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Popcorn (Really!)

December 4, 2011


This post might seem silly. After all, who doesn’t know how to make popcorn? It turns out that I didn’t, and word on the street says that I wasn’t alone.

I blame the hot air popper (and related products like the stir-crazy popper). If you, like me, grew up after its advent, you may have wrongly believed the hot air popper to be a prerequisite for homemade popcorn. And if you, like me, have a small kitchen, owning such a bulky single-purpose appliance may have seemed an impossibility.

Fortunately, a friend of mine taught me just how unnecessary hot air poppers are, and I’m here to do the same for you. Please spread the word! Somehow the hot air popper manufacturers have fooled a generation into thinking specialized equipment is required to make popcorn.

While hot-air poppers are great for making popcorn without oil – something useful for Christmas-tree garlands and…nothing else — with a bit of oil you can easily make popcorn on your stovetop. You can use butter, but we haven’t had much success with it. Instead, we use a mixture of oils. Adjust the ratio to your taste or incorporate other oils, perhaps even truffle. To make it like we do, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (start at 1/2 and adjust down tastier but less healthy results)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • Salt to taste

And here’s what you’ll do:

  • Add the oils to a large pot (preferably heavy and non-stick) and turn heat to high.
  • Place a lid on the pot to shield yourself from hot oil, leaving it a bit askew so that some hot air can escape.
  • Place three popcorn kernels in and wait until they pop.
  • As soon as the third kernel pops, put the rest of the kernels in.
  • Wait for the fourth kernel to pop. Then wait another 45 seconds, and turn the heat down to medium.
  • Once popping has slowed so that there are three seconds between pops, remove popcorn from heat.
  • Wait for popping to completely stop, then tip into bowl, salt, and serve.

P.S. Did you know popcorn is a whole grain? Happy snacking!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn Zern permalink
    December 6, 2011 12:08 pm

    Hurray!! Love that popcorn made it onto the blog! And love your mix of oils. Have you guys played with spices too? I’m really tempted by a little lime and chili pepper…

    • December 6, 2011 12:13 pm

      Thank you for the recipe! We have not played with spices much, since one of us believes strongly in orthodox popcorn. Some ill-fated experiments with sage, mostly. Lime and chili pepper sounds great! I will ask whether we can attempt this insult to the canon. 🙂

  2. December 10, 2011 5:45 pm

    Why mess with perfection? That said, I predict mustard, thyme and clarified butter is the direction we’ll take next.

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