How to Make Cornmeal With Popcorn (and other corn)
A simple DIY for how to make cornmeal at home with popcorn and options for dehydrated corn. A gritty flour, polenta substitute made from dried and ground corn kernels - more cost-effective, and less processed than store-bought varieties!
The Steps For Grinding Popcorn Kernels Into Cornmeal
Place the corn kernels in a blender or seed grinder and grind.
The first go-around will yield some uneven pieces so sieve the powder into a bowl and then re-grind the larger pieces.
You may need to go for a third grind/ blend. However, I usually find two is sufficient.
Transfer the cornmeal to an airtight container.
If Using A Blender
Instead of a grinder, you can also use a high-speed blender (must be powerful). Run at its' top speed for 40 seconds, check what the meal looks like and run for a further 20-30 seconds if needed. Sieve the resulting mixture into a bowl and replace the larger bits back into the blender and go for round two. You may even need a round three.
Just make sure to use enough corn that the blades are safely covered. 2-3 cups of dried corn is usually best per batch in a blender. The longer you blend it, the more like a 'flour' it will become. 2-3 minutes will yield a soft, powdery flour.
Drying Corn At Home
If you want to use sweetcorn or other fresh corn for your cornmeal, then you're going to first need to dry it out. You can do this either in a dehydrator or the oven.
If using a dehydrator: Pour the corn kernels over the dehydrator trays, in a single layer. You can use frozen or fresh corn for this, just make sure none of the frozen corn is sticking together in clumps.Dehydrate at around 50ºC/125ºF for 8-10 hours. This can take up to 12 hours sometimes. I usually check after 8, then check in 30-minute intervals.
In an oven: The process is similar, and can only be done in an oven if you're able to reach the low temperatures like 50ºC/125ºF. You want it to dry out without cooking. You can increase the temperature slightly, if your oven doesn't go as low - but then it may be best to leave the door slightly open. It could take 6 to 10 hours to dry them.
When ready, the kernels must be hard, brittle, and not at all pliable. They should also have that familiar 'clicky' noise when rustling them together or dropping onto a counter.
Storing InstructionsFreshly milled cornmeal, within the first couple of days, will yield the best nutrients, and flavor. However, it does actually have a long shelf life too.Keep cornmeal in airtight silicone bags or jars at room temperature. You want the container to be as air-free as possible, to reduce the chance of the cornmeal going rancid. This way you can store the cornmeal in a cool, dark, dry place (like a kitchen cupboard) for up to a year. Cornmeal is also freezer-friendly. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and keep stored for up to 2 years. You're able to use it directly from the freezer, without a need to thaw, the majority of the time.