Introduction: How to Pop Popcorn on the Stovetop
We all have our ways of making popcorn. Maybe you have an air popper. Maybe you use the microwave. Or maybe you use some other device that dates back 50 years but still works. But what happens when our methods of popping popcorn give out on us? What will you do when your popper breaks, and it's move night and you can't make a bowl of popcorn?!?!
Don't panic, because you can do it on the stove.
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Step 1: Heat the Oil
Add a few tablespoons of oil to the pan. What type of oil doesn't matter to much, as long as it has a higher smoke point. I used olive oil. To that, add three kernels of popcorn.
Make sure the pan is rather large, so as your corn pops there will be room for it to expand.
Place on the stove on medium heat, covered. Wait for all three kernels to pop (you should be able to hear it.).
Step 2: Add Popcorn
Once your three test kernels have popped, add the rest of the popcorn, and cover with a lid. Keep on medium heat.
I used 2/3 cup of popcorn. But more or less could be done. Just don't overfill the pan so much that you have kernels that can't touch the bottom.
Step 3: Shake
Start shaking the pan once you hear kernels starting to pop. Shaking the popcorn while cooking is important. It keeps everything evenly cooking, and also makes the kernels fall under the already popped corn, where they have a better chance of popping.
I found that taking a dish drying towel and putting it on top of the pan so that it covers both handles and the knob on the lid helps with this, because if you keep the towel tight enough you can lightly shake it without worrying if the lid is going to come off.
Be careful. There is hot oil in the pan and you don't want to get burned accidentally.
I don't recommend opening the pan while it's popping, or you might get popcorn all over your stove.
Step 4: Serve
Once the sound of popping kernels get's three seconds apart, your done. (Any more and your risk of burning the popcorn is pretty high).
Top with melted butter and salt, or maybe parmesan cheese and rosemary, and you have a beautiful bowl of popcorn for your next movie night or snack attack.