Monday, January 4, 2010


After college, I decided that popcorn did not have to be made in a microwave covered in yellow, salted trans-fats. However, it took me a while to figure out how to make popcorn just as tasty as the gooey disgusting kind that comes from a paper bag.

I tried regular stove top popping. This requires some skill, patience, and the right vessel (I use a nice large saucier). It turns out nicely, but you need a high smoke-point fat like peanut oil and plenty of practice using a lid as a shield against over-excited kernels. Plus, there is a good amount of clean up involved.

You might ask why I didn't try one of these stovetop popcorn contraptions. I live in a studio apartment...there's no room for that unitasker.

DIY microwave popping was next. Throw some kernels in a paper bag, staple it shut and hope for the best. This never seemed to give me a high enough kernel yield. Plus, it seemed like cheating.

Air popping was the next logical solution. I dropped some dough on a used air popper and it turns out to be almost exactly what I wanted.

I use a mixture of yellow and blue popcorns - both organic and locally produced by the Pennsylvania Dutch. It adds some variety of texture and flavor.

Remember to use a big bowl to catch the popcorn - you'll need it to distribute the toppings later.

After some topping experimentation, I've found that equal parts butter and olive oil, microwaved for 40 seconds and mixed with a pinch of sea salt works well.

Shake it up. Then add another sprinkle of salt and/or black pepper. Shake it again (but not too vigorously this time).

1 comment:

  1. The Whirlypop is the bomb. It makes the best popcorn of all the devices I've seen. I was a non-believer when I got one as a gift but after the first batch, I was a convert. It is very fast because the contraption mixes the corn constantly and thoroughly at fairly high heat. Of course, after owning it, I've used it twice. Hey, the Super Bowl is just around the corner!