Let’s Talk About Corn/Cornmeal

In BabyStep 5: Grains we give you a list of grains which can/should be part of your long term food storage. Jodi started her grain storage with cornmeal because she didn’t have a wheat grinder yet and it seemed easy and non-intimidating, although she now prefers to store regular popping corn and grind it into fresh cornmeal. Here is a little more info on cornmeal and popping corn to help you decide if it’s a grain you want to include in your food storage.

popcorn

Types of Cornmeal:

Steel ground: The most common type of cornmeal, it has the husk and germ almost all removed. Because of this, steel ground cornmeal has less flavor and nutrients but does have a very long shelf life. This is the type you will typically find at the grocery store.
Stone ground: This type of cornmeal retains more of the husk and germ but because of this it is more perishable than steel ground.
Cornmeal can be found in white, yellow, red, and blue varieties. Yellow and white are the most common.

Types of Corn:

The basic types of dried corn used for food storage are: flint, dent, and popcorn. All can be used fairly interchangeably but flint is a little better for cornmeal, dent is better for corn masa, and popcorn is the most versatile since it can be popped for a snack OR ground into meal or flour. Corn can also be found in white, yellow, red, and blue. Yellow corn is often recommended over white corn since white corn does not contain carotene (which converts into vitamin A). Yellow dent corn is very common at food storage stores, but popping corn can easily be found at any grocery store.

Corn/Cornmeal Shelf Life:

Cornmeal: Between 6 and 18 months. Store in a cool dry place to help prolong this.
Corn: 8 years or more if stored in a sealed airtight container with an oxygen absorber.

Corn/Cornmeal Uses:

Dried corn can be used as a vegetable in stews, popped into popcorn, or ground into flour or cornmeal. Corn flour is most commonly used to make corn masa which is a dough used to make tortillas. Cornmeal (fresh ground or store bought) can be used to make delicious cornbread or corn cakes. It can also be made into hominy or grits.
 

Recommendations:

We recommend starting by purchasing a small amount of cornmeal and try some food storage recipes out and see if your family likes eating those foods. If it turns out to be something you really like, then we highly recommend storing a lot of popcorn and grinding it fresh which helps with flavor and gives you more nutrients. If you don’t have a wheat grinder available to you, try to buy cornmeal in good sealed containers such as #10 cans to help prolong the shelf life.

  • Steelmyobsession

    sams club sells 50 lbs of popcorn for 22dollars.

  • audeo

    LOL, I answered my own question.  Pleasanthillgrain.com has both Non GMO Organic Yellow Dent and Popcorn Grain. They also have non organic which costs a bit less.  Sold in 6 gal buckets, corn is mylar bagged with oxygen absorbers for long term storage.  I ordered the Dent to grind into Masa for more authentic tortillas.  Prices sold according to zones…for me zone 2 with shipping included was $65.07.  Thank you again for your terrific site, I always learn something wonderful!

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      Thanks for the info, that’s great news!

  • audeo

    Does anyone have a source for NON-GMO popcorn in a #10 can?

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      I don’t off the top of my head, but if you find one , PLEASE come back and share

  • Pdxcuevas

    Can I can cornmeal in a #10 can?  Sounds like it might spoil.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      Cornmeal doesn’t have as long of a shelf life as popcorn. You could can it but it just wouldn’t last very long. Hope that helps!

  • Rjedmarrott

    If I want to store popcorn instead of cornmeal how do I know how much is recommended to store?

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      You could store just a little bit less than the amount recommended for
      cornmeal. When you grind it it adds a little bit of bulk so you would need
      less. Hope that helps!

  • jadelotus02

    I have heard from other sources that popcorn needs a certain percentage of moisture (14-16%) in order to pop, and is therefore less desirable for long term storage than flint or dent corn, unless it is first dehydrated to around 8-10%. Any thoughts?

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      Interesting. I’ve never heard that. If you were not planning to rotate through your corn very quickly it may indeed be better to store non-popping corn. My popcorn has lasted several years and is still great. I love that you can pop it OR grind it :)

  • karenshine

    Here's a great source for popcorn in bulk. It's Orville Redenbacher in disguise!

    http://buy.chesters.com/PopCommerce/

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a great source for popcorn in bulk. It’s Orville Redenbacher in disguise!

    http://buy.chesters.com/PopCommerce/

  • Deb E

    I've stored cornmeal unsealed on a shelf for years and it's just fine. I have ground popcorn and it's fine, too. My favorite by is some sweet corn from the garden that was a little past prime–so I cooked it on the cob, cut it off, and put it in the dehydrator. I put small amounts of it in my spice grinder or larger amounts in my blender (too lazy to use the wheat grinder) and good golly Miss Molly! it gives the most wonderful flavor to cornbread!!! I'm in love with it. I'm goin got add dry-packed sweet corn to my storage for sure.

  • Deb E

    I've stored cornmeal unsealed on a shelf for years and it's just fine. I have ground popcorn and it's fine, too. My favorite by is some sweet corn from the garden that was a little past prime–so I cooked it on the cob, cut it off, and put it in the dehydrator. I put small amounts of it in my spice grinder or larger amounts in my blender (too lazy to use the wheat grinder) and good golly Miss Molly! it gives the most wonderful flavor to cornbread!!! I'm in love with it. I'm goin got add dry-packed sweet corn to my storage for sure.

  • sheriyoung

    You can get dried corn, whole and cracked at feed stores…we pay about $7.00 for #50. ..it is the same quality, animal safe is people safe. You can also get it at WalMart. Our local carries it as Deer Corn.

  • eaglemom626
  • Anonymous

    Is it okay to put popcorn in #10 cans with oxygen absorbers? I’m wondering why it’s not available at the cannery.

  • kbaker

    Is it okay to put popcorn in #10 cans with oxygen absorbers? I'm wondering why it's not available at the cannery.

  • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

    I just use popping corn. So you can find decent sized bags at grocery stores. You could also try some kind of food wholesaler or party store that would supply popcorn to people who run movie theaters. If you want to order online you can get a 50 lb bag of yellow dent corn for $38.99 with only $5 shipping from http://store.honeyvillegrain.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Food Storage Made Easy

    The Wonder Junior hand mill is supposed to be able to grind corn but I haven't personally tried it with corn yet. I love my electric mill too much ;) You can buy either of the mills off of our blog for free shipping and a $30 rebate right now. Woot!

  • http://www.facebook.com Food Storage Made Easy

    The Wonder Junior hand mill is supposed to be able to grind corn but I haven't personally tried it with corn yet. I love my electric mill too much ;) You can buy either of the mills off of our blog for free shipping and a $30 rebate right now. Woot!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Jennifer Schmink Dayley

    The WonderMill / WhisperMill / WonderMix (same thing) works GREAT for grinding popcorn. Probably the best. Their hand mill is the best too. IMHO, popcorn is better to store than dent corn, cause you can pop it AND grind it.

  • http://www.facebook.com Jennifer Schmink Dayley

    The WonderMill / WhisperMill / WonderMix (same thing) works GREAT for grinding popcorn. Probably the best. Their hand mill is the best too. IMHO, popcorn is better to store than dent corn, cause you can pop it AND grind it.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been trying to find a place to buy the dried corn to grind myself but haven’t had any luck. Do you have any suggestions on where to order it in bulk?

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      I just use popping corn. So you can find decent sized bags at grocery stores. You could also try some kind of food wholesaler or party store that would supply popcorn to people who run movie theaters. If you want to order online you can get a 50 lb bag of yellow dent corn for $38.99 with only $5 shipping from http://store.honeyvillegrain.com

      • Deb E

        I’ve stored cornmeal unsealed on a shelf for years and it’s just fine. I have ground popcorn and it’s fine, too. My favorite by is some sweet corn from the garden that was a little past prime–so I cooked it on the cob, cut it off, and put it in the dehydrator. I put small amounts of it in my spice grinder or larger amounts in my blender (too lazy to use the wheat grinder) and good golly Miss Molly! it gives the most wonderful flavor to cornbread!!! I’m in love with it. I’m goin got add dry-packed sweet corn to my storage for sure.

    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      You can get dried corn, whole dent and cracked at feed stores…we pay about $7.00 for #50. ..it is the same quality as Walton Feed. You can also get it at WalMart. Our local carries it as Deer Corn.

      • Sleepyhines

        Honeyville grain sells whole corn and corn meal along with other grains, 4.49 shipping on entire order.

      • david

         can you purchase the deer corn at walmart and eat it?

  • azmom4

    I've been trying to find a place to buy the dried corn to grind myself but haven't had any luck. Do you have any suggestions on where to order it in bulk?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Lizabeth Warren

    Nola, thank you for your informative post. Is there a hand grinder that would grind the corn into meal without damaging itself? I have a "hardy" grandson, I could put to work for that. I will probably just buy popcorn then, since it will suit dual purposes!I have already decided to put in additional white sugar, since molasses and sugar= brown sugar. I am also figuring the iron in the molasses will help the young girls and women stay healthy.(Instead of brown sugar)Yea, Haw, I am so glad I found you all, I have been "suffering" along with my OCD, all by myself!My oldest and her family have given up and let me "put in" as they call it without much complaining!There is still room for everyone in the shelter ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com Lizabeth Warren

    Nola, thank you for your informative post. Is there a hand grinder that would grind the corn into meal without damaging itself? I have a "hardy" grandson, I could put to work for that. I will probably just buy popcorn then, since it will suit dual purposes!I have already decided to put in additional white sugar, since molasses and sugar= brown sugar. I am also figuring the iron in the molasses will help the young girls and women stay healthy.(Instead of brown sugar)Yea, Haw, I am so glad I found you all, I have been "suffering" along with my OCD, all by myself!My oldest and her family have given up and let me "put in" as they call it without much complaining!There is still room for everyone in the shelter ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Susan Wheatley

    I have a WonderMill and grind popcorn all the time for cornmeal to make cornbread — best cornbread I have ever tasted! Never had any problems with the grinder — or with my other grinder that I used to have — a BlendTec.

  • http://www.facebook.com Susan Wheatley

    I have a WonderMill and grind popcorn all the time for cornmeal to make cornbread — best cornbread I have ever tasted! Never had any problems with the grinder — or with my other grinder that I used to have — a BlendTec.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Food Storage Made Easy

    I use my WonderMill for popcorn at least once or twice a month and have had no problems so far. I grind it at the coarsest setting and it makes DELICIOUS cornmeal. (Jodi)

  • http://www.facebook.com Food Storage Made Easy

    I use my WonderMill for popcorn at least once or twice a month and have had no problems so far. I grind it at the coarsest setting and it makes DELICIOUS cornmeal. (Jodi)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Nola Johnson Cockerham

    1 C. popcorn makes 1 1/2 C. cornmeal.WARNING #1: Corn is harder than wheat. I know from personal experience that popcorn can damage your grinder. Make sure that yours can handle it, before you try.WARNING #2: Cornbread from popcorn meal is habit forming.

  • http://www.facebook.com Nola Johnson Cockerham

    1 C. popcorn makes 1 1/2 C. cornmeal.WARNING #1: Corn is harder than wheat. I know from personal experience that popcorn can damage your grinder. Make sure that yours can handle it, before you try.WARNING #2: Cornbread from popcorn meal is habit forming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Lizabeth Warren

    I like the idea of prolonging the life of your storage, do you know how much "popcorn" will need to be ground for a cup of cornmeal? Is the wheat grinder going to be adequate to grind popcorn into cornmeal?

  • http://www.facebook.com Lizabeth Warren

    I like the idea of prolonging the life of your storage, do you know how much "popcorn" will need to be ground for a cup of cornmeal? Is the wheat grinder going to be adequate to grind popcorn into cornmeal?