. And Kenji even convinced me that the real reason to go to the theater, skipping the comfort of my own couch, is to end up elbows-deep in a bucket of buttery-ish movie theater popcorn. This salty and spicy recipe is going to become your go to! For the lightest, fluffiest popcorn, make air popped popcorn or homemade paper bag popcorn in the microwave. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family. Try combining Parmesan cheese, salt, dried oregano and garlic salt for a basic seasoned popcorn. Plastic can damage from the hot kernels hitting against the sides of the bowl. Popcorn can become tough and chewy if it’s trapped inside a container with steam. Salty Spicy Popcorn. Because the outer hull isn’t completely impermeable, timing is also of vital importance. Too slow, and the kernels shrink and shrivel, resulting in lackluster popcorn. Either way, given the high potential of towels catching on fire or oil hitting your eyeballs, it’s safe to say that this method isn’t recommended for small children or popcorn-popping novices. Melted butter: Is there anything more classic than buttery popcorn? The Whirley Pop popped the kernels the fastest, at just under two minutes, and left the fewest un-popped kernels behind. It’s one of the best things to snack on all day long, and to finish off an evening in front of our favorite current Netflix binge! Place 1/2 cup popcorn kernels in a microwave-safe bowl, preferably a glass or stoneware bowl. The corn kernels are cooked in coconut or canola oil and sprinkled with a concoction of salt, butter flavorings, and bright-yellow food coloring. Buffalo Ranch. Instead, speed up the process by skipping the preheating step. Everyone loves it so much, they sneeze their way through bag after bag with pleasure. Place the oil, popcorn and salt in a large, 6-quart, metal mixing bowl. (Buttery-ish is the real winner here, because homemade buttered popcorn is never as buttery-tasting as the stuff from the concession stand.) She can often be found chasing her dog through Tompkins Square Park (as he runs away from her…again). I popped three batches of popcorn using each of the four methods. All of this got me thinking: What is the best way to pop popcorn? Also, make sure the bowl is large enough to contain the expanding kernels. As far as method goes, you have three choices: in an air popper, on the stovetop or in the microwave. For exotic flavors, use curry powder, Shichimi Togarashi, Chinese five spice, everything bagel seasoning or a packet of ranch seasoning. Just be careful not to leave it so open that the popping kernels can escape! For each round, I popped two ounces of kernels following the best practices for each method: The team blind-tasted the popcorn with no seasonings added, to avoid adding more variables to the mix. Because it doesn't require plugging anything in or using the stovetop, this is a good method for kids to pop corn on their own or for use in dorm kitchens. I decided to venture out and test popcorn popped using four different methods: The tasters were split between two methods for their favorite: Want to know more? My personal popcorn intake has recently reached such an all-time high that I’ve had to cut myself off—cold turkey. When it comes to popcorn, I want quantity, and the popcorn popped in the Whirley Pop was light enough for me to easily munch through a full batch. Pull-apart tender meat and ultra-crisp skin: It's not the most gorgeous roast in the world, but you'd be hard pressed to find one more flavorful. Most bowls are large enough to make only about 9 cups of popped popcorn at a time (using about ⅓ cup of kernels), in contrast to the roughly … The oil made its way through the fine mesh of the splatter screen; it was just too much for even a splatter guard to contain. Too slow, and the kernels shrink and shrivel, resulting in lackluster popcorn. Their Caramel Popcorn Recipe has a 4.8 rating with over 1,000 reviews, all raving about the recipe. First, I popped the corn in the same pot, but fully covered with a grease splatter screen in place of the lid. It’s the latest obsession at the office—a Hawaiian microwave popcorn loaded with crispy mochi bits, savory nori strips, and a kick of chili that goes straight to your sinuses. This is due to its unique combination of a tough exterior, a densely packed and starchy interior, and 14 to 20% moisture by weight. That amps up the flavor, but it also adds fat and calories. The easiest way to make air popped popcorn is in the microwave with a paper bag. I also counted how many un-popped kernels remained in each batch. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife. After I'd added the kernels, I kept them in motion over medium-high heat until the popping settled down to just one every 10 seconds. Because popcorn acts as its own thermometer, once those test kernels popped, I knew the oil was at the ideal temperature. Popcorn balls are fun and festive for any occasion and they make great popcorn gifts. For both the stovetop and the Whirley-Popped corn, I first preheated the oil over medium-high heat with just a couple kernels. By popping in ghee or clarified butter, you can get the taste of butter in a popcorn that stays crunchy and is ready for a sprinkling of salt, plus an extra dried seasoning if you want. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, the ideal temperature for popping corn is around 380°F (190°C). The key to creating the best popcorn is heating the kernels evenly. Kenji’s findings were helpful, but I still had questions about other popping methods, and I needed them answered in order to truly get to the bottom of which popcorn method is best. It’s not a good idea to increase the heat on the stovetop to pop popcorn faster, as medium heat creates the perfect environment for large kernels. Air popped and microwave popcorn tends to be lighter and softer than stovetop popped popcorn, which is crunchier and gains a richer flavor from being popped in oil. Kettle corn is usually mixed with refined sugar, salt and oil and is a slightly less … Butterfly popcorn is light and fluffy. When it pops, add the remaining kernels and replace the lid. Traditional recipes tell you to heat the oil with a single kernel in the pan. Together, they owned and operated a restaurant in Brooklyn, which earned them a StarChefs Rising Star Award. However, if you’re working over a gas stove, there is potential for the towel to catch on fire, so, as an added precaution, I used a big enough towel to allow me to tie up the corners over the lid. The vented lid allowed built-up steam to escape, without losing any popping kernels the way a lid left slightly ajar might. https://www.thespruceeats.com/step-by-step-colored-popcorn-recipe-305737 Try using a popcorn method that doesn’t require any oil, like an air popper or making popcorn in a paper bag, and using no-calorie seasonings like herbs and spices. Once the hull finally breaks, the tightly packed slurry of high-amylose starch and protein quickly expands due to the dramatic change in pressure, much like whipped cream being ejected out of a pressurized canister. I next tried popping with plenty of oil in a Whirley Pop, which is equipped with a vented lid. Or amp-up the savory vibes by adding dried basil, marjoram, thyme and parsley. We go into depth about how to make paper bag popcorn in our step-by-step guide, but here’s the process in a nutshell: Add between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels to a paper bag. With a regular pot, you can set the lid ajar to release some of the steam. We’ve been making this popcorn recipe nonstop, and for good reason… this stuff is AMAZING. For the microwave popcorn, following the manufacturer’s instructions, I added the corn to the bowl and secured the vented lid. Heating up the kernels too slowly can result in the moisture escaping, leaving behind a surplus of un-popped kernels; heating too quickly means the starch inside won't have a chance to hydrate, resulting in less fluffy popcorn. Eating the stale and soggy air-popped popcorn was like snacking on Styrofoam peanuts. Flick a few drops of water into the pot. The key to creating the best popcorn is heating the kernels evenly. Because I couldn’t just take his word for it (and because I wanted an excuse to bring popcorn back into my life), I knew I had to do some popcorn testing of my own. Before the air popper, I came from a strictly-stovetop family. Finally, there are two different popcorn shapes: mushroom and butterfly (also known as “snowflake”). Looking to really spice things up with your homemade popcorn game? Which is best? On the plus side, this method was easy and resulted in minimal cleanup, thanks to the dishwasher-safe container. Keep reading for all the crispy, crunchy, buttery deets. (Buttery-ish is the real winner here, because homemade buttered popcorn is never as buttery-tasting as the stuff from the concession stand.). Put a lid on the pot and have on medium heat. You can also use high-temperature oils like peanut oil, ghee or lard when popping popcorn. or just use the microwave without needing those pre-filled bags that can contain a lot of weird chemicals. They mostly taste the same (especially after being drizzled with butter and salt), although some say that yellow popcorn is nuttier. How to Make Kettle Corn. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Here are a few ideas that will leave you looking like a crafty, caring gift giver. Kenji has already shared his deep and undying love for the Whirley Pop, a simple, lightweight aluminum pan equipped with a handheld crank that keeps the kernels moving, coupled with a vented lid that battles steam-related sog. Daniel brought an Italian twist to this American classic with anchovies, garlic, and olive oil in his bagna càuda popcorn, while Stella explored popcorn’s sweet side with her candy-coated crispy chocolate popcorn. The best method of popping corn will evenly heat up the kernels, not too fast nor too slowly, while also allowing the developing steam to escape so the popcorn stays crisp and crunchy. Don’t be afraid to add spice to your popcorn, like cayenne pepper, smoked paprika or ancho chile powder. I’ve taken the readers tips and tricks and come up with this tried-and-true Caramel Corn recipe so it’s the best of the best. Look to heart-healthy oils like safflower oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil or pure olive oil. Otherwise, any large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid will work. This left just as many un-popped kernels, but the resulting popped corn tasted less stale and was fluffier. The popcorn was small and unevenly popped, rather than light and fluffy, with many un-popped and semi-popped kernels left behind. But the resulting popped corn tasted less stale and was fluffier or seasoned popcorn is one of microwave. Escape, without losing any popping kernels can escape few adjustments this recipe… in a sea oil. Safflower oil, rice bran oil, ghee or lard when popping popcorn pop them too fast, light. The possibilities are endless, so it ’ s not good for your,... 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