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How to Make Popcorn

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5-Minute Crafts put together step-by-step instructions for you to try 3 different methods of making popcorn. Preparing popcorn on the stove-top results in more dense and crunchy popcorn. On the other hand, popping kernels in the microwave can come in handy if you’re in a hurry or if you don’t want to deal with hot oil. If you’re looking for an original presentation, you can try making popcorn on the cob.

A. Stove-top

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil (or any other fat you like, see point 1)
  • A Dutch oven or a Whirley Pop (see note below)
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels

Note: A Whirley Pop can come in handy to coat the kernels in oil evenly. But if you don’t have one, you can just use a Dutch oven and it will work just as well.

1. Preheat the oil.

Cover the bottom of a Dutch oven or a Whirley Pop with about 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil and heat over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

Tips:

  • You can use other oils like sunflower, safflower, vegetable, canola, or corn, however, grapeseed oil has a high smoking point, which is good for this recipe.
  • Classic popcorn is just finished with salt. If you crave butter flavor, use 1/4 cup ghee with 1/4 cup oil instead.
  • If you’re up for trying something new, you can use duck fat or bacon fat instead of oil.

2. Check to see if the oil is warm enough.

Throw in 2 or 3 kernels of corn. Once they pop up, the oil is warm enough and you can lower the heat to medium-low.

3. Add the rest of the kernels.

If you’re using a Dutch oven, cover it with the lid but leave it slightly open for the steam to be able to escape. Shake the pot every once in a while.

If you’re using a Whirley Pop, then close the lid (it already has a vented lid that allows it to build-up steam to escape), hold the wooden handle with one hand, and slowly turn the crank with the other.

In both cases, once the popping settles down, take off the fire, and season it with salt. Let the popcorn sit for 5 minutes before eating.

Tips:

  • If you’re using a Dutch oven and you’re afraid of oil splashing out, you can cover the inner part of the lid with a kitchen towel and close the lid completely.
  • If you’re up for something new, you can try seasoning with Spanish pimentón, cumin, sweet paprika, and salt.

B. Microwave

If you’re buying a commercial brand of popcorn, just follow the instructions at the back of the package. Otherwise you’ll need:

  • 1 brown paper bag
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • A microwave

1. Put the kernels in a brown paper bag

Add 1/4 cup kernels to a brown paper bag.

  • Tip: Make sure you seal the bag so the kernels do not to escape when they pop. Also, make sure the bag does not have metal staples or anything metallic attached to it.

2. Put in the microwave

Set the timer like you would for commercial popcorn (usually between 2-4 minutes on HIGH or until the popping settles down). Season to your liking and enjoy.

  • Tip: When the popping slows down to about 2 seconds between pops, stop the microwave.

C. Popcorn on the cob

What you’ll need:

  • 2 brown paper bags
  • a popcorn cob
  • a microwave
  • butter or oil

1. Remove the silk from corn.

Using your fingers, remove any remaining silk from the cob to make sure it’s clean when you microwave it.

2. Spread butter or oil over the cob.

Use a butter knife to spread butter over the cob. If you don’t want buttered popcorn, you can use oil instead.

3. Place the cob in a paper bag.

Now place the cob in one of the brown paper bags and then fold the open end. Then carefully place the closed bag with the cob into the other bag. The sealed part of the bag with the cob should be placed against the bottom of the other bag.

4. Pop in the microwave

Pop the cob in the microwave at 50-75 percent power for about 4 minutes. Time may vary depending on the microwave you’re using.

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