Darn Near Perfect Popcorn

Darn Near Perfect Popcorn


If you’re feeling culinarily adventurous, try stirring in 1-2 tablespoons of Furikake (see note below) before adding the butter.

Why does popcorn taste so darn good? Well, for a start: pyrazines, phenols, pyrroles, carbanols and furans.

Pert-Near Perfect Popcorn
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Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  2. 3 ounces popcorn kernels
  3. 1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt*
  4. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Put the oil, popcorn and salt in a 6-quart metal mixing bowl. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.
  2. Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using tongs to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and carefully remove the foil. Stir in any salt that is on the side of the bowl.
  4. Melt the butter in a microwave oven. Slowly drizzle it over the popcorn while spinning the bowl. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. * Popcorn salt is ground very fine so that it will stick handily to the nooks and crannies o the popped kernels. If you buy it you're crazy. One cup of kosher salt goes into a food processor. And I think about 10 three-second pulses should perfectly smash this, or rather pulverize it, to the correct consistency.
  2. By the way, Furikake is a rice/sushi seasoning composed of shredded nori (seawead), sesame seeds and other spices. It's found at most good megamarts, Asian markets and on the interwebs. I'm crazy about it.
ALTON BROWN https://altonbrown.com/
Alton Brown's Perfect Popcorn with Furikake

89 Comments

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  1. 1
    Popcorn Junkie

    Use a regular pan instead of a mixing bowl, and add the butter to the oil while popping. When the popcorn pops it will soak up the butter with the oil and give it better flavor without ‘wilting’ the popcorn which happens when you pour hot butter over it after you pop. Salt it immediately after you pop and add whatever toppings you prefer.

  2. 3
    Rob Shields

    In Canada I own a whirley-pop (stupid fancy popcorn pot)
    I LOVE it…… my wife loves sugar popcorn

    1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil
    3 – 6 tablespoons white sugar
    1/3 cup popcorn

    I live in Spain now and am using an induction stove and NO whirley-pop *
    Can’t stop burning sugar to pot while trying!
    PLEASE Alton…. help me unlock the secret…..
    Sincerely, Canadian in foreign land.

    PS I please your good eats program on par with the original Bob Ross painting program (can watch them over and over)

  3. 4
    Wendy

    Gotta tell ya, butter with a bit of red miso stirred in and some togarashi and crumbled dried shallots is my absolute favorite so far.

  4. 5
    Steve

    @Brad – Peanut oil does not contain any of the allergens that people with peanut allergies are sensitive to. It is completely safe to use.

  5. 9
    Austin Ray

    Try using ghee instead of popping oil. Use a little extra ghee when popping and you don’t need to even add the butter. We use a Teflon stock pot set to high heat on the stove. Works great! We prefer white popcorn for fewer hulls. I like the idea of making your own popcorn salt. We have been having a hard time finding it in the stores.

  6. 10
    Lew

    I pop my corn in a lunch bag with two staples in a microwave. I add either Kerrygold butter or good EVOO & add salt & pepper & have added such things as smoked paprika or Creole seasonings.

  7. 14
    Ken

    Nothing beats old-school stove top popcorn. To keep kernels from getting tough, I start with lid on cast iron Dutch oven, and switch from lid to splatter screen soon after popping starts to let steam out that makes kernels tough. I read it somewhere and use pickling and canning salt on my popcorn. It’s pretty fine grain, so it sticks really well.

  8. 17
    Bonnie

    Carla, I offer a wee bit of help with your spelling, and reputation; it’s “bowl”, not “bole”, and I am almost POSITIVE you meant “crushed pepper”, not “crushed pecker”.

  9. 20
    Edward

    I just made this and I have to say it’s the easier sure fire way not to burn it and I put some trader Joe’s seasoning salt. The best. Thank you Alton love all your science behind the food

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