As most of you know, homemade popcorn is my favorite food! I will never grow tired of that sweet sound and smell of popcorn kernel’s popping and that delicious crunchy, buttery, salty goodness! Stovetop popcorn can go awry easily, but these steps will yield that perfect bucket of popcorn you’ll find yourself craving all the time!
I heard those 4 precious words “Will You Marry Me” as I was eating a bucket of popcorn. My husband put my engagement ring box in the middle of a Carmike Theater bucket, and never has a bucket tasted so good! Let’s just say I don’t remember a single thing about the movie “Monuments of Men.” I couldn’t wait to get out of that theater and call my family!
Popcorn can be made in more ways than I can count! There are different cooking methods, fat(s) and kernel sizes. I typically get on a certain kick for 3-4 months, then I change it up. Starting out 2023, I’m into a little canola or vegetable oil for the popcorn cook and topping those perfect popped kernels with real butter.
National Popcorn Day is January 19th, but I choose to celebrate its majesty weekly…and sometimes daily! I hope you have fun celebrating too!
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need
- Fat Source(s) (Butter, Ghee, Oil: coconut, vegetable, canola, avocado, popcorn, olive)
- Popcorn Kernels
- Popcorn Salt
Tools You’ll Need
How to Make this Recipe
- Stockpot Method:
- Oil and Butter Method: This is my tried and true method…for the moment at least. In a 5-6qt pot on medium-high heat, pour in the oil and kernels. Shake the pan so that the kernels are equally distributed and cover with a lid with a slight crack for the steam to escape. The kernels will begin to pop in 4-5 minutes. Once there's no popping for about 2 seconds, remove from the heat, pour the popcorn in large bowl, and drizzle with butter. Sprinkle and toss with popcorn salt.
- Popcorn Oil, Ghee and Coconut Oil Method: In a 5-6qt pot on medium-high, pour 1 tablespoon popcorn oil, 5 kernels, and cover with a lid with a slight crack for steam to escape. Once the kernels pop after about 3-4 minutes, add 2 tablespoons ghee, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and ½ cup kernels. Shake so that the kernels are equally distributed and cover with a lid, leaving a slight crack for the steam to escape. The kernels will begin to pop in 4-5 minutes. Once there's no popping for about 2 seconds, remove from the heat, pour in a large bowl, and sprinkle and toss with seasoning(s).
- Whirley Pop Method: This is our go-to way of making popcorn when we go camping. The fire doesn’t have to be as high on the Whirley Pop because the pan heats up much faster. On medium heat, add ¼ cup fat of choice to the pot and 5 kernels. Once those pop, pour in ½ cup kernels. Stir continuously until there’s no popping for about 2 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with butter and seasoning(s) as desired.
- Air Popper Method: I make this version for my dog Butter. Ironically, the girl that’s named after a delicious fat sadly can’t have any fat. Pour popcorn kernels into the popping chamber of the popper. Position a bowl under the popping chute. Plug the popper in; popping will be complete within 2 to 3 minutes after popping begins. Optional: drizzle melted butter onto popcorn and toss gently. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
Tips and Substitutions
- Toppings: There are lots of ways to season popcorn and add flavor:
- Popcorn Salt
- Nutritional Yeast
- Parmesan Cheese
- Taco Seasoning
- Black Pepper and Olive Oil
- Season with salt carefully. Add a little, toss, then add more if needed.
- If you get the slightest whiff of a burn smell, transfer the popcorn to a bowl immediately. Popcorn can burn quickly. While the goal is to have as little or no unpopped kernels as possible, it’s better to have a few unpopped in the bowl and none be burnt.
- Most oils will work for popping popcorn, but I lean more towards vegetable, popcorn oil or canola. Coconut, avocado oil and sunflower oil work as well. I don’t prefer the flavor or olive oil for popcorn and it’s a bit pricier, but it can work as well. Make sure the heat is on medium instead of medium-high.
- Popcorn stores well in an air-tight container up to 4 days.
More Recipes Like This
- 2 tablespoon oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernel
- Melted Butter amount as desired
- Popcorn Salt amount as desired
- In a 5-6qt pot on medium-high, pour in the oil and kernels. Shake the pan so that the kernels are equally distributed and cover with a lid, leaving the slightest crack for steam to escape. The kernels will begin to pop in 4-5 minutes. Once there's no popping for about 2 seconds, remove from the heat, pour the popcorn in large bowl, and drizzle with butter. Sprinkle and toss with popcorn salt or seasonings to taste.