Yesterday I ate dinner at my cousin’s place. It was a birthday and her daughter was there with her family. My cousin has three small grandchildren and during the evening she put a bag of popcorn in the microwave so the kids could snuggle up with some popcorn and a movie.
I’m a strong believer that microwaved popcorn isn’t at all good food, though I love popcorn, so I asked her; why don’t you make it yourself, it’s just a pot on the stove. My cousin replied that it is so complicated and that she always ended up with a burnt pot.
We eat a lot of popcorn, it’s a great snack if you make it yourself and avoid the butter. When we drove home I started to think about popcorn again. For some strange reason the question; How do you make good popcorn? Is the most common question I get. Something that’s so easy, becomes way to complicated and we end up with a microwave bag instead of doing it the old fashion way.
So let me share my popcorn recipe. This one will make your popcorn crunchy and your pot stain free.
Popcorn’s number one enemy is moist. The problem is that popcorn releases a lot of moist when they pop, hence chewy popcorn and a burned pot. To make really great popcorns you need a large pot (mine is 5,3 qt) with a pasta, or steamer, insert.
The way to make perfect crunchy popcorn and have a stain free pot
This is how I do it.
- Remove the insert and set it aside, close by. Remove the lid, you don’t need it.
- Add 2 tbsp. peanut oil to the pot and set the stove to full heat. Add 3/4 cup of kernels.
- Let them sit on the stove for about ten seconds, remove and swirl the kernels around in the pot for about ten seconds. Back to the stove for another ten second, remove and swirl. Continue like this until the first kernel pops. Immediately put the pot back onto the stove. Don't change the temperature, it's supposed to be hot
- Take the insert, turn it upside down and put it onto the pot, I have to hold mine in place so it doesn’t fall off. Don’t move the pot until the popping stops.
There are two things at work here that’s good for your popcorn. First of all, the constant moving and swirling distribute the heat evenly into your popcorns, that’s why the pot doesn’t burn and most of the kernels pop at the same time. The second thing is the moist, the number one enemy. The holes in the insert releases the steam from the pot and keeps the popcorns fresh and crispy.
A word of warning though, use a metallic insert. I can tell from experience that plastic and hot kernels doesn’t mix… or actually that’s exactly what they do: blend together. I lost a perfectly good plastic colander that way.