Not only is popcorn tasty and economical (for mere pennies you can enjoy a quart at home), it's also easy to prepare. Whether you choose to pop popcorn in an electric popper, on the stove or over an open fire, follow these tips for perfectly popped popcorn:
First, warm the popper, heavy pan or skillet. If oil popping your corn, add 1/3 cup of cooking oil (we prefer coconut oil) to the pan. Allow the oil to heat. The best popping temperature is between 400 and 460 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil burns at 500 degrees. If your oil starts to smoke, it's too hot. The less saturated the fat in the oil (like corn or sunflower), the less calories you will add to your snack.
Do not pop popcorn in butter. Butter will burn.
Test the heat of the oil by dropping in one or two kernels. When the kernel pops or spins in the oil, you're ready to add the remaining popcorn. Pour just enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan. Continually shake the pan gently to be certain oil coats each kernel.
Cover pan and continually shake gently over medium-high heat, allowing steam to escape from popping kernels.
Remove pan from heat when popping slows or stops and carefully pour popped kernels into a large bowl.
Season to taste. Or use your imagination to add flavorings that impart your special tastes.