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How to Make Perfectly Popped Homemade Popcorn

Updated on January 28, 2015

Popcorn for the Shared Memories

When I was growing up, old fashion skillet popcorn was a food staple in my home. As a little tike, I remember watching my mom pop pan after pan of popcorn until she filled up a big Brown paper grocery bag setting on the kitchen table. The fresh smell of popcorn and the sound of the continuous rhythm of the corn kernels always meant special family time or adventure as dusk came upon us. Dressed in our one piece footy pajamas, my 3 siblings and I would anxiously jump into the little Corvair with our parents and our enormous overstuffed bag of popcorn and head for the drive-in theater. The almost magical aroma of homemade popcorn seems to bring people together and create a happy environment. Whenever I make a fresh batch of popcorn, it will always be a friendly reminder of wonderful memories. I'm sorry, but microwave popcorn isn't the same nor does it give you the same sentimental feelings.

The Process

Making skillet popcorn can be very easy as long as you apply a few simple tricks to the cooking process. It tastes better, it's healthier, and costs much less than microwave popcorn. The best pan to use would be a deep skillet pan, not a frying pan. You can use a saucepan, however, the results may not always be the same. It takes a little more practice getting it right every time.

  • Pour 2 Tbs. oil into pan so there is just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Turn on the burner to high, drop one kernel into the oil and wait a minute for the oil to get hot.
  • When the oil starts to bubble and the kernel pops, drop in enough popcorn so that all of the kernels get covered in oil approx. 1/2 cup.
  • Set burner at medium high to high
  • Shake the pan sideways and in a circular motion so they are all covered.
  • Set the pan back on the burner and cover with a lid.
  • Wait a minute until you hear several pops.
  • *Keep hand on the lid at all times. If popcorn overfills the pan, you can hold the popcorn into the pan by lightly holding the kernels down with the lid.
  • Pick up the pan and hover over the burner as close as possible without touching the burner.
  • Move pan side to side and in circular motion - shake occasionally to keep unpopped kernels at the bottom close to the heat.
  • When the popping reduces to about 3 pops, quickly pour in into a large bowl.

How do you like your popcorn cooked?

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Optional Seasonings to Try

  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese from your boxed mac. and cheese
  • Cinnamon and Sugar
  • Tapateo
  • Garlic Salt
  • Basil
  • Rosemary

If you have any great suggestions for cooking or flavoring your popcorn. Please share!


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    • 4wardthinker profile image

      4wardthinker 4 years ago from Sierra Nevada CA

      Hi jimmar! I normally use canola oil or vegetable oil, but I like to switch it up. Coconut oil is good if you like the coconut flavor. I have decided that I like the white better. It seems to pop fatter kernels. Enjoy!

    • jimmar profile image

      jimmar 4 years ago from Michigan

      Pan popped! Much better than microwave bag popcorn. Yuck.. Do you prefer yellow or white popcorn? Any recommended oil? or just use what's available? Seems I remember my Grandfather using Crisco. I'm going to try the rosemary.