Popcorn doesn’t have to come for $5 a bag at a movie theater, and it doesn’t need to come out of an oily bag. You can make delicious popcorn in a popper, a heavy pan or a skillet, which will provide delicious snacks very cheaply. You can make something delightful very simply and quickly by putting a little bit of oil in a pan and then tossing a few kernels into it.
How to make popcorn without a microwave
To make popcorn, you just need a bottle of unpopped kernels and 1/4 cup of cooking oil, according to The Kitchn. You don’t necessarily want to use olive oil for this, as its smoke point is relatively low – below 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a problem because you’ll need to get your oil to around 450 degrees in order to get your kernels to pop as smoothly as possible. Even very high-quality olive oil only reaches up to 405. Instead, use refined sunflower oil or sesame oil to get the ideal temperature.
You can test the temperature of your oil by dropping a kernel into it. If it pops right away, the oil is ready. Salt the oil itself to make sure that the kernels are coated evenly – otherwise you’ll wind up with some kernels that are heavily flavored and some that don’t really taste like anything.
Sometimes popcorn that has been sitting for a long time will not pop into fluffy kernels. If this happens, it doesn’t meant that your popcorn is dead. It just means that you need to rejuvenate it! You can refill it by letting the kernels stand in some liquid for about an hour in order to get moisture back inside them. Then let them dry off before you pop them.
If you decide to coat your popcorn with melted butter or other additional seasoning, you may find that the oil makes it a little bit too soggy to handle any additional elements, according to Nosh. To get around this, let it dry out in the oven for between five and ten minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow the popcorn to handle additional toppings without being overloaded by sogginess or grease. This can also allow you to have butter that’s a little more warm and dry, reminiscent of movie theater pop corn rather than kettle cooked kernels.