5 Ingredients or Fewer

Perfect Popcorn

October  2, 2013
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 2 quarts
Author Notes

Adapted slightly from Simply Recipes. —Marian Bull

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed (You can also use coconut oil -- if you do, I suggest using coconut oil in place of butter, as well.)
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or less, if you insist)
  • Generous pinch of salt
  1. Pour oil into a heavy-bottomed (at least 3-quart) saucepan. Add 3 popcorn kernels, and turn the heat to medium-high.
  2. Wait for all three kernels to pop. Add the rest of the kernels, cover, and remove pot from heat. Count to 30 -- it helps to count out loud. Very, very loud.
  3. Return your pot to medium-high heat. Once the kernels begin to pop -- they should do so almost in unison, thanks to the wait time -- begin shaking the pan back and forth with the lid slightly ajar. Don't get so vigorous that the lid flies off, okay?
  4. Once the popping slows -- 2 to 3 seconds between pops is fine -- turn off the heat and empty your popcorn into a large bowl. While your pan is still hot, slide your butter in there, and let it melt. Once it begins to brown, pour it over your popcorn, and toss with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine. Sprinkle with a fat pinch of salt.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • artemis
  • patty@bryce
  • hardlikearmour
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
Marian Bull

Recipe by: Marian Bull


7 Reviews

artemis February 6, 2022
May only be a popcorn recipe - but the results are just about perfect! Nothing can replace the home-popped recipe - bye-bye microwave versions!
LZ July 29, 2015
I would advise again using an enamel cast iron pot, as pictured above, unless you are willing to sacrifice it.
patty@bryce February 20, 2015
Worked like a charm. No more microwaved in our house now.
Kaye January 19, 2014
I used safflower oil. Terrific!
patricia G. October 7, 2013
From Falmouth Farmers' Market:
Now here’s a recipe for making popcorn from the hard little jewel-like cobs available this year from Moonlight Rose Alpaca Farm. You only need 2 tablespoons of kernels to make about 4 cups of fluffy popcorn, a perfect amount for a small, already seasoned, 8-inch diameter cast-iron skillet.

Popping corn

1 small ear of popping corn
¼ (quarter) teaspoon corn, peanut, or canola oil

Put the ear of corn in the middle of a clean kitchen towel—it will help stop kernels skittering. Pinch the bowl of a teaspoon between thumb and forefinger and use it to excavate 2 tablespoons of kernels from the cob. Mix kernels in a small bowl with a quarter teaspoon of oil and a couple of pinches of salt, the finer the better. (Salt will stick better if it’s pounded fine with a pestle and mortar.) Spread over the bottom of a 8-inchcast iron pan and cover pan with a piece of foil, crimping foil around the pan’s edge. Poke slits in the foil to let steam escape and put pan on the stove. (We used a gas stove.) Switch on heat under the pan, and let it heat up to medium-hot, shaking pan from time to time to roll the kernels. You’ll start to hear popping noises, more and more popping noises. Keep shaking pan from time to time until popping crescendos and slows down. Cut heat under pan and let pan sit on the stove until the popping has completely subsided. Uncover and pour snowy-white pop corn into a bowl. Season to taste with a little more salt. It doesn’t really need anything else. A trickle of melted butter and other seasonings are entirely optional .
hardlikearmour October 2, 2013
Why have I not thought to use coconut oil?!?! Sheer genius. I bet a light dusting of curry powder would be ah-maz-ing with coconut oil popped corn.
Marian B. October 2, 2013
That sounds awesome!