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Jul 22, 2008 08:37 PM

Best Popcorn

I am a popcorn addict! Where can I buy the absolute popcorn to pop at home? Microwave or non-microwave.

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  1. I usually buy popcorn in bulk from a natural food store (usually the easiest place to find it in bulk). It's cheaper and generally of a higher quality than what you might find on the supermarket shelf.

    To my taste the best popcorn is made on the stove-top.
    -Cover a large thick-bottom pan with vegetable oil.
    -Put one kernel in, wait until it pops, then add the rest
    -I like my popcorn slightly scorched (I'm wierd) so I don't shake, but most people shake the pot vigorously when the popping slows a bit
    -melted butter, salt
    -I like to add nutritional yeast
    -It's also nice to add hot sauce to the butter when melting

    1. I've tried a number of "better" popcorns, but so far, I haven't found anything that's really substantially better than Orville Redenbacher's. That said, Wabash Valley Farms sells a wide variety of popcorns in different colors and sizes, so it may be worth taking a look there.

      I've found that I get the best results when I cook popcorn in Wabash's Whirley Pop (stovetop cooker with a crank) and use peanut oil or their special "popcorn oil," which is a coconut oil-corn oil blend. (Messy, but delicious.) I also usually add butter-flavored popcorn salt (Flavacol). It comes out tasting almost exactly like movie theater popcorn when I use the special blend oil. I think they also sell essentially the same thing in little packets with just enough popcorn, oil, and salt to make a batch.

      1. popcorn, top me, has a better flavor from the stovetop - but i have to say - all popcorn is microwaveable

        2 Replies
        1. re: thew

          better flavor-and texture too, no? The micro-pop corn isn't as manly and robust as stovetop or kettle cooked. I REALLY got into kettlecorn when I first tried it. I have a deep, secret love affair with popcorn that I don't discuss with non-believers.

          I used to throw a hunk of butter in with the oil and cook it in a pressure cooker with a broken lid (it was all I had). I always shook the pan and sometimes added salt and pepper to the oil and butter too. And grated parm from the small, white buckets sold in the deli. Add a glass of wine (and I still like to eat it with chopsticks) and that's date night-no date required!

          Most movie theater popcorn blows. So does the kind you get prepopped in bags except for Smartfood. I used to always just buy whatever was on sale and use peanut oil.

          1. re: Boccone Dolce

            1. I am also a popcorn addict. My mother swears she ate it by the gallon when she was pregnant with me so she has always taken the blame. :-)
            2. Yes, I know I am replying to a two year old post.
            3. I truly and honestly believed that the pressure cooker with the blown out seal in the lid was my very own super secret method to great popcorn. It lets out just enough steam that the popcorn comes out crisp and airy.

            I've been using my ruined pressure cooker for almost 20 years for nothing but popcorn. I can't believe that all this time there was another...

        2. I disagree that you can get decent popcorn from a bulk bin or from Orville Redenbacher, neither is consistently good or fresh IMHO. I've resorted to mail order from Fireworks -- you only have to order once a year or so, and it's really worth it. I recommend the Savannah gold. Do not use the microwave, it's just as quick on the stove and tastes MUCH better. Make sure to use at least two to three tablespoons of peanut oil to pop it in.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Chowpatty

            I'll have to politely disagree about not getting decent popcorn from a bulk bin. I do try to get it from a place that I know has good turnover to ensure it is fresh. However, now you've got me curious about mail-order stuff I must admit.

            1. re: virtualguthrie

              i am going to have to disagree with people on this as well. I really do treasure Theater popcorn.
              I have bought coconut oil and the popped result was just like peanut oil. I bought at a online popcorn place (that supposedly sells to theaters) IT JUST DOES NOT taste like Theater popcorn. The closest I have ever come is TV Time popcorn but that company is long out of business. There is another company that does something similar to TV Time and that is oil in stick form and popcorn on the other side. NOPE I can make better with peanut oil.
              There has to be a trick to make theater style (tasting popcorn).

              1. re: ps2os2

                the stuff you get online has been banned in most movie theaters.

            2. re: Chowpatty

              after clicking on your link...right this very minute I'm trying to think of a place in my house for one of those commercial poppers, but it's got to be a place where my husband won't notice it... sigh

              mmmmmmmmm popcorn *hearts in eyes*

            3. Black Jewell brand is my fave. Most dark popcorns, whether blue, russet, or black have, in my opinion, superior flavor when compared to any yellow. Failing availability of those, I prefer white to yellow.