Raise your hand if you once owned (or currently own) one of those spiffy 1980’s-ish cream colored electric Presto Pop-Lite air poppers for popcorn with the bright gold plastic top with the little cup that melted the butter.
Yup. We were proud owners and then I melted them. (Yes, “them”. I melted two of them)
Truth be told, I really don’t remember how it happened. The first one just had a melted and disfigured little cap – the one where you could heat the butter while it was popping. It no longer fit on the hole in the top, but without it, the popcorn shot out like confetti. The second air popper? Well. All you need to know is that it melted.
Let’s move on.
Since we found ourselves without an air popper, I did what any experienced cook does, and I googled how to make it on the stove top. It can’t be that hard, right?
But there are a few tricks that you need to know in order to get it to turn out just right without burning and without leaving 47 un-popped kernels in the bottom of the pan.
Here are some incredibly simple directions for making popcorn on your stove top in less than five minutes! I hate to call it a “recipe” because – seriously – it’s popcorn.
But, here is where I recommend starting and you can adjust as you become a skilled and proficient pop corn-maker!
Start with a large, deep stainless steel pan with a METAL lid. Don’t even think about using a tempered glass lid so that you can see what’s going on. Be ok with not seeing it or the glass shatters. Trust me. I use my 8 quart soup pot that has a metal lid and I usually double this recipe. To the pan add:
3 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil (I prefer coconut oil because it’s great for high heat cooking. Peanut oil and palm shortening are also great options, but we love the lightly swet taste of the coconut oil and I always have it on hand, since we buy it in bulk for cooking and medicinal purposes.)
1/3 c. pop corn kernels
First, add in the coconut oil and 3 or 4 kernels. Place the lid back on top and turn your burner to HI. (We have a gas range so this goes quite fast, but it can still be done with an electric stove top as well.)
Listen carefully for those 3-4 kernels to pop. These were the guinea pig kernels that took one for the team to gauge the heat of your oil. As soon as your hear them popping, remove the pan from the heat, dump in your 1/3 c. of pop corn kernels and immediately place the lid back on top.
Using pot holders (again, trust me on this one), keep the pot away from the heat and gently swirl the kernels around in the oil for 30 seconds. At this point, you may hear a few of them pop, but the point is that all of the kernels reach the same internal temperature at the same time, before they go right back on the heat.
After 30 seconds, place the pan back on the burner and away she goes! Your popcorn will go crazy and start popping all at the same time! Which also means that it will finish fairly quickly. As soon as you hear it start to slow down, give it another 10-15 seconds and turn off the heat. It may continue to pop a bit, so leave the lid on until you hear that it has stopped.
In general, the measurements for the oil and popcorn are very forgiving. Just make sure that you have more than enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan once it melts. Also, start small, and build up your amounts once you see how much volume your pot can handle. If you purchase organically grown popcorn or heirloom popcorn, the kernels tend to be a little smaller and they pop up smaller as well.
Regardless of the amount of popcorn that you make, the most valuable tip in making stove top popcorn is removing it from the heat for 30 seconds before you finish popping. You’ll be amazed to see that almost every kernel will have popped if you try it this way!
Now, no one can seriously like naked popcorn without something yummy either melted or sprinkled on top. If you do, I’m not sure that we can be friends…
Here are a few of my favorite recipes from around the web!
Breakfast Popcorn :: Soule Mama (seriously – it’s popcorn with bacon for breakfast. Brilliant.)
Homemade Stove Top Kettle Corn :: Red and Honey
Yummy Caramel Corn :: Passionate Homemaking
Garlic Parmesan Popcorn :: The Gracious Pantry
What is your favorite way to season or dress up your popcorn??