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Making popcorn at home-preferred method?

Made popcorn last night for the first time in ages on the stove with the oil in the pot method. Which way ido you all most prefer to make popcorn at home? Should I go out and get an air popper or an electric type that does it with the oil? I do not want to do it in the microwave anymore with all the hype that's come out about the artificial butter flavor. Thanks, Richie

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  1. I do it in a pot. Put it on the stove, heat. Add oil, then popcorn. Let it pop until you can count a couple of seconds between pops. On decadent days, heat up butter on the side and add seasonings (garlic, cayenne pepper, whatever), pour over, add parmesan cheese.

    1. Using a microwave doesn't necessarily imply using artificial butter. I don't remember where I read about the following method, but it works beautifully. Combine popcorn, oil and salt (I eyeball the ingredients, sorry) and dump into a paper lunch sack. Fold down the top and staple (yes, staple) twice. Microwave on high until the popping slows, open bag carefully to avoid steam burns.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tatania

        I use that method, too (without salt), but I poke a couple holes in the bag to let the steam out while it pops. Then I salt it afterwards. I worry about dangerous chemicals in the bag, though. I'm thinking about the NordicWare microwave popper. But I worry about the plastic, lol.

        1. re: Tatania

          I saw an episode of Good Eats with a similar technique. And see Val's post below for pretty much exactly what I do (although I use 3 tablespoons popcorn per bag).

        2. Popcorn is by far my favorite salty snack. From reading posts on Chowhound, I've learned that you can put a few tablespoons in a paper bag and microwave for around 2 minutes (depending on your microwave)...it pops up beautifully and then add your melted butter and salt or whatever other flavorings you want. No oil or extra machinery (such as an air popper) are needed in order to pop it and I love that! Probably what IS needed is fresh popping corn. A little butter and a little salt are all that I need to be happy and hopefully, a little healthier.

          1. I like to use my wok to make popcorn. the bowl shape keeps the oil and corn at the point of the greatest heat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kelli2006

              Kelli, this sounds like a great idea. The big dome-shaped lid is also a plus for expanding kernels. Can't wait to try it, although I haven't made popcorn of any kind in about 20 years.

            2. I recently started doing it the Alton Brown way:

              Put about 3 tablespooons oil and 1/2 cup popcorn in a large stainless steel bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of popcorn salt (he suggests pulsing kosher salt in a food processor instead of buying it) to the popcorn now. Cover the bowl tightly with heavy duty foil and poke a few holes in top. With tongs, shake briskly on a stovetop until the popping slows down.

              Serve it in the bowl- less cleanup this way!

              I did also buy some heritage popcorn as he recommended and I do think it tastes a lot better. Here's my post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/377970

              2 Replies
              1. re: Chris VR

                One thing re: DIY popcorn salt is that I've heard that pulsing salt in a food processor can scratch and cloud the bowl. I've never done it myself for that very reason, but maybe a clean coffee grinder would be a good alternative?

                1. re: Olivia

                  I used a mortar & pestle and it worked really well.