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How to make stovetop popcorn

February 26, 2010

Photobucket When I was growing up in the eighties we had a hot air popper in our house. I recall using it quite often. They are kid friendly and easy to clean, but I never see them around anymore. Popcorn, maybe more than anything, was swept away by the convenience of the microwave. And convenient it is. Just unwrap, nuke and eat. In the last several years different things have been brought to light about the snacks we eat and it seems that convenience these days is no longer convenient. Almost all microwaveable popcorn contains a questionable ingredient, either the dyes they use for the “natural looking butter” or the preservatives that increase the shelf life of the product. TBHQ, Saccharin and FD&C yellPhotobucketow lake #5 May or may not be problematic to ingest, depending on who you ask, but they are most certainly unnecessary. Popcorn itself has no expiration date. The NASA website even says that 1,000 year old popcorn was found in a tomb in Peru that still popped! Also, the mark up on microwave popcorn can be anywhere from $3.00-$8.00 per pound. Just buying popcorn kernels will usually only run you about $1.00-$1.50 per pound. So let’s all get back to our roots. Stop buying microwave popcorn and start making fresh stovetop!Photobucket

To make stovetop popcorn simply put a thin layer of vegetable oil into a large pot. Add popcorn kernels to form a single layer on the bottom of the pan, turn the heat on to medium. Do not turn the heat too high, for it may cause the corn to burn before it has a chance to pop.  Put a lid on the pot and wait for the popping. It can take a couple minutes for the popping to begin. Unlike a microwave which heats the kernel from the inside, the stovetop heats from the outside. It starts slow, then builds. POP, POP, POP! When the popping slows down and there is more than a 3 second interval between pops, it is done.  Give the pan a shake to make sure all the kernels are at the bottom, turn off the heat, but leave the lid on for 30 seconds. There is still heat in the pan some kernels will continue to pop. Toss the popped corn into a bowl, drizzle a bit of melted butter slowly over your corn then toss with salt or your favorite accompaniment. You can add things like soy sauce, cinnamon sugar or nutritional yeast flakes. Popped corn will also keep a couple days if you put it in a plastic bag. When I have left over corn I put it in a plastic bag and take it with me to work for lunch. It is equally delicious the next day.

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Save some for tomorrow!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. kendall permalink
    March 8, 2010 8:06 am

    it’s amazing to me how impressed people are when i make popcorn “from scratch”! everyone raves about how delicious it is compared to microwave popcorn. i’m glad to see you post this, hopefully everyone will stop paying too much for inferior quality and start enjoying a delicious and incredibly cheap treat.

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