Popcorn can be made in a ton of different ways. Plus, it’s cheap to make and it always tastes good.
There’s probably no better movie snack than popcorn. The kind of popcorn you get at the movie theatre is salty, buttery, hot and delicious. Movie popcorn has a lot of calories. But it tastes great!
Natural popcorn has been a favorite among dieters for decades. If you take away all the oil and salt, plain popcorn is quite healthy. It has lots of fiber, which helps curb food cravings.
If you add cinnamon, chocolate or caramel to popcorn (or all of the above) it becomes a delicious dessert. Countless popcorn dessert recipe variations can be found online.
There are many ways to prepare popcorn, too. The most popular (and by far the worst) way to make popcorn is to throw one of those disposable microwavable popcorn bags in the microwave.
Here’s Why You Should Stop Buying Microwavable Popcorn Bags
Ready made microwave popcorn that comes in a microwavable bag is convenient. All you have to do is stick in the microwave, press a button and wait. Just about the only thing that’s good about microwave popcorn packs is the fact that it’s easy to make. Disposable popcorn bags are horrible in so many ways.
Prepackaged popcorn is expensive. Microwave popcorn is a waste of money. Compared to readymade popcorn bags, plain popcorn kernels are ridiculously cheap.
It’s also bad for you. According to a 2007 scientific study called “Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine,” a chemical found in popcorn bags called diacetyl can cause a lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. Diacetyl is only harmful in high doses. But why eat popcorn that’s peppered with fake chemical flavors that are only “slightly” poisonous?
…and there are always too many unpopped kernels! Prepackaged popcorn bags are inefficient. No matter how much you fiddle with microwave settings, you can always find a handful of unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bag. If you accidently pop one of those uncooked kernels in your mouth, you may wind up having to take an emergency trip to the dentist’s office.
Better Ways to Make Popcorn
Tired of breaking your teeth on unpopped kernels and inhaling fake butter fumes? Here are 3 much better alternatives to prepackaged popcorn.
Use a Hot Air Popcorn Popper
You don’t need any type of oil to make popcorn with a popcorn popper. All you need is a popcorn machine and kernels.
How to Make Popcorn In a Hot Air Popcorn Machine:
- Buy a hot air popcorn popper. Hot air popcorn poppers have made a comeback in recent years. We think the PopLite Air Popper by Presto is the best air popper out there now. Check out our air popper review page to find out why.
- Measure your kernels. One half cup of kernels should be enough to fill a large bowl.
- Take off the spout. Most air poppers come with a detachable plastic spout. You have to take it off before you put your kernels in.
- Load it up. Drop your kernels into the machine.
- Get ready. Put a bowl in front of the air popper’s spout.
- Start popping! After the kernels heat up, they’ll pop and come flying out of the machine.
Use a Glass Microwave Popcorn Popper
Glass popcorn poppers provide another great, safe way to make delicious, healthy popcorn. Making popcorn with a glass popper is just as easy as heating up a prepackaged popcorn bag. The only difference is that you don’t throw your glass popper away when you’re done with it– you just wash it off, dry it out and use it again.
How to Pop Popcorn In a Glass Microwave Popcorn Maker:
- Buy a glass popcorn maker. There are lots of glass popcorn makers to choose from and they’re all pretty awesome. We like the CG4526 microwave popper by Cantamount for its convenient heat resistant glass arm.
- Measure out your popcorn kernels. About a half cup of kernels should be enough to feed one or two people.
- Drop the kernels into the glass container. After you load up the container, be sure the lid is nice and tight. You don’t want your popcorn spilling out of the glass when it begins to pop.
- Punch in your cook time and press go. Most microwave popcorn settings are designed to work with prepackaged paper popcorn packs. You’ll need to read the instructions that came with your glass popper to find out how long you should cook the kernels.
Make Your Own Popcorn Maker
What could be more natural than popcorn cooked over an open fire? Here’s how to cook popcorn the caveman way using a primitive style DIY popcorn maker. All you need to get started is a pie pan, any type of cooking oil, a metal coat hanger and aluminum foil.
How to Make Popcorn Over an Open Flame:
- Get your foil ready. You need enough of it to wrap up your pie pan two times.
- Pour your kernels into the pan. Don’t pour more than 1/2 cup of kernels in. If you pour more than that, your creation may explode and fall apart when the kernels start to pop. Sprinkle a little bit of oil over top of the kernels. Optionally, add in a pinch of salt.
- Wrap it up. Cover the pie pan with two layers of aluminum foil. To avoid making a mess, be sure that you wrap up your pie pan nice and tight.
- Create your handle. Bend the metal hanger open with your hands until it is wide enough to fit around the pie pan. Then, place the pie pan in the center of the hanger. Next, bend the hanger again until it squeezes the pie pan firmly in place.
- Hold the pie pan over the fire. Keep holding the pan over the fire until the popping slows down. Shake the pie pan to see if your popcorn is ready. When the kernels stop shaking, that means they’ve all popped into fresh popcorn.