From the blog October 27, 2010 Modernist Cuisine Team

High-Speed Video: Popcorn Popping @ 6,200 FPS

The key to why popcorn pops is its unusual moisture-proof hull. As the kernel is heated beyond the boiling point, the water inside begins to turn into steam and expand. Since the hull will not let steam out, the pressure inside the kernel begins to rise. The hull can handle a pressure of around 135 psi before bursting open. At this point, the pressure inside the kernel is released very rapidly, expanding the starch and proteins into a dense foam that sets quickly.


  1. tea November 2, 2010 Reply

    “dense foam”. never thought of popcorn that way before… now i can’t stop thinking of polysterene.

  2. Joseph Bayot November 2, 2010 Reply

    This is really great. Looking forward to seeing more videos!

    Is there going to be a multimedia disc that comes along with the book?

    • Ryan Matthew Smith November 2, 2010 Reply

      There are no plans to include a multimedia disc with the book release but we will continue to post videos to the blog!

  3. baby toddler November 4, 2010 Reply

    This video is also teaching you about some physics knowledge. A cool way to learn without getting bored.

  4. Kea Kelly Alcock October 28, 2011 Reply


    I am taking over for Oren Knaufer at MTV. Did you provide him with a quote for this footage?


    Kea Kelly Alcock
    1515 Broadway 10th Floor NY, NY 10036
    p: 212.846.4291 e: aim: KClone22

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