Perfect Popcorn

Make sure the inside of the pot is completely dry before heating the oil in it, or else the oil will sputter.

  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 quarts, enough for 2 people

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels
  • 1 Tbsp or more (to taste) of butter (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Special equipment:

Method

1 Heat the oil: Heat the oil in a 3-quart thick-bottomed saucepan on medium high heat. If you are using coconut oil, allow all of the solid oil to melt.

2 Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil. Wait for the popcorn kernels to pop.

heat oil and add 3 to 4 popcorn kernels to the pot

3 When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer.

Wait for the popcorn kernels to pop when the popcorn kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels in an even layer

4 Cover the pot, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. (Count out loud! It's fun to do with kids.)

This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.

5 Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner.

Tip: As the popcorn pops, try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper).

6 Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.

once the popcorn stops popping, remove the pot from heat Immediately empty popped popcorn into a serving bowl

With this technique, nearly all of the kernels pop, and nothing burns.

7 Melt butter in the empty hot pan: If you are adding butter, you can easily melt it by placing the butter in the now empty, but hot pan.

melt butter for drizzling over popcorn

Tip: if you let the butter get just a little bit brown, it will add an even more intense, buttery flavor to the butter and to your popcorn.

Just drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn and toss to distribute.

8 Sprinkle the popcorn with salt to taste.

Fun toppings for the popcorn - Spanish smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, cayenne powder, chili pepper, curry powder, cumin, grated Parmesan cheese.