Lately, I have been obsessed with making my own popcorn at home, only without having to use the microwave (ours is lucky it’s even plugged in!). Instead of buying packets of microwave popcorn that come with nasty freaky flavourings on them, we buy bags of regular old popcorn and I make it on the stove. It’s really easy, and I can add whatever flavours I want to it, usually just a bit of kosher salt. It’s nice to be able to make as much or as little as you want.
How to do it yourself at home:
- Buy some fresh popping corn. The keyword here is fresh. It must be fresh, or it will not pop up as big as the stale kind of popping corn. How to tell if it’s fresh? There is usually a date on the bag itself telling you when it expires. I’ve bought my freshest popcorn from Walmart, of all god forsaken places. My reasoning behind this is that cheap people go to Walmart. Cheap people like to buy popping corn in bulk. Therefore, there is more turnover at Walmart for popping corn. Who knows if I’m actually right or if I just get lucky…
- Get a heavy pot. I’ve tried this with a regular old aluminum pot and it didn’t work so great, but it works just fine with any pots that are a bit thicker than the standard aluminum pots. I use one with a non-stick coating, but it’s not required. I think if you wanted to use a wok, that would work just great too.
- Make sure the pot has a lid. The lid is key. Otherwise you will be chasing popcorn all over your kitchen, with the horrible chance of maybe getting it in your eye. Think about it… a burning hot popcorn kernel in your eye is NOT a good idea.
- Heat the pot on the stove on medium heat. When it’s good and hot, pour some oil in there. I just use regular old olive oil, but you can use pretty much anything. I imagine the sesame oil would probably taste really good! I also throw in a bit of salt into the oil at this point, but you can wait for the salt until the end.
- Pour some kernels into the pan. The whole idea is that the maximum amount you can make is dictated by the size of your pot, and you should not be putting in so many kernels in that you can’t have a single layer of them in the bottom. I usually put them in by the handful until it looks right.
- Put the lid on and toss the kernels in the oil to get them coated. When you’re done tossing them around, make a little crack with the lid to let steam escape.
- Wait until the first one pops. Once it starts popping, you will have to occasionally shake the pot around to make sure that the un-popped kernels are getting moved around and nothing gets burned. When you are not shaking the pot, make sure the lid is a bit askew to let steam escape.
- When the popping slows down (kinda like microwave popcorn making), you are done! Keep the lid on for at least 20 seconds after removing from the heat in case there’s a kernel at the bottom that feels like popping and tossing all your popcorn out onto the floor.
- Enjoy your popcorn! You can put whatever toppings you want on there like melted butter, salt, sugar, maple syrup, melted chocolate, etc. Yeah… get creative once you get the hang of it!