Nothing beats a freshly popped bowl of popcorn at snacktime — but preparing this simple snack can be deceptively tricky to master! Ever end up with a bunch of un-popped kernels at the bottom of your bowl? Or, how about a batch of burnt popcorn? Believe it or not, there are some tricks to help you pop the perfect bowl of popcorn every time!
- Stay near and play it by ear. The best general rule of thumb for cooking popcorn is easy to remember: stay near and play it by ear. Whether you’re preparing popcorn on the stove or in a microwave, you should use all of your senses to help gauge when your snack is finished cooking! When popcorn begins to pop, you should listen closely for gaps between pops. When you can count two seconds between pops, you’ll know it’s time to remove your kernels from the heat.
- Steam away. Always be careful when opening the pot or bag your popcorn has been cooking in! It’s very important to open a bag away from your face because the steam escaping the bag is extremely hot. Same goes for stove-popped corn — lift the lid away from your face — you never know when a rogue kernel may try to escape!
- Seasoning. Don’t forget the toppings! A wildly versatile snack, popcorn can be improved with your favorite sweet or savory seasonings. But, be careful — you don’t want to pre-season your kernels by adding salt to un-popped kernels in oil because it makes the corn tough. Always add your flavors after the corn has finished popping.
- A note on fat. You may not think it matters what fat you use to cook your popcorn in — but it does! Butter tends to burn under high heat, so it is not recommended for popping corn. Oils such as sunflower, canola, coconut, corn, and olive are all excellent alternatives. Check out our own cooking oils here: https://amishcountrypopcorn.com/oil-seasonings/oils/
- Storage matters. It may not seem terribly important to think about how you store your popcorn. But, because moisture plays a huge role in the number of un-popped kernels left in a bowl, it’s crucial to make sure your popcorn doesn’t get too dry in storage. A loss of as little as 3% of moisture can make kernels un-poppable! Use an airtight container stored inside a cupboard for the best results.
Keep these tricks in mind the next time you head to the pantry to pop a bowl of your favorite snack. You’ll find that you’re able to pop the perfect popcorn every time!