Recipes · Techniques

Popcorn: You’re Doing It Wrong

Stovetop Popcorn

Growing up, my mom would always make us homemade popcorn on the stovetop.  We’d sit around the tv, munching down our large bowls of popcorn, and lick the butter and salt off of our fingers when we were done.  I remember the pot that my mom always used to pop popcorn in had turned almost entirely black, used only for popping popcorn, and had adapted this cast-iron quality to it.  I asked her about the infamous “popcorn pot” during my recent trip to Wisconsin only to discover that my mom tossed it out years ago.  I was especially saddened to hear that she has since fallen victim to the microwave and only makes microwave popcorn now.

Now, there isn’t really anything WRONG with microwave popcorn, if you like ingesting trans fats and scary chemicals.  Microwave popcorn is convenient but stovetop popcorn is very easy to make and it’s cheaper than buying packs of microwave popcorn.  A big bag of popcorn kernels is like buying popcorn in bulk – you save money in the long run.  Plus homemade popcorn is like anything else you make at home, it tastes better than any processed food.  How do you make delicious, perfectly light and fluffy popcorn in your own home you ask?  Well let me tell you.

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Yields about 2 servings

1/3 cup popcorn kernels

3 tablespoons coconut oil (my favorite) or extra virgin olive oil

Salt and butter (optional)

  1. Put the oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add a couple kernels of popcorn.  Cover and wait for the kernels to pop.  Once they pop, remove the pan from the heat and remove the lid.  This will ensure that the oil is at just the right temperature to pop your popcorn.  Add the remaining kernels, replace the lid and place the pot over the heat again.  The bottom of the pan should be covered in a single layer of kernels.  Once the corn starts popping, move the lid slightly ajar so some of the steam can escape.  This will result in lighter and fluffier popcorn.  Give the pot an occasional shake from time to time.
  2. When the popcorn slows to 1 or 2 seconds between each popped kernel, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the popcorn to a bowl.  Season with salt, to taste.  Drop a tablespoon or two of butter in the hot pan to melt it and drizzle the melted butter over your popcorn while tossing it with a spoon, optional (except in my household).  Enjoy!


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2 thoughts on “Popcorn: You’re Doing It Wrong

  1. I used to love shaking the pot, must’ve been my inner percussionist expressing at an early age. We were old school, popped in regular melted butter.

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