Simplicity At It’s Finest

Popcorn. Do you know how to make it at home? Can you make it without burning it? Are you only doing microwave popcorn? I grew up with a popcorn popper. It was a “small appliance” that had a shoot so as the popcorn popped it went into the bowl you set in front of it. When I lived on my own I only did microwave popcorn and when I go to the movies my husband has to have a tub of buttered popcorn. However the idea of trying to make it at home seemed ambiguous and illusive.

I do have some memories of someone trying to make popcorn on the stove when I was younger and the smell of burn popcorn wafting through the house. The idea of making popcorn on the stove seemed like a dark art to me but nothing could be further from the truth.

Before even having a reliable recipe I has seen heirloom popcorn kernels at the farmers market and couldn’t resist. With all the colors it was begging to both be purchased and tried. At that point I had seen how to make your own microwave popcorn at home using a brown paper lunch bag but try as we might it was a failure.

Then one day scrolling through twitter I came across an article from Food52 about fluffier popcorn. I was curious so I clicked on the article and it talked about how soaking the kernels in water for 10 minutes “might” make your popcorn better. After they tested this theory it turned out there was an increase in volume but there was no improvement in how well it popped meaning unpeopled kernels. It then talked about their basic popcorn recipe. So I clicked on that link.

I read the recipe and was shocked at it’s ease so I decided to concur the fear of nasty burnt stove top popcorn.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 quart Saucepan
  • ⅓ cup Popcorn Kernels
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable or Grapeseed Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt

If you want to do the “fluffy” popcorn soak the kernels in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Drain and use.


Add the oil to your pan along with 3 kernels. Place the pan over medium high heat. Place the lid loosely on the pan but leave slightly open. Wait for ALL three kernels to pop. Move the pan off the heat and carefully add all the kernels. Let rest for 30 seconds. Place the pan back on the heat and occasionally shake holding the lid slightly open. Once the kernels start to pop it will go very quickly. Wait for the popping to slow to about 2 seconds between pops. Remove from the heat. Once the popping has stopped pour into a large bowl. Drizzle with the melted butter and a big pinch of salt. Toss to coat well. Enjoy!

I have done this process twice now both times smoking the kernels before and each time this process worked flawlessly. I never burn my popcorn and now I have total control over the type of corn, the type and amount of butter as well as salt, and the process couldn’t be easier. So ditch the microwave bags and make it on the stove to enjoy this treat!

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