 6 ounces of kernels, will make approximately six quarts (or 24 cups or 1.5 gallons) of popped popcorn.
- 1 cup of kernels, which is equivalent to 8 ounces of kernels, will make approximately eight quarts (or 32 cups or 2 gallons) of popped popcorn.

We test popped popcorn kernels four times that were purchased a few months back, and found we were getting roughly 75% to 87% of the popped popcorn amounts compared to what the Popcorn Board data suggested. This could be due to the quality of the kernels or our popping method. Based on our results (using 87%), we found:

- 2 tablespoons of kernels (1/8 cup), which is equivalent to one ounce of kernels, will make approximately 3.5 cups of popped popcorn.
- 1/4 cup of kernels, which is equivalent to 2 ounces of kernels, will make approximately 7 cups of popped popcorn.
- 1/2 cup of kernels, which is equivalent to 4 ounces of kernels, will make approximately 14 cups of popped popcorn.
- 3/4 cup of kernels, which is equivalent to 6 ounces of kernels, will make approximately 21 cups of popped popcorn.
- 1 cup of kernels, which is equivalent to 8 ounces of kernels, will make approximately eight quarts 28 cups of popped popcorn.

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