Homemade Popcorn – There’s many ways to make popcorn: stovetop, air pop, (jiffy pop?) microwave, etc… Well I guess the most common nowadays is microwave. I mean, it is easy to make, just nuke it in the microwave and you got popcorn. Some people like it, I don’t. The stuff tastes pretty bad to me, and if you’ve ever cut open a microwave popcorn bag, the cake that comes out isn’t very appealing. Heck, I can only somewhat tolerate movie popcorn with it’s excessive artificial salts and butters and excessive husks which stick in between your teeth when you eat the popcorn (the stuff is a ripoff anyways). Then again not everyone has a lot of free time on their hands, and I’m sure most people don’t want to try sneaking popcorn into a movie theater.
But for those who do have some time, and maybe an ample set of cooking utensils and common ingredients, here’s how I like to make popcorn. Take note, this isn’t my original idea, I actually got it from a fellow player from the text-based MMO called CarnageBlender (when the game was still in it’s first incarnation), it came from a guy named PirateKing (I think). The recipe is simple; first, the ingredients:
- Popcorn kernels (any will do actually, as long as it comes in a jar and isn’t expired — for those who need a suggestion, I always use Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn kernels).
- Olive oil (if you have extra virgin, you could add a little bit of cooking oil, but it’s optional).
- Dressings, like salt, sugar, butter.
Tools you’ll need:
- A deep pot with a lid (I’ll explain this later), preferably stainless steel, but any will do fine.
- A stove, duh.
- Your arms.
- Cover the bottom of the pot with kernels, any more and you’ll probably end up popping more than your pot can hold.
- Slightly cover the kernels in olive oil. If you have extra virgin, you can add about a teaspoon or so of cooking oil, but like I said, it isn’t really necessary. At this point I like to add a bit of sugar to sort of make a fake kettle corn — works pretty well though.
- Cover the pot and place over stove set on high. The lid is essential since olive oil will smoke when it gets hot.
- Start shaking the pot and keep shaking, this is the essential part about making popcorn over a open flame/heat source. It’ll take about 2 minutes to get the popcorn popping so work those arms out. Once you hear the popping stop, quickly remove it from the heat source and dump the contents into a large bowl. And that is it, a little salt and it’s good to go. The olive oil adds a light flavor to the popcorn; overall the popcorn is really light and fluffy, and you don’t get those annoying seed husks that get stuck in between your teeth. If you like butter on your popcorn, just melt some and pour it on. There’s a lot of ways to add flavor to your popcorn.
For those who are health concious, if you just have the popcorn without any butter or excessive salt, the popcorn is actually a healthy snack (olive oil is also low in saturated fat). Click here for the wikipedia article.
Edit: Someone had a question, so I shall answer it as best as I can.
I realize there is a concern for the pot being scratched by constant rubbing with the burner assembly. All I can say is that you’ll have to make the judgment for yourself. I use stainless steel pots, and I cook over a gas stove, so I just shake the pot and it rubs against the burner assembly; but there isn’t any wear signs. If you happen to have a teflon coated pot, or some other pot with a coating, or a pot made from a softer metal (like copper) then you’d probably want to try to keep the rubbing to a minimum. It’ll be one intense workout, though.