Popcorn - The Old-fashioned Way!

Barry5kJune 10, 2005

I love popcorn. I was wondering if anyone actually pops popcorn without using the microwave kind. What is your secret for the best popcorn, kettlecorn, and any other kind of popcorn??

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Hey Barry I can cover this question! To get the best popcorn, you need to use coconut oil. I Know it's gotten a bad rap, however coconut oil is really better for you than the press it's received. Besides, it's a treat, and not something you eat every day.

After you make it, crisping it in the oven on 200 degrees is another trick. You can crisp it for up to four hours. Like toasting nuts brings out the flavor, oven crisping does the same for popcorn. It's a great way to make and keep on hand a large quantity, since I can only pop a small amount at a time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Perfect Movie Popcorn

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 3:14PM
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I love popcorn!!! Claire's right, it's wonderful made with coconut oil, but I save that for the occasional treat. My usual choice is peanut oil. My only secret is using a heavy pan. Never have to shake ... just let it do its thing.

Like to season with Spike or Kernel Season's White Cheddar. I've also switched to the after breaking one too many teeth.

Here is a link that might be useful: White Cheddar

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 6:44PM
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Yeah baby, coconut oil! I melt half butter and half coconut oil and stir in a clove of mashed garlic. Stir it up and pour it on the salted popcorn.

This might not sound like a healthy food but I use organic popcorn, raw butter from grassfed cows, virgin coconut oil, raw garlic and sea salt. All of the taste, none of the guilt.

I use a lot of coconut oil.

Here is a link that might be useful: coconut oil

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 6:58PM
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Yum, this sounds good.
I started making popcorn the old fashioned way a few months ago, when I realized I hated the smell of MV popcorn. I've never tried coconut oil. Does it give the popcorn a flavor?
rosieo.......what a healthy way to go with all your organic stuff! That makes microwave popcorn look toxic!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 11:25PM
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There was a Dairy Queen near a town I used to live in that made great popcorn. According to a friend, they used schmaltz instead of oil.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 7:07PM
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I've never used anything fancy, just a hot pan, some oil, and a helping of Jolly Time. For me, the secret to good popcorn is using fresh kernels and lots of real butter. Oh and salt, of course. I don't like any flavors to come between me and my buttered 'corn. It amazes me that everyone seems to have gone over to mw popcorn when it is so obviously inferior.

For my kids, I pop up the corn and put a little salt on it (no butter). They love it and it is a decent snack food.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 12:04AM
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I've never looked for it, so I just can't recall. Can you buy coconut oil in most grocery stores? Or a specialty store?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 1:07PM
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I've seen coconut oil at Walmart.

It's also sold through the same company where I buy popcorn.

That reminds me ... last Christmas I gave a couple Whirlypops as gifts. They were a big hit! Apparently, that thing does a great job of popping corn. I'd get one for myself if I had room to store it in my kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amish Country Popcorn

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 1:24PM
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HanArt, this is the same coconut oil I get at my Price Chopper. It's really good, and yes, it does flavor the popcorn. You can always tell the difference.

Here is a link that might be useful: coconut oil

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 2:07PM
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When I really want good popcorn I go to the local movie theater, buy some (buttered and salted) and leave without buying a ticket. They're used to me, LOL

If I make it at home I agree, coconut oil is the best for popping, and real butter for topping, not margarine. Mmmmm.

Of course, I also love Jiffy Pop, and make that instead of microwave popcorn. I remember I loved watching that pan puff up when I was a kid....


    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 2:14PM
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I forgot to add, HanArt, that I had one of those Whirly-pop type pans and it worked great, until I broke the "turner". That was several years ago, when I was more prone to just toss things that I broke. Now I try to fix them, or take them to Dad to see if he can fix them. Live and learn.....

So, I just use my biggest skillet with a lid and shake, shake, shake.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 2:17PM
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I just use my wok (which is heavy), and find that the popping corn doesn't really need to be stirred or shaken. Of course, I realize that some may prefer the more ''interactive'' method! ;) If the pan is thin like the Whirlypops, then turning down the heat a little after it starts popping will keep your popcorn from burning.

Oh yes, I believe in real butter for popcorn if you're going to be totally decadent. I had to laugh at my sister who thought the transfat in coconut oil was terrible, but poured a melted stick of butter on her popcorn made with Canola oil!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 3:59PM
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I have always used one particular aluminum pan. For some reason it pops much better than the stainless steel. But after reading all your posts I bid on and won a whirlypop yesterday on ebay. Now to get some coconut oil!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 1:31PM
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I just bought and popped some organic popcorn from our Whole Foods store. I am very impressed! The taste is better than anything I've tried and almost every kernel popped. In fact, we went to a movie and brought home some of the popcorn to test against it, and the organic popcorn was the big winner for taste and texture. Guess where I'm headed tomorrow?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 12:36AM
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Claire, is it tender? That's one of my requirements.

I just received my order from Amish Country. Twelve pounds should last me for a while, but I'll check out Whole Foods later this year.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 11:38PM
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Tender? Totally!

Let us know how your Amish Country popcorn turns out, will you? I just signed up for David Rosengarten's Tastings e-newsletter and he claims the best popcorn comes from Wabash Valley Farms in Indiana. Everything being subjective, it would be interesting to test them side by side.

Here is a link that might be useful: David Rosengarten's favorite popcorn

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 1:51PM
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Claire, I picked up a bag of Amish Country Popcorn on a visit home a few years ago and have been buying it online ever since.

Looks like Wabash Valley Farms sells Amish Country Popcorn ... at least it's pictured on their site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wabash Valley Farms

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 11:20AM
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Has anyone ever heard of Heritage popcorn, a customer where I work told me that it is the old fashioned corn meant to be popped in a pot and that it is delicious, unfortunately, I can't find it on the internet.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 10:56PM
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Coconut oil is a very saturated vegetable oil, just like schmaltz (chicken fat) is a saturated animal oil. Chemically and biologically they act the same - they clog your arteries. However, used in moderation as a treat I don't have a problem with that. :)

Saturated oils resist breaking down at high temperatures, like you use for popping corn. That's why coconut oil works well. Also adds a bit of flavor.

Crisping it in the oven I've never heard of, and a great idea!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:55PM
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I like to use flavored oils for popcorn - garlic, pepper.Flavors the popcorn - then I won't add butter. During the winter I'll add alittle Aspen Mulling Spice to the oil gives a sweet cinnamon flavor.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 10:46PM
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Try sprinkling Old Bay seasoning on your popcorn. Yum, and no need for butter.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 11:27PM
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I use the microwave, but I don't use the bagged stuff.

Years ago my Mother got me a bowl, made out of some sort of dull-looking, thick plastic (reminds me of bakelite) that has something embedded in the bottom.

In the nuker the bottom heats up and the kernels pop. Works great, and I've been using it for going on 15 or so years now.

As for how I enjoy my popcorn, I love it drenched in butter and loaded with salt, but that's simply not healthy.

So, last night when I made, I got out my Misto olive oil sprayer, very lightly coated the popcorn, and lightly salted it.

Not bad. Not as good as having melted cow and a cow lick on it, but still not bad.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 12:21AM
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I use olive oil for making popcorn (and everything else :-) As others have mentioned having fresh kernels is key. I live out in the country now and the stores all sell large containers. When I lived in the city I was able to buy 8 oz containers; that was the right amount to stay fresh until I finished it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 1:52PM
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Donna, I'd like to know how you like your Whirlypop machine. (or anyone else with one). I just bought one for my son as a gift. (He lives out of state) I bought it from the company, and hope it was worth the money.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 12:24PM
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foggy, I gave 3 of them as Christmas gifts last year. Got glowing reviews from one family ... parents and kids. I have a feeling the other two never used theirs.

If I had room to store it, I'd buy oneself one.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 8:08PM
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antfarmer - you can store popcorn in your freezer and it stays fresh. I take it directly from the freezer to the popper.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 10:07PM
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My teenage son makes microwave popcorn from fresh kernels in a microwave popper.

He has discovered that gourmet butter from Denmark and France does taste better. DW is a soft touch, so she lets him.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 12:12AM
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I was looking on the web to see if you could freeze unpopped popcorn. It said don't. I use a WHIRLEY-POP popper.I like to get the popcorn from Sams. the only trouble is it comes in such a big bag. I use peanut oil and it is so good I wouldn't want it any better. If you use enough oil it pops good and not many old maids. There is no need to add butter, just salt to taste.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 10:55AM
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You'd be amazed how many kids didn't know you could pop corn on the stove. There is a generation growing up with the idea that the only way to make popcorn is in a microwave, and I suspect most only buy the prepackaged bags. And the popcorn poppers that I grew up with and took off to college as our single multi-purpose cooking appliance appear to be long gone.

I have never frozen popcorn, but the popcorn folks say you can (I think it was Amish Country that I had called to ask a question, but not sure). I haven't had it fail on me, but I double bag it or put it in an airtight container when I get it.

I read about Amish Country on another forum and placed an order to try it. About the time we finished that order, my youngest got braces, so we stuck with them and ordered the "hulless" varieties so he could still have popcorn. We "fill the box" and stock up for a while. Buying some kettle corn while out a month or two ago and having tons of hulls getting stuck around and between teeth has me thinking hulless may be the only way to go even with DS's braces having just come off.

I pop with an oil blend and in a regular pan. Making kettle corn at home has tempted me to get a Whirly Pop, but I'm the one who likes that the most and I don't need to be eating enough of it to justify finding a place or way to store one.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 1:53PM
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I also use a wok with a lid for excellent results.
I do 1/2 cup of popcorn and add olive oil to touch all kernels. While popping the corn, I lift the lid slightly (just slightly) to increase the amount of steam that gets released. I also give it a little shake every now and then to make sure that the unpopped kernels are at the bottom. Some kernels burn, but the popcorn is still way better than any other method that I have tried:

Wok > Whirley Pop (which I started using to roast coffee) > hot air popper > microwave popcorn bowl. Microwave popcorn bags taste good, but I don't trust them.

I season with salt and pepper (lots of pepper) and serve it to my wife with a glass of port.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 2:23PM
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I air pop the popcorn, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of EVOO on it, and some Kosher salt. And love the way the olive oil tastes. Heart healthy and yummy!

Lots of wonderful memories of the college dorm popcorn poppers back in the 1960s. They certainly got a work out! And, we'd heat up soup in the popcorn poppers, too--- the kind with tripod legs.

I'd rather have home made popcorn 100 times over the microwave popcorn bags. Sad to think there are kids growing up who don't know the difference!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 9:26PM
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I like the way my cheapo hot air popper puffs up the kernels so there are no hard semi-popped ones. My kiddoes use this method also, since I never buy the micro-stuff (can't believe there is a dedicated control button on my MW for it....)

And here I thought we were the only ones who used this same appliance to roast coffee.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:39PM
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So far the responses have said salt, butter, flavored oil, not so much kettle corn. I love to make kettle corn in the Whirley Pop. More often than not, I get a few that's burnt at the bottom even with constant stirring. The oil clumps up the sugar I stopped putting in so much sugar so there's not as much extra sugar to burn, but the taste is weak.

Is there a trick to making kettle corn, like a different pot or different oil/sugar/corn ratio? My recipe is about 1:1:2 (oil, sugar, corn), though I've started eyeballing so I can adjust on the fly. I'd love to make popcorn without shaking as some have pointed out, but it's a fine line tweaking the heat between burning some and popping most kernels.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 12:17PM
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Here is a web site that has really good tips: http://shop.justpoppin.com/best-popcorn-popping-method-video.html
It has great information about the moisture level and how the kernels pop.
Check it out!

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Popcorn Popping Tips (Video too)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 1:28PM
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