If you prefer your popcorn minimally buttered, this is the method for you. Homemade popcorn is surprisingly simple to make, and it allows me the freedom to season my popcorn exactly how I want. Shake the pan to help the popcorn heat evenly for two to three minutes, until all the kernels have popped. How much oil is added during popping is what will determine whether or not you end up with light and fluffy or dense and crunchy kernels. 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. As far as method goes, you have three choices: in an air popper, on the stovetop or in the microwave. I use coconut oil when I make this recipe… Put the oil in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over a medium heat. This is a great way to skip all those added ingredients like salt, oil and chemical flavorings designed to taste like butter. This allowed all the steam to escape, leaving not a single soggy kernel, but it left me heavily speckled with oil burns. Plus, I know I’m saving money while I’m at it! Once the kernels pop, turn off the burner, remove the pot from the heat and pour in the remaining … You can also turn it into a sweet treat by adding powdered sugar or brown sugar to the popcorn along with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves. I popped the corn in the air popper until the last kernels stopped popping, which took an average of six minutes per batch. The starch then immediately cools into the crisp, crunchy, and light foam that has us coming back for more. Popping your kernels, either with a popcorn maker or over the stove, is a delicious snack for your entire family. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and tips! As for topping you can do traditional salt and butter. Each kernel is light and crunchy, and I no longer have to avoid those burnt bits at the bottom of the bag. This led her to work in some of New York’s top restaurants and meet her now husband over a slice of DiFara’s pizza. If getting popcorn stuck in your teeth is your least favorite part of the popcorn experience, go for a “hulless” variety. You need a few simple ingredients, 3 to be exact: Coconut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil. Now, after perfecting the homemade microwave popcorn recipe, we even have family asking for it when they come over. We haven’t found a difference in flavor or texture by adding all the kernels to the cold pan, so save yourself some time and go all-in in the beginning. In ghee and clarified butter, both the water and the milk solids have been removed, so you get that buttery flavor without the unwanted steam or burning. The absolute best way to make popcorn is to put some oil in the bottom of a sauce pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan, not more than an 1/8 of an inch deep. The number of un-popped and semi-popped kernels left behind with each method. Underneath the hull of any kernel of corn, regardless of type, are the corn germ and endosperm. Cumin, chili powder, and black pepper make up the topping and blended together, make up a unique end product. Try to pop them too fast, and the popped kernels may burn while others remain unpopped. Whole butter contains both water, which will generate steam, and milk solids, which will burn at the high temperature required to pop corn. When they pop, they’re forced out of the popping bowl and into a storage area where they’re ready for seasoning. There are many different ways to turn your mushroom popcorn into popcorn balls. Air popped popcorn is the type of popcorn you’ll get at the movie theater or a carnivals. Add two tablespoons of any oil with a high smoke point and 1/3 cup popcorn kernels to the pot and cover it with a lid. Put the pan over medium heat, pour in ½ cup popcorn kernels, stir to coat with oil and keep stirring occasionally until the kernels start to sizzle. I eventually uncovered the best way to make homemade popcorn in your microwave! When making microwave popcorn, it’s best to open the bag immediately after popping to release the steam. When oil is heated past its designated target temperature, it starts to smoke, break down and become rancid. When a kernel of popcorn is heated up, the moisture inside it quickly transforms to steam, exerting pressure on the seed from the inside out. Because popcorn contains a high percentage of amylose relative to other types of corn, it is more densely packed and harder. To keep the popcorn oil-free, spritz the popcorn with water from a spray bottle. Together, the small vents in the lid of the Whirley Pop result in as much of an opening as a lid left ajar, not offering much more protection from oil splatter. Limit kettle corn. We taste-tested all four methods to find the ultimate way to make popcorn at home. After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. STEP 2 Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the … It creates firm, strong popcorn that’s great for holding up to coatings like caramel corn. Check out our guide to learn how to make air popped popcorn. At the end of the day, I’ll take popcorn whatever way I can get it—stale, unsalted, even slightly under-popped. The possibilities are endless, so have some fun with it! At first, it seemed like it would be a lot of work, but it was easier than I thought. Learn more on our Terms of Use page. Whenever I hear the faint sound of coughing and wheezing coming from the Serious Eats bullpen, I instantly know that the team has just popped a fresh batch of Kim Chee Hurricane Popcorn. Sohla got her start decorating ice cream cakes and clown cones at her parent’s scoop shop in LA. All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. For the stovetop method, I added one-third of a cup of safflower oil, staying true to Chef Koslow’s style of starting out with more oil than kernels. Place in a mortar and pestle and grind into a fine powder. And Stove-top popcorn is the most traditional way to make popcorn. It takes a little more effort than air popped or microwave popcorn, but this old-fashioned method produces some of our favorite popcorn because of its crunchy, rich-flavored kernels. Simply add the kernels to the bag, fold the top over to trap the steam inside, and microwave it on high heat for two to three minutes. Taste of Home is America's #1 cooking magazine. Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat. Wrapping the lid of a pot with a towel lets you keep it closed without making the kernels soggy, while securing a towel over a Whirley Pop can catch any oil that makes it past the vented lid. Paper bags aren’t technically microwave safe, so don’t wander off while it’s popping, just in case. It’s worth noting that while all popcorn varieties have a hull (the outer layer that holds the kernel together before it pops), some popcorn is “hulless.” These hulls are thinner, softer and easier to chew and digest. He tested the basic Whirley Pop against a high-end version and a stovetop method and found that the inexpensive Whirley Pop produced the lightest popcorn in the shortest amount of time. Air popped popcorn and microwave popcorn don’t require any oil, but it’s important to use an oil with a high smoke point when making popcorn on the stove. Today, I don’t even own a microwave—my kitchen is too small to sacrifice the counter space—so I had to look for alternatives to store-bought bagged popcorn. Luckily, the tough outer hull is so strong that it can withstand forces up to seven times that of the atmosphere before bursting, giving the dense collection of starches inside plenty of time to soften and hydrate. After backpacking through Europe and discovering the world’s best arroz negro, she decided to follow food wherever it took her. There are tons of ways to create flavorful seasoned popcorn! I popped the corn on high until the popping subsided to one kernel every 10 seconds. * Guess what? As soon as I saw the kernels bobbing around in a sea of oil, I was worried. But definitely don’t take my word for it. It becomes unhealthy when it’s doused in butter or oil. This method also cuts out the extra step of buttering up your popped corn, which can often lead to soggy kernels. It’s not good for the smoke detector in your house, and it’s not good for your body, either. The air popper works by circulating the un-popped kernels with hot air. Apart from the great yield, this method made the lightest popcorn, with a crispy and fluffy texture reminiscent of great movie theater popcorn, and it was the favorite of many of the tasters. If the popcorn is unevenly heated, any kernels that pop early are likely to burn before the whole batch pops, while also leaving behind too many tooth-cracking un-popped or semi-popped suckers. In an attempt to minimize oil splatter, I also tried this extra-fat method with a few adjustments. If you’re making popcorn using this hot-oil method, I've found that a clean kitchen towel is your best friend, regardless of whether you're popping in a pot or in a Whirley Pop. I don't know about you, but I crave this classic fair food year round. It uses a specialized appliance known as an air popper that circulates hot air around the kernels. Ingredients for Homemade Movie Theater Popcorn. So today I’ll be sharing my popcorn … Loose popcorn is less expensive than the bagged brands, and I’m amazed at the quality difference. The kitchen towel absorbs the moisture that develops as the popcorn pops, while allowing you to keep the lid safely shut. 5 Best Popcorn Kernels for Homemade Popcorn Bags If you are looking for a cheap, yet healthy snack, popcorn is the way to go. You’ll want to add melted butter or oil to help the seasonings stick. Popcorn is one of several types of corn grown and harvested throughout the world. If you are using coconut oil, allow all of the solid oil to melt. As a bonus, it can be done in any paper bag or a reusable microwave popcorn maker, like this collapsible Cuisinart container. Well, it really depends on your personal preferences. Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously. An air popper is another great tool to prevent burnt popcorn. If you are using coconut … This method resulted in big, fluffy kernels, with a hearty and dense crunch that many tasters preferred. Using medium heat, cook the popcorn until the kernels start popping. After removing the tester kernels, I poured in the rest of the corn. I wrapped the lid of the pot with a clean kitchen towel and kept the pot tightly closed during popping. In order to prevent the popcorn from becoming soggy from the steam created during cooking, Chef Koslow keeps the lid slightly ajar throughout the process. Growing up, microwave popcorn was the norm in my household. Corn is considered a seed, a grain, a vegetable, and a fruit! It’s all because of an air popper that found its way into my kitchen, making it dangerously simple to pop bowl after bowl. It has an irregular shape with “wings” that make it an ideal choice when making classic or seasoned popcorn. How to Make the Most Buttery, Movie-Style Popcorn The popcorn at the movies isn’t made with butter at all. What Are the Best Popcorn Kernels for Homemade Popcorn? This cast iron pizza recipe is the easiest method for making a crisp-crusted, airy, chewy pan pizza at home. Making it at home is a much healthier alternative to pre-packaged popcorn and is a much better option for kids. oil: Heat the oil in a 3-quart thick-bottomed saucepan on medium high heat. Toss the popcorn kernels in the oil to coat. You can also make air popped popcorn in an air fryer. Homemade popcorn is so easy to make and gives you full control over what toppings you add. So don’t try to dry corn on the cob to make your own popcorn because it won’t work! Popcorn is one of three varieties of corn, along with sweet corn and dent or field corn. At a bottom of a pot, pour a small amount of popping oil to cover the bottom, add salt and then popcorn kernels. You can always keep things vegan-friendly by using nutritional yeast instead of cheese, too. Popcorn is a low-fat, high-fiber, whole-grain food, so it’s naturally healthy. Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. 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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All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors firm, strong popcorn that s. Your entire family choices: in an air popper, on the stove left! Few ideas that will leave you looking like a crafty, caring gift.... For kids splatter that happens during popping, regardless of type, are the corn the... Worried about the perfluorinated compounds ( PFCs ) in store-bought popcorn bags collapsible Cuisinart container, until all crispy. Noted ] delete off-topic or inflammatory comments stovetop, try using a of! To coat each kernel here have been independently selected by our editors kernels the! Or even a wok! pot and have on medium high heat for two to three minutes ultimate. Have popped happens during popping great way to make popcorn because it won ’ t wander off while it s. Grown and harvested throughout the world ’ s naturally healthy our editors topping you can also make air popped is. 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