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How to pop really fluffy popcorn?

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What is the secret to popping *really* fluffy popcorn?

Am interested in hearing whatever way you have experienced the best results
- Stove
- Air Popper
- Microwave

etc...

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  1. I think it's the type of corn that affects it the most. There aren't too many brands available (that are not microwave in a bag) where I live. I like Orville Redenbacker sp?, the best. I just follow the directions on the jar. I use a heavy cast iron dutch oven with great results. I usually don't even need to shake the pan!

    It's just as easy as microwave popcorn without all of those additives.

    I've never used an air popper. I, too, would love to here others experiences.

    1. I do find that the jarred Redenbacher pops fluffier than cheaper brands. But keeping popcorn in a jar in the fridge helps prolong the optimum puffiness regardless of brand. See discussions below, especially on rejuvenating.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        Corn In the fridge! Who knew?

        I just bought Eden Organics from Amazon because I am impressed by that brand.

        It will go in the fridge when it arrives. Thanks greygarious!

      2. I generally go for ease & portion control and get microwave popcorn, but the results are much better in a heavy pot on the stovetop. I use a soup pot with a mesh splatter screen instead of the pot's lid so that the steam can escape, so the popped kernals stay fluffier & more tender.

        1 Reply
        1. re: weezycom

          the mesh splatter screen -- SLICK trick !!

          Thanks weezycom!

        2. I only make popcorn on the stove, no special equipment, no oil, using generic brand popcorn. Weezy is right: the trick is to make sure there's no condensation.

          I put the kernels in a saucepan on low heat and crack the lid to let the steam escape and the kernels brown, then close the lid once they start popping. It takes a bit of time and patience but my popcorn is always fluffy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AllaSiciliana

            Wow -- you let your kernels brown first on low? Definitely had not thought of that... Look forward to giving it a try. Thank you AllaSiciliana.

          2. You can pop popcorn in the microwave by just putting regular popcorn in a paper lunch bag. No oil, but you can add salt before popping...

            3 Replies
            1. re: roxlet

              Roxlet, Are you saying, if you do that, it turns out extra fluffy?

              1. re: roxlet

                Roxlet, I've tried this several times and always end up with mostly unpopped kernels and a bunch of burnt mess. Any tips on doing it right?

                1. re: roxlet

                  You can pop popcorn that way but it doesn't usually work too well. That's why the microwave popcorn bags have that gray material on the bag that concentrates the heat on the that portion of the bad that sits on the floor of the microwave.

                2. Years ago, I read a tip about putting about 1 teaspoon of water in the popcorn storage jar to help increase the moisture in the kernels. I popped the corn on the stove in a heavy pan with a lid, in a tablespoon of clarified butter for 1/3 cup of kernels, It was always perfect, pre-buttered, and very fluffy, even when using supermarket brands; Orville Reddenbacker seemed to be a little, but not much, better.

                  My ex-husband and I many batches of very good microwaved popcorn from a Presto Power Popper, I unearthed this recently while helping him get ready to sell his house. We' d forgotten all about it.

                  I've never been fond of air-popped corn: too dry and flavorless for me, I don't eat popcorn anymore, having developed a corn allergy, and I miss it!

                  Also, Alton Brown did a show on popcorn that may be elucidating, entertaining, or annoying, dependiing on your point of view.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: marthasway

                    Rather than having the little bit of water unevenly distributed in the jar, I use a wide jar and into the top of the kernels, a tiny, open container containing a wet paper towel or cotton ball. When the water evaporates I re-moisten it.

                  2. I love popcorn, I always make it on the stove top, and I recently got one of those specialty popcorn makers, the whirly kind, as a gift. I had no faith in it, but the thing really works! It makes far fluffier popcorn than I've ever made in a regular pot, no matter how careful I am to release condensation. If you eat a lot of popcorn it's worth the 20 bucks or so.

                    Oh, and my favorite brand of popcorn is Cousin Willie's.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: visciole

                      I am famous for making popcorn on the stove, no special secrets....pan, oil and popcorn.

                      I have tried and tried and came up with this method- overflowing 1/4 cup of popcorn (stored in the drawer), mixed with a tiny smidge of veggie/canola oil and touch of salt- put in paper lunch bag, lid folded over twice, place in porcelin dish to catch any random oil. pop in microwave for 2 minutes- perfection!

                      I bought the agave speel- so I have multiple bottle of this junk- so I melt agave and butter and just barely pour a stream over- and VOLIA!

                    2. We began using the hot air poppers for almost as long as they have been making them for home use. So far they have lasted an average of ten years before burning out.They make perfect, nongreasy, popcorn every time. Instead of butter, we have learned to appreciate the taste of warmed, extra virgin olive oil added after popping, and a bit of fine grain salt.
                      It, however, pumps out a lot of hot moist air, so in the summertime I use it outdoors.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: condie

                        I usually put olive oil on my popcorn, too, but I never thought to warm it. Thanks condie! (oh, and I'm also an air popper)

                        1. re: condie

                          I have used the same air popper for at least 15 years -- fast, easy, no mess. I sprinkle it with sea salt, crushed red pepper, and warm evoo. Delicious every time!

                        2. If you like popcorn as much as I do, spend a little extra and order from Crown Jewel Gourmet.
                          http://www.crownjewelgourmet.com/
                          The White Diamond popcorn is what I pop mostly. Very light and fluffy.

                          1. I use an air popper. I put more popcorn in it than is recommended and shake it until the popping starts so I can make popcorn for six people. If you stop shaking the popper, it overheats and turns off for ten minutes. I also don't use the cap to melt the butter. I melt the butter in the microwave instead.

                            A friend of mine's parents used to send him a large number of bags of dried sweet corn. It was dried in a corn drier to a set moisture content then they sent him individual servings in lunch bags. He then microwaved the bag and made the best and largest popcorn that I have ever had. It also works in an air popper. It must be dried first though and can't be popped wet as you would find it at a roadside stand.