Parched corn is an interesting and addictive snack for those that not only love corn but love the crunch of nuts. If you have never had parched corn, it’s super easy! It can be made anywhere there is a heat source from a skillet, to a flat-topped grill to open flamed fire, and takes just a few minutes to go from hard corn kernels to crunchy corn snack!
Parched corn recipes are also popular not only for the grab-and-go snack but that they are often used as survivalist food or hiking food that needs no refrigeration and lasts a long time. Early pioneers carried parched corn in a small bag for quick nourishment that could even be ground into cornmeal for basic cakes and breakfast.
Parched Corn Ingredients
Parched corn is a great way to skip the pricy power bars (and plastic wrap) for a delicious trail snack. Combined with other nuts (and maybe a few M&Ms like a trail mix), this is easy to carry, store, and takes one of the old ways of doing things and makes it relevant and current to modern society.
All you need is a few simple ingredients to get started –
- Oil Base – To parch corn, there needs to be an oil base. This can be vegetable oil, butter, or lard. I personally use vegetable oil.
- Dried Corn – Dried corn can be made from a piece of corn OR purchased already with kernels roomed.
- Dry out a Corn Cob: An old fashioned way to dry sweet corn or field corn is to leave out corn cobs and let dry completely. Kernels should remove super easy when fully dried. If not dry all the way, kernels can be harder to remove and need more time. Other ways are using a dehydrator or hang cobs in a dry area of your home till completely dried out.
- Purchase from the store: However dried corn is easily purchased from the store. Typically corn is in the international section under Hispanic foods as its often used as a Hispanic snack.
- Purchase a bag of dried corn from amazon: You can also purchase dried corn from Amazon if not available locally.
- Seasoning – Parched corn is fine with simple salt (as is most corn!) but seasonings like red pepper, ranch seasoning or even brown sugar and coconut sugar is a fun way to enjoy.
Are Corn Nuts and Parched Corn the Same Thing?
No! Parched corn is made from dried corn and oil and corn nuts are typically hominy.
How long does Parched Corn Last?
Parched corn is easy to store at room temperature and with just salt added lasts at least 3 months.
How to make Parched Corn
Parched corn is so easy to make! Taking a large skillet or cast iron pan, heat up approximately 1 tablespoon of oil, a small amount of butter or lard on the bottom of a pan medium heat. Carefully use a paper towel to make sure oil is spread evenly in the pan but is not in excess oil (you are not frying the corn).
Once the frying pan is heated and ready, cover the bottom of the skillet with dried corn, making sure not to overlap pieces. Depending on the size of the skillet will depend on how much-dried corn you can fit, but my skillet takes 1 1/2 cups.
Let dried corn heat till it begins to pop. When I make dried corn in the house, it can pop out of the skillet so I put a clear lid on the top of the corn and remove it every 30-45 seconds to stir.
Corn should puff up with air and slowly brown. Use a spatula to stir and brown evenly. Corn should not burn or pop into popcorn.
The whole process to medium brown color and an air puff takes about 5-7 minutes. Test out a kernel (carefully). Once the corn is soft but still crunchy, parched corn is completed.
The next step is to add additional spices (like more salt or seasonings from the pantry) or brown sugar and stir, remove from heat, and let cool.
Store parched corn in a dry cloth bag (for long-term storage without moisture) for an easy nutritious snack!
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