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A rolled up screen projector
Course: Appetizers
Keyword: Darn Near Perfect Popcorn, Entertaining, Game Day, Hacks, Snacks

Darn Near Perfect Popcorn

Triple cheese popcorn in a blue bowl
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 quarts
A foolproof method for buttery, crunchy, perfectly popped popcorn.
Popcorn is high in fiber, which we all know is a good thing. Dentists dig it because it’s a sugarless snack. And although pediatricians warn against serving popcorn to toddlers because of potential choking hazards, they do like home-popped corn for older kids because it doesn’t contain additives, dyes, preservatives, or other, you know, stuff.
Microwaved and butter-flavored movie popcorn could possibly be another story, so pop your own. It’s good, it’s good for you, and it’s more fun than a barrel full of M.D.s.
My favorite three popcorn toppings? Nutritional yeast, Japanese furikake, and sifted cheese powder.
This recipe originally appeared in Season 10 of Good Eats and was revised in the Pantry Raid video series.
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  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt (or finely ground kosher salt)
  • Toppings of your choice (optional; see note above)

Specialized Hardware

8-quart, heavy-gauge metal bowl
Triple cheese popcorn in a blue bowl
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 quarts


  • Place the ghee, popcorn, and salt in a large, heavy-gauge, 8-quart metal mixing bowl.The bowl allows the un-popped kernels to sink and the popped kernels to rise. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.
  • Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using a pair kitchen towels to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until about 8 seconds pass between two kernels popping, approximately 3 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and carefully remove the foil. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with toppings, if desired, and consume hot.
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