Introduction: Easy Stovetop Popcorn

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I love popcorn!

But microwave popcorn has its serious limitations:

1) tastes definitively like microwaved popcorn
2) always too much or too little popcorn (depending on size of bag and mood)
3) it ain't cheap
4) my boyfriend doesn't have a microwave!!!!

What's a girl to do??
Oh yeah.
The stove! I have one oh those!

I'd like to say I remember this from my childhood and it brings back warm fuzzies of ski lodges and family game nights. But no, we had an air popper - a cumbersome, mono-utility device, that while awesome, I refuse to spend money on just to try and find more space in my tiny apartment kitchen to store.

But hey, I've got a stove. And a pot! How can I take these simple things and use them to make my favorite snack? With oil and salt I already have, and a bag of popcorn (they sell it by the kernels now!) I can buy for about $1 and get 6 servings from! Six of those big-bag-size servings that I still can't finish.

I wonder why I don't just pop less corn?

This instructable will show you a simple way to save money, control portion size and additives, and generate free entertainment!

Step 1: Supplies

Pot or pan with handle and lid

Popcorn kernels


Salt or other seasonings to taste

Step 2: Heat the Stove

Turn the heat on to high.

If you are using a gas stove, you can do this after you've added oil to the pan. I prefer to do it first on an electric stove to give it time to heat up.

Step 3: Add the Oil

Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

If you are making a little popcorn, just barely cover the bottom.
The more popcorn, the more oil.

Step 4: Add Salt (opt.)

I like to do this before I add the popcorn because I like to imagine the salt granules reaching every kernel this way.

I doubt that's how it happens, but it seems more fair to the kernels than just dumping it on post-pop, and all the best for whoever's on top.

Step 5: Pour in Popcorn Kernels

Once the oil is so hot it's almost smoking, pour in the popcorn kernels.

Step 6: Kernels in Oil

Should look something like this!

Step 7: Shake That Thang

Shake to evenly distribute oil, heat, and kernels.

Not too vigorously at this point, or they might come flying out of the pan.

Step 8: Cover the Pan

Cover the pan.

Continue to shake the pan occasionally.

Watch for condensation to gather.

Step 9: Release Steam

Do this a lot!

Lift the lid a little to release the steam that's building up in the pan.
Otherwise you will get chewy popcorn.

At some point, the kernels will have popped high enough that some will try to escape during this step. It means you're almost done!

Step 10: Listen for Popping to Stop

When your you notice the popping has slowed down, it's time to take it off the heat.

Release more steam and check out your gorgeous kernels!

Step 11: Turn Off the Stove!

Don't forget this part!

Your popcorn will continue to pop a bit even after the heat source has been removed. This is good, because then you know you're not going to burn it.

Step 12: Enjoy!

Pour into your favorite popcorn bowl and enjoy!

I highly recommend dressing your kernels with a scant drop of truffle oil.  Yum.

All of that delicious popcorn for less than 16 cents!!!

Now settle in with a free episode or movie from or one of the major network's websites (or a dvd from the library if you had the foresight to go get one) and think about the $32 you just saved by not going out!

Party Like It's 1929!

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