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How to Grind Your Own Cornmeal from Popcorn

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Popcorn to Freshly Ground Cornmeal

Here’s a picture of my two-toned NutriMill, and how I turn popcorn into cornmeal.

Ever heard of grinding your own freshly ground cornmeal from popcorn? In this post, you’ll learn how to use a Nutrimill to grind your own cornmeal, from popcorn. 

What is a Nutrimill?

Some of you may be the proud owners of a grain mill. I own a NutriMill, which is a type of grain grinder, or mill. With a NutriMill, you can grind your own grains, rice, and beans, to make your own flour(s). I bought my NutriMill many, many moons ago. So many that it’s hard to count, because I must remove my shoes, in order to move on from fingers to toes. So many that the white plastic used in its body turned a yellowed shade of beige.

(And by the way, the Nutrimill folks have excellent customer service: they repaired mine free of charge when it quit working, and replaced the old plastic casing portion that I shipped to them with a new case, that has stayed white. And I wish I’d shipped the WHOLE Nutrimill body to them, instead of just the motor portion, because now I have a two-toned NutriMill! But I digress.)

I bought it when I was in that phase of life where all my Mommy-Peers were talking about how great WHOLE GRAINS  were: how much more nutrition was available for human beings through the germ of the wheat berry. Do you remember that time? When those of us who were raised on doughy white grocery store bread despaired of the damage our mothers had done to us, and in our quest to raise the next generation of Perfect Offspring Acquired Through Perfect Parenting, we sought to do EVERYTHING PERFECTLY? Including making the very best, most delicious loaf of whole wheat bread. 

Yeah, about two years after that, all my friends and their offspring started developing gluten sensitivities. ~sigh~

Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt.

Apart from several buckets of grain stored in my pantry that will keep me safe through the zombie apocalypse, if we can figure out how to generate the electricity for the grain mill, I also discovered that my NutriMill makes fabulous freshly ground cornmeal out of popcorn. 

The NutriMill Grinds Popcorn Into Cornmeal

You heard me right, kids. And I wouldn’t tell you this if it weren’t the God’s honest truth.

There really is a world of difference between the freshness and flavor of FRESHLY GROUND cornmeal, and the stone ground stuff you buy at the supermarket. Even the high end organic stuff.

popcorn in grinder

This picture was taken from the top of the grinder, with the lid off.

Freshly ground cornmeal, from popcorn, has a sweetness and nuttiness that just beats the tar out of the stoneground cornmeal that you can purchase at the grocery store, for the simple reason that that cornmeal has been sitting around on the shelf for a while, and cornmeal goes rancid, quickly, developing a slight bitter edge. And should you decide you want to do this, popcorn is super cheap to buy.
I grind more than I need – about twice as much as what I need for any recipe, and then store the remainder in a zip lock bag in the freezer, where it keeps that sweet, nutty flavor, and doesn’t go rancid. I use it mainly for cornbread, coating the bottom of my pizza crust pans, and in polenta. It makes the best cornbread, and the best polenta I have ever had in my life. So the plan is for me to share with you how I grind the popcorn into cornmeal, and then then the cornbread recipe I’ve found that is my most favorite, and then, when I get around to it, I’ll give you a polenta recipe, and link that up here as well. 

How Do You Grind Your Own Cornmeal?

For cornmeal, I set the upper dial, which controls the motor speed on Low, because cornmeal is a more coarse flour. I turn the lower dial, which controls the rate at which the grain feeds into the meal all the way to the right, which allows the corn to feed through faster, and again, this is because cornmeal is a more coarse flour. Another thing that’s important to know is that if a recipe calls for 1 cup of ground cornmeal, I grind about 1 c. of popcorn. It’s practically equivalent: a cup of whole grains of unpopped popcorn will get you a little bit more than 1 c. of ground meal.


Here’s what the ground cornmeal looks like.

And here’s something lovely you can make with your freshly ground cornmeal: a pan of hot cornbread! 

freshly baked cornbread

Ready to be removed from the pan, and slathered with butter.

How about tomorrow, I give you the recipe?

This post was in NO way sponsored. I’m only telling you about this product because I absolutely adore it!

P.S. After this post was published, the NutriMill folks reached out TO ME. They offered to send me the outer casing, all white and pristine, so now, I’m going to have a one-toned grain mill!!!!!!!! Now THAT’S customer service!!! 
Also, I thought I’d add a link in this post to the recipe for cornbread that I use, in THIS post, now that it’s published.

I’d love it if you pinned this post on Pinterest!

From Popcorn to Cornmeal to Cornbread How to Grind Your Own Cornmeal from Popcorn

From Popcorn to Cornmeal to Cornbread is almost like magic, isn’t it? You’ll feel like a culinary wizard, for sure, when you produce the best cornbread you’ve ever made!


Monday 31st of May 2021

Thank you for this article. Could you comment about why or why not to either soak or lime the corn or cornmeal? I heard other cultures do this for digestion and nutrient availability. If we don't soak or lime are we creating a problem down the road healthwise? I can't find a definitive answer anywhere that is trustworthy. I'd love to grind popcorn but this issue has me pausing.

Susan Williams

Saturday 5th of June 2021

To be honest, LM, I have no knowledge, whatsoever, on that topic.Sorry about that!

Janice Payne

Sunday 24th of January 2021

Holy smokes I have ground my own dry peas and beans into flour It NEVER dawned on me to grind my own popcorn.. todays new learn.. !!!! Thank YOU!!!


Wednesday 26th of August 2020

Hi Susan, I was wondering if I could also grind a finer corn flour than cornmeal with the popcorn in the grain mill?

Susan Williams

Saturday 29th of August 2020

I don't see why not. There's a fine to coarse dial on the NutriMill classic.


Thursday 27th of July 2017

Thanks for the article!


Tuesday 19th of January 2016

Learn something new every day. I had no idea. I see Melissa grinds dried beans and dried mushrooms. This is fascinating. Is the corn bread better? Does it matter what kind of popcorn you buy? My recent post Mustard Roasted Spatchcock Chicken with Roasted Whole Cauliflower

Susan Williams

Tuesday 19th of January 2016

The cornbread is SOOOOO much better!!!!!!!!! And it doesn't matter what popcorn you buy, as long as it's not microwave popcorn.