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View Full Version : Popcorn; What am I Doing Wrong?



Jembru
17 Sep 2016, 19:03
I thought it would be a cool money saving idea to start making my own popcorn instead of buying the ready made stuff, not to mention healthier as I can control what I'm adding to it as flavouring. The first time I tried it, the first batch was a bit burnt, but then the second batch came out great. I gave that one to JP to he could have it while it was warm, and returned to the hob to make my own. That was a complete disaster. The corn was burning onto the bottom of the pan before even half the kernels had popped. The smell was horrible, filling every corner of the flat, and I couldn't get the pan clean for days (I've since discovered boiling rice in the pan and then scrubbing it with the rice starch gets it gleaming again).

I checked online and found a tip where you put 3 kernels in the pan and wait until all 3 pop. That means it's hot enough and you can add the rest of your corn. Great I thought. So I did that, got my 3 pops (removed them) and added the rest of the corn. You guessed it, another stinky kitchen and more scrubbing with rice.

What am I doing wrong?

Oh I was using cooking oil at first by the way, and then tried butter, although it was lurpak butter so I don't know if that affected anything. I've read that coconut oil is good but I don't know if that's just because it's the latest food fad, or if there is genuinely a difference.

Hawkfeathers
17 Sep 2016, 19:15
My father used to make it in a big skillet, but I don't know the secret! I bought an air-popper and use that - it's really easy & fast.

kalynraye
17 Sep 2016, 19:32
Alrighty my love. Cold pot oil and the corn you want popped. Cover the pot with a lid or sheet pan. Turn your heat to medium-high and do not walk away. As it starts to get warm holding the lid down shake the pot. It helps distribute heats and keeps the corn from burning. You need to listen because once most of the corn is popped turn off the heat and keep shaking until you don't hear any more popping. Key here is not walking away and keep shaking that pot.

Another idea I don't know if you have a microwave but if so brown paper bag add corn fold over bag and cook for 2 mins. It will pop. Season and enjoy

Medusa
17 Sep 2016, 19:54
yeah microwave the popcorn in a bag. After put in bowl, spray with cooking oil of your choice, sprinkle with spices. Nom nom.

hint: Parmesan is your friend!

anunitu
17 Sep 2016, 20:20
I did this as a kid with the metal popper thing. Like this. you shook it over the heat on a stove.
http://laurelleaffarm.com/item-photos/primitive-vintage-campfire-popcorn-popper-wood-handle-wire-basket-Laurel-Leaf-Farm-item-no-b7257-2.jpg

When I first got to use an air popper,that was the best.

- - - Updated - - -

also this,secret was keep it moving..
http://laurelleaffarm.com/item-photos/rustic-vintage-campfire-popcorn-popper-wire-basket-corn-popper-wood-handle-Laurel-Leaf-Farm-item-no-s6335-5.jpg

Jembru
17 Sep 2016, 21:06
Thanks for the tips! I'm actually a little scared of the microwave so only JP ever uses it. I've been thinking that it's time to get over it already, but it's a real phobia so it's not that easy!


Alrighty my love. Cold pot oil and the corn you want popped. Cover the pot with a lid or sheet pan. Turn your heat to medium-high and do not walk away. As it starts to get warm holding the lid down shake the pot. It helps distribute heats and keeps the corn from burning. You need to listen because once most of the corn is popped turn off the heat and keep shaking until you don't hear any more popping. Key here is not walking away and keep shaking that pot.

I'm definitely trying this. I never even thought to remove the pan from the heat once the corn is mostly popped but it's such an obvious thing to do!

Rae'ya
18 Sep 2016, 03:03
Mum used to pop ours in a big saucepan with the lid on. I don't think she added butter or oil at first... just the popping corn. Put it on the heat, turn it up, stand with it and shake the pot around. Take it off when the pops slow right down, but keep the lid on for a few more minutes (off the heat). Then she added icing suger and butter afterwards.

I actually don't make popcorn, because I don't really like it. When Torey makes it he uses the paper bags from the supermarket.

DragonsFriend
18 Sep 2016, 09:21
To make perfect popcorn use the same volume of cooking oil as you do popcorn kernels. I use an eight quart stock pot. Put 1/4 cup oil in it and a heaping 1/4 cup of kernels. Place three kernels in the pan and turn it to medium high. When the kernels pop, cover after throwing in the rest of the kernels and shake. This keeps the unpopped kernels in the oil and the popped kernels on top. When the popping slows turn the heat off and keep shaking the pan until the popping stops. butter and salt to taste and eat.

note: I don't eat popcorn but my wife likes it so she eats the entire batch. 1/4 cup of kernels should easily be enough for two or even three people. Topped with 1/4 cup of butter and a dash of salt is usually good.

thalassa
18 Sep 2016, 15:09
We have an air popper, which I prefer, because no oil and no single use anything. But before the air popper, we used a regular brown bag to make popcorn in the microwave. Also, we have one of these (https://www.amazon.com/West-Bend-82505-Popcorn-6-Quart/dp/B00KL8SM92/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1474239819&sr=1-1&keywords=popcorn+poppers+electric) that we got at the thrift store, which is sweet because its basically stove top with zero work and a built in bowl. Also, Jem, think about it more as a way to do magic (https://nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/popcorn-magic/)...and science (http://www.carolina.com/teacher-resources/Interactive/the-science-of-popcorn/tr23952.tr) at the same time! It might make it more fun...

Medusa
18 Sep 2016, 19:18
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/6d/6c/e9/6d6ce9bb50dc88e6b06289ae05b3d878.jpg

anyone remember these? I used to love to make popcorn, pop in a vhs and have a blast!

Hawkfeathers
18 Sep 2016, 19:19
^^^ That's what my air popper looks like. It isn't that brand, but the style's the same.

B. de Corbin
19 Sep 2016, 09:06
...Also, Jem, think about it more as a way to do magic (https://nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/popcorn-magic/)...and science (http://www.carolina.com/teacher-resources/Interactive/the-science-of-popcorn/tr23952.tr) at the same time! It might make it more fun...

Way back in the before time - before microwaves, before Blueray/DVD/VCR, and Netflix, when I still had hair and wore 'jammies with feet in them, making popcorn was part of a ritual.

Dad was the High Priest of Popcorn - only HE made it. He had a special measuring cup for the oil, and another for the popcorn. These were never used for any other purpose. He'd let us kids watch him in the kitchen (the only time he cooked), and, if he thought we were ready, he'd let us shake the pot.

Then, he sprinkle the magic tasties on it - melted butter and salt.

And finally the whole family would sit on he couch and watch The Wonderful World of Disney each Saturday (or maybe Sunday) night. We'd also oerform this ritual when there was something special to watch on TV, like The Wizard of Oz or Peter Pan, which you could ONLY see when it was on TV - about once a year.

Family rituals are bonding rituals ;)

Ula
26 Sep 2016, 09:44
I always put my oil and popcorn in cold. Let it warm up and pop. Once the popping slows take it off the head and put it in a bowl right away. I never use the microwave

Jembru
27 Sep 2016, 06:27
Hey, I finally had time to get popping last night!

http://i872.photobucket.com/albums/ab290/jembru/20160926_232410_zpsrcovj5l3.jpg (http://s872.photobucket.com/user/jembru/media/20160926_232410_zpsrcovj5l3.jpg.html)

It worked just great and it was thanks to the advice I got here! Once it started popping I turned down the heat but also kept lifting the pan off the hob altogether while shaking it and then putting it back down when the popping slowed down! I had a few bits only partly popped in the bottom but most of it popped just fine. I also put way more kernels in than I needed. In addition to that bowl I also filled a 2 litre flour jar! JP and I are going to see that new zombie movie 'The Girl with all the Gifts' tonight so I'll take the jar with us!

A little goes such a long way. This is going to save us a fortune in snack food!

Ula
29 Sep 2016, 05:59
Cool. I love when people don't use microwave popcorn.

Jembru
29 Sep 2016, 16:06
Okay everyone, so now you've got me popping like a pro my next question is..

..What are your best flavourings for home-popped corn?

In particular, JP loves anything flavoured with lemon, but I don't actually know how I'd go about making lemon flavoured popcorn without it getting soggy.


Cool. I love when people don't use microwave popcorn.

Well, I'm scared of microwaves so I couldn't. Any unexpected sound or movement in the microwave sends me into a panic and I switch it off at the mains and pull out the plug before the house explodes in a giant fireball killing us all!

Mind you, one of my personal development aims for the next lunar cycle (starting with tomorrow's new moon) is to explore my fears and start facing them. This will include getting used to cooking with a microwave. Not having to wash 2 or 3 pans after every meal will be so freeing!

I think popcorn will be a bit of a stretch because of the popping, but if you say hob is better, I'll probably use that as an excuse not to try it in the microwave!

thalassa
29 Sep 2016, 17:09
Jem, lemon pepper and garlic salt are delicious together...including on popcorn.

Also, you can use regular loose popcorn and a brown lunch bag to make popcorn in the microwave--no special microwave popcorn stuff required (there's also a microwave popcorn popper, which is reusable)

anunitu
29 Sep 2016, 17:59
There is a school of thought(ran into it online) that contends microwaves alter food in a bad way,BUT truth be told any cooking alters our food(their are facts that barbecuing{grilling} is bad for your eating habits,but does taste good. Main thing is,you have to eat,so just try and not eat too much. Too much of any kind of food can be a problem(see Thals moderation talk) all things in moderation,including moderation.

thalassa
29 Sep 2016, 18:36
truth be told any cooking alters our food(their are facts that barbecuing{grilling} is bad for your eating habits,but does taste good.

Then again...if we didn't cook our food, we'd never have evolved big brains...maybe (this is a contentious area of human evolution)

Jembru
29 Sep 2016, 18:47
Jem, lemon pepper and garlic salt are delicious together...including on popcorn.

Also, you can use regular loose popcorn and a brown lunch bag to make popcorn in the microwave--no special microwave popcorn stuff required (there's also a microwave popcorn popper, which is reusable)

Thanks for the tip! I've just found a recipe for making your own lemon pepper at home. JP and I use a lot of lemons (I make sure there's always a chopped up lemon in the fridge so JP can help himself to a slice whenever he likes.. he's that addicted!), so I've no shortage of lemon zest!


There is a school of thought(ran into it online) that contends microwaves alter food in a bad way,BUT truth be told any cooking alters our food(their are facts that barbecuing{grilling} is bad for your eating habits,but does taste good. Main thing is,you have to eat,so just try and not eat too much. Too much of any kind of food can be a problem(see Thals moderation talk) all things in moderation,including moderation.

Exactly! I used to like to think I was better off by avoiding microwaves but they actually debunked the myth on the BBC's Trust me I'm a Doctor (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/52rdrpwlcvDSMpbG9QnMk3X/does-microwaving-food-make-it-less-healthy) (I LOVE that show!!). In fact, they showed that because using a microwave reduces cooking time and removes the need to use additional liquid such as with boiling or steaming, it actually retains more of the nutrients if you're cooking things like vegetables.

anunitu
29 Sep 2016, 18:54
I read where a woman went on an ALL fish diet for a while,and was hit with mercury poisoning. I try and limit my fish intake to never more than once a week. variety is a good habit with food(mix it up) Think also Potatoes and the Irish(not the same,but still)

pillar
30 Sep 2016, 07:41
Has anyone ever tried plain popcorn(no seasoning) and drinking black coffee with it? It is a great match.

Prickly Pear
30 Sep 2016, 09:31
Yes! I have never found anyone else who has noticed the "flavor matching" of popcorn and coffee. There is a similar note. If I can smell it, I know I will like the coffee. I pretty much always like popcorn.

Hawkfeathers
30 Sep 2016, 14:25
Popcorn/black coffee - YES!!

The all-fish diet/mercury poisoning person was Daphne Zuniga, an actress from "Melrose Place".

anunitu
30 Sep 2016, 14:39
Now I MUST try the popcorn/coffee connection. Is this really an urban legend? Very interesting(with slight German accent)
https://mtgawines.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/very-interesting.jpg