I have strong feelings about popcorn. It’s always been a staple in my household and is more than just the occasional movie food. Growing up my mom would pop a big bowl, top with salt and mix in some raisins – the perfect simple snack. Freshly popped popcorn is a blank canvas to be dressed however you like, but one thing is for sure, it should never be made in the microwave. Stove-popped popcorn is so easy and delicious you’ll never want to go back to the prepackaged variety. Below are some tips on how to make the perfect stove top popcorn and a few ways to jazz it up.
Stove Top Popcorn
You’ll need a large pot with lid – preferably a 12 qt stock pot, vegetable oil and popcorn kernels. If you’re looking for a slightly healthier option, replace the vegetable oil with coconut cooking oil. I don’t usually measure when I make popcorn, which I’m realizing isn’t extremely helpful when you’re trying to detail out the steps, but here goes…
To start, coat the bottom of the pot with oil, a good rule of thumb would be about 4 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of kernels. Next, add your popcorn kernels to the oil. Kernels should be well coated in oil, spread out in the bottom of the pot and not piled onto of each other. Place the lid on the pot and turn on the heat to high-medium. Once you hear the first few kernels begin to pop lower the heat to a medium setting and slightly tilt the lid of the pot so a small amount of steam is able to escape. Hangout nearby while the rest of the kernels pop. When the popping slows down, quickly remove from heat and transfer into a large bowl. Now the fun begins!
Dried Fruit & Nut Popcorn
This recipe is ideal for fall and would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving pre-turkey snack table. I love the combination of the crunchy popcorn with the chewy dried fruit. Here I took my popcorn and mixed in 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and topped with salt.
Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
Let’s face it, cinnamon sugar is great on just about everything and this popcorn recipe is no different. Here you’ll need 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. I like to have this mixture on hand to use while baking and keep it stored in a small mason jar. Drizzle the popcorn with the melted butter. Then evenly sprinkle on your cinnamon sugar mixture, toss well to ensure popcorn is well coated.
I have a serious sweet tooth so this version may be my favorite of the three and is super easy to make. In addition to your popcorn all you’ll need is 1 cup dark chocolate morsels and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. To start, melt your dark chocolate in the microwave using a microwave safe bowl and stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. To make sure I evenly coated the popcorn, I lined a baking sheet with wax paper and spread out the popcorn in a single layer. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow the chocolate to harden for about 5 minutes (or just dig in).