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Making popcorn at home-preferred method?

javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 07:58 AM

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. chowser RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 08:02 AM

    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. t
      Tatania RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 08:32 AM

      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
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        bakergal RE: Tatania Jun 24, 2007 08:51 AM

        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
          d
          dietfoodie RE: Tatania Jun 26, 2007 04:10 PM

          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. v
          Val RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 09:45 AM

          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. k
            Kelli2006 RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 10:15 AM

            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
              oakjoan RE: Kelli2006 Jun 26, 2007 01:48 PM

              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. Chris VR RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 10:30 AM

              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
                Olivia RE: Chris VR Jun 25, 2007 12:50 PM

                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
                  Sophia. RE: Olivia Jun 26, 2007 10:26 AM

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

              2. m
                Marsha RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 10:30 AM

                I have the best air-popper in the world: a WearEver Popcorn Pumper. My dad gave it to me a very long time ago, and it produces lot and lots of reliable popcorn quickly. If you can find one of these, I'd go for it. Other brands, I am told, take forever and leave a lot of flopcorn in the bottom. And yes, there is a removable well in which you can melt butter as you pop the corn; I sometimes mix in a little Worcestershire sauce.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Marsha
                  ccbweb RE: Marsha Jun 24, 2007 08:36 PM

                  Ditto...I love air popped popcorn with some melted butter.

                2. MplsM ary RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 08:34 PM

                  I make 'air popped' popcorn on the stove. Covered pot + popcorn + heat. Takes a little longer to get started but it pops just fine with no more 'old maids' than oil popped corn. Add salt and seasonings/butter after popping just like you'd usually do.

                  1. f
                    Fleur RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 10:27 PM

                    Whirley-Pop. It makes the best popcorn on the stove in the same time it takes to microwave.

                    You will never find an easier, better tasting way to make popcorn. Perfect every time, no unpopped kernels.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Fleur
                      c
                      cooknKate RE: Fleur Jun 25, 2007 09:10 AM

                      I have had a Whirly Pop for years and just love it!

                      1. re: cooknKate
                        macca RE: cooknKate Jun 25, 2007 12:54 PM

                        AGreed- Whirly Pop is the way to. GOt one a few years ago, and use it all the time.

                        1. re: macca
                          d
                          divinemsk RE: macca Jun 25, 2007 02:59 PM

                          Yep -- Whirly Pop.

                          And Jolly Time white popcorn kernels.

                          And Reese butter-flavored salt.

                          And pop the poporn in olive oil.

                          1. re: divinemsk
                            macca RE: divinemsk Jun 26, 2007 05:09 AM

                            Have never tried the Reese butter flavored salt, but it sounds like a great idea!

                      2. re: Fleur
                        r
                        roasted138 RE: Fleur Jun 25, 2007 03:28 PM

                        Especially on a campfire!

                        1. re: Fleur
                          z
                          ziggylu RE: Fleur Jun 25, 2007 04:37 PM

                          Whirley Pop all the way! With some Brady Street Sprinkle from Penzey's.

                          Whirley Pop also makes fantastic kettle corn.

                          We really really love our Whirley Pop! :)

                          1. re: Fleur
                            b
                            Babette RE: Fleur Jun 26, 2007 02:08 PM

                            Ditto Whirley-Pop. Tried many others. Low tech but ingenious.

                          2. Richard 16 RE: javaandjazz Jun 24, 2007 11:51 PM

                            What I do:

                            Large, heavy bottomed pot. A splatter guard rather then a lid --it lets out steam which makes for crisper popcorn. You'll need to wear oven mitts to grip the guard with the pot.

                            Start with a room temperature pot with extra virgin olive oil to coat. Put in popcorn (Orville's, usually). Heat on high until popping begins, shake occasionally until it pops in ernest, lower heat and shake vigorously until popping slows.

                            I put the popcorn in a paper bag, shake with salt and freshly melted butter, put in a bowl and eat.

                            1. a
                              adventuresinbaking RE: javaandjazz Jun 25, 2007 09:24 AM

                              I usually do it on the stove with some oil. Sometimes I also melt some sugar and/or chipolte powder in the bottom to make some spice sweet kettle corn.

                              It's really good.

                              1. Scrapironchef RE: javaandjazz Jun 25, 2007 10:22 AM

                                Chop up two strips of bacon, fry in heavy fry pan until crispy, remove bits with slotted spoon. Add popcorn to bacon fat, cover and shake until no more popping is heard. Toss in bowl with bacon bits and salt to taste. Call cardiologist.

                                Beats the heck out of artificial butter flavor.

                                1. m
                                  mirilara RE: javaandjazz Jun 25, 2007 02:18 PM

                                  We don't make stovetop popcorn any more but I used to love to make it.

                                  Buy your kernels and put them in the freezer. If they are stale (you might notice a duller color) then sprinkle a couple of drops of water on them before freezing.

                                  Get a nice pot and put 3 tablespoons of oil in.

                                  Throw in 5 kernels and turn the heat high.

                                  When the 5 kernels have popped (count them! that is the fun of it) throw in 1/2 cup of kernels, lower the temp to medium, and stay next to them, hearing them pop.

                                  Shake the pot a couple of times during the process and when you think you might be close to finishing, turn the heat off and shake the pot a bit more.

                                  Perfect each time.

                                  1. wino22 RE: javaandjazz Jun 25, 2007 04:21 PM

                                    Stainless pot, vegetable oil, shake it every so often, melt some butter, add some salt, and voila! Black Cat corn from Williams Sonoma is my favorite!

                                    1. b
                                      bethd127 RE: javaandjazz Jun 25, 2007 07:30 PM

                                      sometimes I make it in the pot, but recently discovered Paul Newman's organic microwave popcorn. really quite good!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bethd127
                                        b
                                        bigjimbray RE: bethd127 Jun 25, 2007 09:51 PM

                                        when I pop it on the stove I have to use bacon grease, it gives such a good flavor,
                                        then add your butter not margarine and salt.....

                                      2. a
                                        addiegirl RE: javaandjazz Jun 26, 2007 12:58 PM

                                        LOVE homemade popcorn. I make it in a pot on the stove, with canola oil. Top with butter and salt, or nutritional yeast and black pepper, or Penzey's Brady St. Cheese Sprinkle, or...

                                        I once heard someone swear by making popcorn in coconut oil... thoughts?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: addiegirl
                                          m
                                          mattrapp RE: addiegirl Jun 26, 2007 01:21 PM

                                          Coconut oil is great! It will make you think you are at a movie theater 30 years ago! I very often pop my corn in duck fat, even better than bacon fat!!

                                          1. re: mattrapp
                                            Scrapironchef RE: mattrapp Jun 26, 2007 06:26 PM

                                            I've gotta go buy a duck, BRB.

                                        2. starlady RE: javaandjazz Jun 26, 2007 02:32 PM

                                          Air popped with Truffle Oil and Chipotle Salt. YUM

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: starlady
                                            b
                                            bigjimbray RE: starlady Jun 26, 2007 04:23 PM

                                            nothing is better than bacon grease. nothing......

                                          2. r
                                            redtile RE: javaandjazz Jun 26, 2007 04:25 PM

                                            I use an old air popper popular in the 80's, melt some Earth Balance margarine in a pot on the stove (no trans fat,100% vegan) pop the popcorn into a paperbag, then drizzle the margarine, shake on some iodized salt or garlic salt, and/or nutritional yeast (it has a slightly cheesy flavor and extra vitamin B since i am a vegetarian) - then give it all a good shaking together in the bag and pour into a bowl to enjoy! mmmm, i'm going to have some tonight.

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