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stagis

Popcorn at home

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Am I the only one who likes a little char on some of the popped corn?  Just a hint of it . .

I would eat chared ones they are good! I have not perfected the char on popcorn but I can get almost every one popped :smile:


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Not so much a char but I do like popcorn with a good tan.

I also like the popcorn nuts. The ones that just opened but didn't explode.

Can't stand the smell of microwave popcorn.

I became a stove top only popper once again after I turned my hot air popper into a dedicated coffee roaster.


Edited by Susie Q (log)

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Thanks for all the responses. I will stick with my cheap brand until it runs out, but I'm tempted to order some from Rancho Gordo. Love everything about RG, including the blog, and would imagine the popcorn is as fresh as the beans.

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Ah, popcorn! I've owned the crank-handled version (impossible to clean) love the brown bag microwave version (not, somehow popcorning tasting enough), and grew up on my father's battered pot example.

This is timely. Last week I pulled the remains of a very generic brand bag from the freezer -- at least three years old, and I followed the rubbed thin directions. I used my best triple bottomed saucepan, poured a layer of canola, corn, vegetable (can't remember) and put one kernel of corn therein. Following the instructions, I waited for the kernel to pop, then covered the bottom of the pot with a layer of corn. It popped like mad, I shook, and I saw everything through the glass lid.

It was terrific, with sea salt and butter melted in the microwave. Five minutes, fifteen cents.


Edited by maggiethecat (log)

Margaret McArthur

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I always dress with evoo and salt instead of butter. Cook in rape oil. Am I alone in dressing with OO?

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How topical, I just popped my own popcorn for the first time last weekend, and have made 4 batches thus far. All attempts involved a 6 qt All-Clad fryer pot, and had me heating the oil first on high heat before adding the corn:

"Rosemary": Threw a whole sprig in the pot with the corn and waited. The sprig burned horribly and stunk up the joint.

"Vanilla Turbinado Sugar": Threw corn in. Waited with the delay on the sugar (1 part oil, 2 parts corn, 1 part sugar), and threw it in after heating up the corn some, but before popping started. Pretty big success.

"Classic Salt & Butter": Threw in corn and popped it. Melted french butter separately and swirled around a much larger bowl. Tossed in popcorn, tossed the popcorn with the butter (like dressing a salad), hit it with salt and served. Very truly buttery, short term success, long term mushiness (once butter re-solidified, stuck to the popcorn then sat around for a few hours).

"Vanilla Turbinado Sugar 2": Threw corn and sugar in the pot together. Sugar melted and somewhat clumped. Didn't seem to impact the end result much at all to be honest. Maybe a touch burned here and there on the popcorn, seems a delay is best.

How do you guys handle the "add-ons", any tips?

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I've been doing this for a couple of years now. I was shocked when I started when I couldn't find any of the old brands in the store - Jiffy, Jolly Time. What is this world coming to? I tried a couple of generic store brands (WM and HEB) and they weren't very good; tried an organic popcorn from WF and it was an under-performer. Now, I've been using Orville for several jars and it works good. Will have to give the Newman's a try.

I use canola in a Calphalon skillet covered with a pasta pot lid with openings - I've always understood you need to let the steam escape for fluffier popcorn. Have I got that wrong? I don't pop that much so I won't eat too much.

I never have the burner on high, not with my stove (30 year old GE electric cooktop) and Calphalon.

For seasoning, kosher salt, sometimes a little finely ground black pepper, sometimes a Cajun spice mix, sometimes a seasoning salt from a local butcher shop that I like. No butter and definitely no popcorn salt.

I have an old Westbend Stir Crazy that made great popcorn but was too much trouble to use for just one purpose and took up too much space. It's in the bottom of a cabinet somewhere.

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We like popcorn so much, as an impulse buy, the mister bought me one of those movie-style popcorn makers, over the summer. The glass cube type, with the kettle, and all? Oh yes, it's got a place of honor in my living room, and we use it at least twice a week. Our company thinks it's the coolest novelty, to come over and have movie popcorn. So do I, actually...

I will never. ever. look back to microwave popcorn.

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I also stopped using Microwave popcorn a while ago, because I discovered I just didn't enjoy it that much. Besides, popping it in a pot just seems so much more satisfying.

I follow the Fat Guy approach with one small exception: when the first kernel pops, I remove the pot from the hob for 1 minute. When I put it back on and the popping restarts, a quick shake of the pot and Bob's your Uncle. Oh, lifting the lid regularly to let steam out seems to help as well.

I don't even put butter on popcorn. Just salt for me, thanks.

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We like popcorn so much, as an impulse buy, the mister bought me one of those movie-style popcorn makers, over the summer.  The glass cube type, with the kettle, and all?  Oh yes, it's got a place of honor in my living room, and we use it at least twice a week.  Our company thinks it's the coolest novelty, to come over and have movie popcorn.  So do I, actually... 

I will never. ever. look back to microwave popcorn.

Ooooohhhhh! I want one of those! Do you use coconut oil in it? Not so healthful, but it makes better tasting popcorn!

I wonder how extra-virgin coconut oil would work. A little better for you, I think.

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We've used a hot air popper for a couple of decades now and I like to think that has saved us from consuming about a million calories over that time, given how often we eat the stuff. Of course, we have added about a million calories from the butter we have poured on over the years.

Normally, we eat the popcorn that we grow but when we have run out of that and have had to purchase some, I've found little difference in popping quality between the store brands, the gourmet brands, and the bulk section popcorn. I have, however, detected a taste difference on occasion. Some of the popcorn just seems a little more corny than others.

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Today I bought a bag (cheap, Food Lion brand) of popping corn and made some in olive oil in a big pot with lid on the stove. Why did we ever stop doing this, and how were we led to believe this was so complicated we must own appliances dedicated to this task, and finally, bypass it entirely for a rubbery, chemical-additive-laden microwave substitute?

What I'm searching for, however, is better popping corn than this. Anyone know where to get it? Have any favorites?

I think this could very well become a daily habit. The olive oil adds the perfect touch.

Of supermarket popcorn, I buy Jolly Time WHITE. The white variety is more delicate and I prefer its taste.

For fancier corn -- which is worth it, flavorwise, if you eat it without seasoning other than salt and pepper, try baby white, blue (my favorite), lady finger, or red. Here's a good source!

How topical, I just popped my own popcorn for the first time last weekend, and have made 4 batches thus far.  All attempts involved a 6 qt All-Clad fryer pot, and had me heating the oil first on high heat before adding the corn:

.......

How do you guys handle the "add-ons", any tips?

Most of these recipes are written for the Whirley Pop :wub: - I haven't made popcorn any other way for years! :wub: , but they may help you out:

click here!


Edited by baroness (log)

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when the first kernel pops, I remove the pot from the hob for 1 minute.

An interesting twist. What's the rationale behind it?


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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We've used a hot air popper for a couple of decades now and I like to think that has saved us from consuming about a million calories over that time, given how often we eat the stuff.  Of course, we have added about a million calories from the butter we have poured on over the years.

It depends on how much butter you use. Air poppers produce popcorn that either requires the addition of fat as a topping, or winds up tasting like diet food. If you pop with oil, you get delicious popcorn that doesn't require butter. But calorie-wise, you can get away with less butter as a topping than you can get away with oil as a cooking medium, because oil has less flavor (and more calories per ounce).


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I've always understood you need to let the steam escape for fluffier popcorn.  Have I got that wrong? 

That has been my experience. I don't have any actual vented lids, though, so I just try to minimize the time the lid is on the pot.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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when the first kernel pops, I remove the pot from the hob for 1 minute.

An interesting twist. What's the rationale behind it?

When I pop in a brown paper bag in the microwave I find that 70% power gives me better popcorn than 100%. 100% power popped corn pops too fast, the flavour seems less 'corny' and the kernels seem to pop to big and overblown. I wonder if the same thing happens with taking the pot off the element initially.

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when the first kernel pops, I remove the pot from the hob for 1 minute.

An interesting twist. What's the rationale behind it?

Well, I read it on the back of a packet of popcorn sometime!

I *think* that the idea is that all the kernels have a chance to come up to the same temperature, almost at the point of popping, before you push them over the edge. If you have a pot that heats evenly enough, and you've got the temperature just right, you can probably forget this step. I find it handy as it means you can start on a very high heat, remove for a while to allow everything to even out, and then carry on at a lower temperature until they're all popped.

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My understanding is that there's an optimal rate of heating for kernels. Too fast and the moisture inside the kernel expands and pops before the starch has heated enough to give a good pop. Too slow and enough of the moisture can leak out of the kernels such that there's not enough left to fuel a good pop when the kernels come to temperature.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Well, I know that if you soak the kernels in water before popping, you get massive fluffy popcorn that doesn't make a huge amount of noise, but if you dry the kernels in the oven before popping, they pop like bullets but the results are very small.

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Am I the only one who likes a little char on some of the popped corn?  Just a hint of it . .

I like a lot of char! I would deliberately burn the stuff & shake the pot to make sure the batch was evenly burnt.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Hmmm...No coconut oil poppers besides me?

One other coconut oil popper here. Since I eat popcorn once or twice a month and only in moderation, I can spare a few calories too eat really good popcorn.

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We've used a hot air popper for a couple of decades now and I like to think that has saved us from consuming about a million calories over that time, given how often we eat the stuff.  Of course, we have added about a million calories from the butter we have poured on over the years.

It depends on how much butter you use. Air poppers produce popcorn that either requires the addition of fat as a topping, or winds up tasting like diet food. If you pop with oil, you get delicious popcorn that doesn't require butter. But calorie-wise, you can get away with less butter as a topping than you can get away with oil as a cooking medium, because oil has less flavor (and more calories per ounce).

Agreed. We prefer the butter and no oil version to the oil and no butter or the oil and some butter versions so the hot air popper is best for us.

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