Thursday, July 17, 2008

Homemade Popcorn in a Kettle

A sure way to get my family excited about a snack - tell them we are having popcorn! At our house, this "meal" comes up about every Sunday night. And I mean meal too. Our small family of four puts away about three batches worth in one night alone. By that I mean, three full cups of unpopped kernels goes into the "popper" (one cup at a time) and into our huge popcorn bowl, as we call it. Our bowl is very large, I mean gallons large.

I have fond memories growing up when we'd have our popcorn supper on Sunday evenings. Actually my dad is the one who makes the popcorn now. Last I recall, he makes it a few times a week in small batches for an evening snack these days.

I thought you might like to know how we make this delicious and inexpensive treat at our house.
Homemade Popcorn
We get out our 10 quart (no, I'm not kidding) heavy duty kettle.
I have ready on my counter:
3 cups unpopped popcorn kernels (enough for 3 batches)
extra large bowl (to put popped corn into)
oil (currently I'm using coconut oil)
homemade seasoned salt & nutritional yeast
I put oil into the kettle, covering the bottom and 2 popcorn kernels. Put the lid on to cover. I turn the stove on medium heat and then wait until I hear the 2 kernels pop. Then immediately I put in 1 cup of popcorn kernels, close the lid and then give the kettle a "swirl" around to get them coated with oil.
At this point, I wait to hear more popping. When it's pretty steady, I turn the heat to the lowest setting until it gets slow again, then I'll turn it up again a bit more, to finish all the popping. During the popping time, I make sure to "shake" and "swirl" the kettle to keep things moving now and then, so it won't stick and burn to the bottom. I use a heavy bottomed kettle for this reason too.
When the popping stops or is really slow, then I turn it off and wait for anymore to finish popping. Then I open the lid, putting it carefully somewhere it won't melt anything (also, there is oil on the lid by this time, so I make sure there is a safe place to place the lid, keeping this in mind). I use hot pads and pour the popped popcorn into the popcorn bowl. I repeat this another 2 times with the other 2 cups of popcorn kernels.
Add seasonings and stir by using a serving spoon to "scoop" it from the bottom to the top carefully, rotating the bowl as you go (since by now, the bowl is very full).
I like this method, because it seems to me the best way to pop nearly all of the kernels. I rarely get more than 10 unpopped kernels. Seriously. With 3 cups popcorn kernels unpopped for all my batches total. Try it. It works.
Cinnamon/Sugar Variation:
Instead of the usual salt and nutritional yeast, sometimes I use turbinado ("raw") sugar and cinnamon as a dry topping after popping, with just a smidge of salt. Oooh - so good. I prefer this sweet version of popcorn over the syrupy candied "kettle" corn out there.
Pretty decent for a girl who loves an air popper for popping popcorn. Can't wait till we get back for that! I still love air poppers, but none around here, so I had to learn the art of popping corn on the stove. Don't own a microwave (never have) either. My husband says it smells like a theater around here when I'm using coconut oil.


Cajunchic said...

We love popcorn in the kettle here too. It is so much better than that microwave stuff.

Sorry I have not responded to your email yet. Things have been crazy with the end of the school year, summer activities, and extra work this week. I promise I will get back to you really soon.

Rachael said...

Sounds so good! I love the nutritional yeast idea..just bought some for the first time 2 weeks ago.

Velma's said...

It's kind of tricky to make kettle corn at home. (I make the stuff in a tent at festivals.) The trick is to use A LOT of heat and keep the oil/sugar moving. I have a video on my website showing how I make it with a huge kettle.

Velma's "Wicked Delicious" Kettle Corn popcorn

Sarah Halter said...

I could totally eat popcorn for a meal, but my husband's a little skeptical. When it comes to food, he's usually up for anything, but when I mention the idea, he looks at me funny and asks, "Popcorn? For dinner?" That may be a "daddy's not home for dinner" meal someday.