The Vine: December 23, 2011
I have a culinary question for the readers. My diet is probably around 25% popcorn. I'm shoving fistfuls of it in my mouth for dinner at least three times a week. I make it on the stove — microwave popcorn tastes weird to me, and air poppers make it too dry — but I always have trouble getting it to pop right. I've found that it tastes best if it starts popping within a second or two of hitting the pan, so I try to get the pot super hot before pouring in the kernels. Unfortunately, the line between not hot enough and grease fire/scorched kernels is French-model thin. I usually only manage to get it perfect once every 10 times or so.
I've Googled for tips, but everything I can find just recommends heating the pot over medium heat and shaking it constantly once you add the kernels. The shaking thing definitely helps get all of them popped, but it doesn't really get them to pop more quickly.
So…does anyone have a secret technique for popping corn just right every time? Less oil, more oil? Certain type of pot that distributes heat better? Is there some special way to shake it that only experienced popcorn pros know? Does white corn do better than yellow? Seasoning suggestions are certainly also welcome. I usually just do salt or nutritional yeast.
Popping in Portland
Two words: bay seasoning. But that's all I've got. Readers?
Tags: Ask The Readers food home 'n' garden