For as long as I can remember, popcorn has been my favorite snack. I can remember eating popcorn for breakfast-yes, that’s right, breakfast-when I was younger. For a long time, I pretty much bought microwave popcorn as a rule, but when Philip and I got married, we bought an air popper. I still bought my share of microwave popcorn, until someone I worked with told me that there was some carcinogen in the bags. I looked that up, and I honestly can’t remember if I found any truth to that or not….but it made me start reading the labels, which led me to find how much trans fat was in my favorite variety of microwave popcorn, which tastes “homestyle”, i.e. like it was popped on the stove top. Hmmm. That microwaved stuff was pretty expensive….and kernels are not. So, I started popping my own, on the stovetop. Now, I have Philip addicted to stovetop popcorn as well, and we eat it as a snack three or four nights a week. If you are a microwave popcorn buyer, I encourage you to try this recipe. You’ll save quite a haul over the long….haul, you’ll take in a lot less “bad stuff”, and, well, there’s absolutely no taste comparison. You may never buy microwave again!
Start by preheating a pan over medium-high heat. You can choose your pan based on how much popcorn you want to pop. When I’m making a snack just for myself, I use my smallest pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with oil. My favorite oil (and the oil shown here) is coconut oil*, but it’s not inexpensive, so usually I use olive oil and a little bit of butter. You can also use canola….but I don’t recommend that weird orangey colored “popcorn oil”. Once the oil is good and hot, cover the bottom of the pan with popcorn kernels then add a few grinds (or shakes) of salt. We don’t put in a ton of salt at this point, though. You’ll see why in a minute. Cover the popcorn and shake it vigorously every from time to time to keep the kernels from burning. Don’t walk away! You’ll see moisture start to accumulate on the lid (if it’s transparent like mine) from the steam that is generated when the popcorn heats and pops open. Sometimes, if you “overdo it” on the kernels, your lid might rise up a little off the top of your pan…like ours did. We’ve had it actually lift all the way up off the top!
Once the popping slows wayyyyyyy down, dump it into a bowl. Now, you’ll see why we don’t use a ton of salt in the beginning. We love to add Lawry’s seasoned salt to our popcorn. Be careful not to add too much, though. It’s very strong and will give you cottonmouth if you aren’t careful! We eat our popcorn out of this big metal mixing bowl….but I had to be a little cheesy and put it in this “popcorn” container from the dollar spot at Target. Humor me!