How to make popcorn

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Popcorn

I have a confession to make – I love crisps. Crisps are such a serious addiction for me and I crave them a lot. Not even fancy flavours, just your basic ready salted crisps. But crisps come in that foil-plastic material which can’t be recycled and so I’ve been trying to curb my habit, and that’s where popcorn comes in.

Popcorn is such a quick, easy, and healthy snack to make and for me it satisfies my need for something crunchy and salty. OK so the salt makes it less healthy, but the great thing about making your own popcorn is you can flavour it any way you like, and you can also control the salt content if you like salty snacks like me.

There are two methods for making popcorn that we’re going to share here: microwave or in a pan.

Microwave

  1. Place a small amount of kernels in a microwave safe glass bowl – just enough to cover the bottom of the bowl in a single layer. Don’t add too many as they expand a lot and you’ll get un-popped kernels and/or an overflow situation which you don’t want.
  2. Cover the bowl loosely with a ceramic plate which is also microwave safe. If you can, leave a little gap for the steam to escape
  3. Heat the popcorn on full power for 4 minutes. It will take slightly longer than this but this is a good starting point.
  4. Once it ends, keep adding time on a little at a time while listening to the popping.
  5. Once the popping has slowed to less than 1 pop every 5 seconds turn off the heat.
  6. Leave the popcorn to rest for at least 2 minutes – it will be really hot. When you remove the plate, use an oven glove and watch out for steam
  7. Transfer to a bowl and flavour however you like. A light sprinkling of sea salt is my favourite

In a pan

  1. Use a good heavy-bottomed pan which has a lid (ideally a clear glass lid so you can see what’s going on, otherwise you can depend on listening to the pops).
  2. Put the pan on a medium-high heat and preheat slightly
  3. Add popcorn kernels to the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Like with the microwave method, don’t add too many. A little goes a long way with popcorn. You don’t need to add oil if your pan is non-stick or a well seasoned cast iron skillet, otherwise add just a little oil, not too much so you don’t get greasy popcorn.
  4. Put the lid on the pan. Don’t leave it unattended, you don’t want burnt popcorn and once they start popping things happen quickly.
  5. After a couple of minutes you’ll hear the kernels pop. Leave the popcorn on the heat until popping has reduced to less than 1 pop every 5 seconds.
  6. Take the lid off and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to your bowl of choice and adding seasoning of your choice.

What is your favourite way to flavour popcorn? Let us know in the comments

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