Make Popcorn That Puts The Theater To Shame

You can tailor your popcorn flavors to your wants and needs: spicy, sweet, salty or a mix of all of the above.

Nothing’s more relaxing than sitting down to binge on episodes of your favorite TV show with a bowl of popcorn. If you’re learning to cook online, however, there’s no reason to use a store-bought bag. Next time, skip the microwave and make your own popcorn at home. Here’s how to get started:

Picking your oil
Oil can add flavor as well as preventing the kernels from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It’s best to go for a variety that has a high smoke point so it can handle the temperatures required for popping. For that reason, Simply Recipes suggested using canola, peanut or coconut oil.

“Go for an oil with a high smoke point.”

However, Bon Appetit pointed out that you can get more daring with your choice of fat. Clarified butter, bacon grease and even duck fat have high enough smoke points to do the job, especially if you’re careful about not turning up the burner too high. Plus, they will add unusual and delicious tastes to set your homemade popcorn apart.

Consider dripping some more oil onto the popcorn once it’s cooked and the smoke point is no longer a major concern. Then you can try something intriguing like an extra-virgin olive oil.

Pop them all
Heating popcorn is all about opening as many kernels as possible without burning them. It’s important to control the heat and stay attentive throughout the process. One method is to heat the oil in a pot or saucepan and test the temperature with three or four kernels before adding the rest.

On the other hand, Alton Brown advised placing the kernels, oil and some salt in a metal mixing bowl and covering it with aluminum foil. According to the celebrity chef, this kind of bowl is perfect for managing the temperature. Cut several slits in the foil before setting the bowl over medium heat. Use tongs to shake it as the kernels pop for the next three minutes or so.

Add more flavor
There’s nothing wrong with finishing off your bowl of popcorn by adding the traditional butter and salt. However, you can also try out a wide range of other spices and add-ins. A little paprika, black pepper or some fresh herbs can all bring a little excitement, especially when heated along with butter or oil.

The Kitchn offered a few other, less conventional suggestions. Nutritional yeast contributes a nicely cheesy and nutty flavor. Throw in some chili powder for a spicy snack or lemon zest and cracked pepper for an aromatic one. With a little advance planning, you can get some brown butter ready for a topping that both tastes of nuts and smells great.

Popcorn is a satisfying snack that encourages friends or family to gather together and share. It’s even better when you take the extra steps to prepare your own and customize the flavor. You may find that what you learn from online cooking lessons can make simple, beloved munchies better than ever.

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