Stovetop popcorn has been my snack of choice lately. So quick to make, so delicious, and everybody is happy.
Stovetop popcorn is really this easy?
by Tasha Hackett
Sometimes I make burgers from scratch with homemade sweet potato fries and avocado dip and caramelized onions with balsamic vinegar. Homemaker over-achiever award, amen? And other nights I toss around apples, cheese, and popcorn and beg the children to eat and be happy while I put myself in timeout. Popcorn is versatile like that. I’ll agree that even though stovetop popcorn is not unhealthy, it doesn’t have much in the way of nutrition. But if you’re going to stuff your mouth with something salty and crunchy, stovetop popcorn is a great way to go about it.
We received an air popper for a wedding present. We used it frequently and poured melted butter over the top. Easy. Yummy. Last year, I don’t know why, I started using my large pot and the old-fashioned method and I’ve fallen in love with popcorn all over again.
Step 1: Pot for the Popcorn
Please use the biggest stock pot you have. I’ve used a smaller one, thinking I was going to make a smaller amount of popcorn. Clearly, it was a foolish choice. Just use the big one.
Step 2: Chose Your Oil
I have successfully used coconut oil (flavored, or flavorless), olive oil, bacon grease, and butter. My go-to is olive oil. Coconut oil is nice, but it’s more expensive. Butter is more likely to burn and I don’t always have bacon grease on hand—it makes a unique crisp type of corn. You should definitely try it.
Step 3: Chose Your Kernel
Truly, I have purchased all different varieties, thinking that I’m going to be scientific and compare the results. Alas, I’m too interested in eating the popcorn and therefore have yet to track any noticeable difference in the popcorn brands. If you have a preference, by all means, let us know. I will say, ten years ago I bought Mushroom Popcorn from a co-op in Kansas and there was a difference. Almost all the kernels popped with a mushroom shape. That was fun. So if you’re looking to make popcorn for gifts or something where you want each kernel to be beautifully uniform… splurge for the Mushroom Popcorn. Otherwise, meh.
And Now the How-To for Stovetop Popcorn
- Pour (or scoop) a 1/4 cup of oil of choice into the pan. Oil makes things yummy. Don’t be afraid of it. Melt on medium heat.
- Add 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels.
- Add a teaspoon of fine salt. (Blend a cup of salt in your snazzy Blendtec for fabulous and cheap popcorn salt!)
- Put the lid on your pot and wait for the magic. I used to frantically shake the pan back and forth to make sure nothing scorched or burned, but then one time I didn’t do that… and nothing scorched or burned. From then on I was flying free. I haven’t been frantically shaking the pan in months now. Just stand near and LISTEN.
- Keep the heat on medium. Too high and your popcorn will burn. Too low and the kernels will swell and crack, but not pop.
- Let it pop while you put away the oil and break the cheese into chunks and yell at the kids for someone to get the toddler out of the bathroom. Do the popcorn dance and when it starts to slow down, that’s your cue. Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop… and Pop, Pop… wait for it Pop… Pop… NOW remove the pan from the heat. Take the lid off.
Eat. Smile. Stuff your face with crunchy salty popcorn goodness.
Of course, if you want to be really fancy, check out Laura’s recipes for a large selection of homemade popcorn flavors. BBQ, to Chocolate, to Ranch, and more. “But Tasha,” you say, “I thought you were on a Paleo diet that didn’t include any grains? Isn’t popcorn a grain?” OHMYGOODNESSYES. Stop judging me. Popcorn is a grain. Sadly, it is not included in a strict paleo diet. But it’s been six months and I’ve been trying new things. (Side note, I’ve been MOSTLY headache free for six months!) I’ve learned that I can do small amounts of popcorn. So there.
How do you pop the corn? Ever tried it on the stovetop? Share all your tips!
Tasha Hackett is a friend of Laura and author of Bluebird on the Prairie, a Christian romance set in 1879. She spends most of her time with four chatty children and an incredibly supportive husband. They give her the kind of love people write books about. To connect with Tasha, check out her website at www.TashaHackett.com. Follow her on IG @hackettacademy and find Laura @heavenlyhomemaker.