After killing my second popcorn maker I vowed to learn how to make my own popcorn from scratch. Bizarrely, it was so simple it really makes you wonder why anyone in their right might conceived of popcorn makers in the first place. For starters, it requires an extra machine made with poor quality marksmanship from some factory offshore, and second, it does a poor job at what it does.
To make your own popcorn, all you need are popcorn seeds, oil (I use olive), a big stewing pot with a lid. If you want a tub, you’ll need 1 cup of un-popped seeds. This is usually how much I put in for one batch. If you want more, just repeat the process.
First add enough oil to cover the bottom of your pot plus a bit extra. You can use as much as you want, but generally you don’t want to overdue it on the grease. Next bring your oil to temperature. Make your pot hot! I go to ¾ as high as my stovetop will allow which is significantly higher than what I’d use for frying an egg. You want your oil to be almost so hot that it’s burning, but not quite so. Play around with your settings and once you get it right, stick to this. All stoves are a bit different.
Next, drop in 3 popcorn seeds and cover the lit. Gently shake it a few times while waiting. You want to wait until all 3 seeds are popped before adding the rest of the seeds. Dump the lot in and cover again. Shake the seeds around every so often while keeping the heat on high. I’ve found that it’s not really necessary to constantly shake the seeds as some mention, but rock it a few times just so the bottom seeds don’t burn on one side. The popcorn will naturally rise to the top leaving your seeds at the bottom.
Not being one for wasting, I wait until the popcorn is almost all popped. This is hard to tell, but you’ll get the hang of it after a while. Just give it some time in between pops. You don’t want to go too long or your risk ruining what you have already popped.
Dump and serve!
Simple topping ideas:
#1 Melted butter and salt.
#2 Melted butter with brown sugar, cinnamon and some salt.
#3 Just cinnamon (for toddlers whom you don’t want to offer too much sugar and extra fat/salt).
When mixing get a covered container and shake in topping a bit at a time while adding more popcorn to help evenly disperse it. There are tones and tones of popcorn topping ideas on the Internet, so find something your family and toddler enjoys. Tried Cajun spice, parmesan, pizza flavouring, caramel? Give it a whirl!
Warning: Be sure to supervise small children with popcorn and remove any seeds before serving!