How to Make [Perfect] Homemade Popcorn




Introduction: How to Make [Perfect] Homemade Popcorn

The lights are off... The DVD is in the player... and everyone has found their favorite seat on the couch. The only thing missing for movie night? Popcorn!
If you think that making your own popcorn is hard, expensive, time- consuming, or old- fashioned, you are right where the boy scouts want you to be.
In my opinion, life is too short to eat microwave popcorn- it's too inconsistent, too expensive, and too... boring. Plus you can't control what mystery ingredients the manufacturers put in it.
Making it on the stove can take less than five minutes and is very versatile.
I'll show you how to make healthy, tasty, easy and fast popcorn!

Step 1: What You Need

You're going to need popcorn kernelsoil, and a large pan with a lid. You will also need any salt, butter, or seasonings you want to put on your popcorn at the end. I recommend a good brand of popcorn kernels because you can tell a difference in quality and taste.

Step 2: Faire Fondre

Place 2-3 tbsps. of oil in the pan, along with a few kernels, with the pan on high heat. This will help you know when the oil is hot enough for popping. When you hear the kernels pop, add 1/3 c. popcorn kernals to the pan, cover it with the lid, and take the pan off of heat for 30 seconds. This will allow all the popcorn to heat up so that it will all pop at about the same time.

Step 3: Pop It!

Replace the pan on the heat. Your popcorn will begin to pop shortly, and it's your job to keep the kernels moving around the pan so they don't get burned. You can shake the pan, or go a step further and move it in a circle so constantly spin the kernels. This encourages fast popping and less burning. If you keep the lid cracked or use a lid with holes to let the steam escape while it is popping, the popcorn will turn out crunchier.

Step 4: Dump It

When you hear that the popping has slowed so that there is one second between pops, take the popcorn off and dump it into a bowl. From here you are free to add salt, melted butter, seasoning, or anything else you'd like. Enjoy!



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    53 Discussions

    How do you butter the popcorn? Every time we melt butter and put it on, it just makes the popcorn soggy and nasty. We usually use the butter sprinkle, but if there's a way to use real butter, I'd rather use it.

    3 replies

    Cut your butter into cubes, like 4 cubes to 1-2 tablespoons. immediately after the popcorn stops popping, keep lid on to trap the popcorn's heat, dump those cubes evenly across top of popcorn, put the lid back on and shake the pan up for about another minute. Don't use heat. The hot popcorn is melting the butter. The butter melts and coats, with out melting the actual popcorn. If you really want to get all the butter, leave a cup or two of popcorn in the pan and give it a really good shake, then mix that extra buttery stuff, with the rest of the popcorn.

    Use clarified butter.

    This is how my brother [also on this site- elephant 1292] taught me to do it: you have to heat the butter so that it is only partially melted, and when you stir it up it will make a sort of paste that you can then mix into your popcorn.
    Sorry about the removed comment below, I had to fix a spelling error :p

    Combine that with the paper bag trick to get a good even coating. I'm old enough that when I was a kid there were drive in movie theaters everywhere, The whole family would pile into the station wagon and go. Parked it backwards and dropped the tailgate so we could lie in the back and on top. Mom made a couple of bags full of popcorn that way. When done, no containers to account for, they just went into the trash. Wow, are you bringing back memories.

    True, use a good brand of popcorn kernels, it's worth it. I like white corn, personally.
    I use safflower oil. It takes more heat before smoking, is very light and adds almost no taste.
    It's a little more expensive but you don't use much.
    I agree about the part where you keep the pot moving in a circle for more even heating.
    It's so easy and takes the same amount of time.
    I don't know why anyone would buy microwave popcorn.

    2 replies

    Also don't store popcorn kernels for long periods. They dry out too much and will have more unpopped kernels and tend to burn if you try to force them by cooking longer or hotter.

    I'll have to try safflower oil. Thanks for your suggestions!

    I wonder if you can put real melted butter in one of those butter sprayers? The problem there will be when it gets too cool after awhile. How about drilling a hole is a metal measuring cup & then letting it drip into the popcorn while moving the popcorn around in the bowl so only one drop per corn wets the kernel? I use popcorn flavored oil that comes in a bottle with such a hole & it works well enough. Also, do not use too much butter, you really do not want each and every popped kernel to get butter or salt for that matter, or at least I don't :) - Thanks for the Intructable, it reminds me of the expanding stove top popcorn.

    1 reply

    YUM! Good old-fashioned popcorn. Nothing like it! I got so fed up with un-popped kernels in those microwave bags...not to mention all the unknown additives....that I just went out and bought 2 bags of kernels. Great timing. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    1 reply

    I was buying a bag of Jiffy Pop in my local supermarket one day when this elderly gentleman nearby told me to empty the bag into a Mason jar with a couple of tablespoons of water; seal it and let it steep a few days. The corn will absorb the moisture, which is the basic requirement for a good pop. This will help revive stale corn that's been on your shelf for a few months as well.

    3 replies

    Tell that elderly gentleman "Thank You" for me, please. I have a bag of stale corn that could use a good reviving ;)

    One tip: learn your stove well enough to get the temperature to the point that the kernels will pop, but not burn. For me, this is just over medium, towards medium-high on my 15-year old electric stove. You don't need to swish or shake, unless you want to try to get all the kernels popped (because some will be lifted up off of the heat when the mass of popped kernels starts to climb up the pot. Anyway, I rarely burn a single kernel anymore.

    1 reply

    Yes, your stove is an important thing to consider. Thanks for the tip ;)

    if you need to make enough for a crowd, i suggest dumping into a paper bag after it pops. it avoids you needing to quickly find a few large bowls, allows you to season inside of something that closes for shaking, and it wicks the extra oil away. then pour into you bowls for serving. the bag might get greasy on the bottom, so you might want to put it on a newspaper section. :)

    1 reply