One of life’s simplest treats is popcorn. Not the made in the microwave type. The honest to goodness stove top kind. We have an old fashioned crank-style stove top popcorn maker. It is showing it’s age and I have never been able to get all of the baked on oil off of it. For Christmas last year, Papa and the Master Seamstress gave us a fancy counter top model. It looks like a mini version of those popcorn carts you see at festivals. It’s a ton of fun for parties, especially where the kids are involved. We have even ‘invested’ in a number of plastic popcorn cups. Sure, it gets on the floor when they are watching movies with their friends, but we can easily vacuum up what the dog doesn’t eat.
People have been making popcorn for a few hundred years, at least. They didn’t always have these fun and fancy gizmos. Neither did they have a ton of time to wash up umpteen dishes. What they did have were good quality pots, a heat source, and a bit of oil. Which is all you really need.
I am a huge fan of enamel on cast cookware. I find it’s durable and pretty much defines multi-tasking. What I don’t love is the weight of the stuff. Neither do my cupboards. When the folks at Circulon asked me if I’d like to give one of their new Circulon Prime pans a test run, I figured I’d give it a shot. Back in the day, I was a Bay Girl. That won’t mean much if you aren’t Canadian. If you are, that’s what those of us who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company called ourselves. Mainly to differentiate ourselves from the Cosmo (Cosmetics Counter) girls.
Anyhoo, at The Bay, we sold Circulon pans and they were always a hot commodity. Circulon Prime is now available exclusively at Canadian Tire. It still features the same hi-low cooking surface, durable stainless steel handles, and a 3-coat non-stick PFOA free coating. The pans have a heavy enough bottom that food will not easily burn. They are also safe for any type of stove top, including induction. The company says that you can use metal utensils in it – I just haven’t brought myself to do that. The best part? You don’t need to have biceps of steel to lift them or reinforce your cabinets to store them. This new 6-qt Jumbo Cooker is the newest workhorse in my kitchen arsenal.
So, how do you go about making popcorn? Pour 2 tablespoons of your favourite high-heat oil in the bottom of the pan, along with a single kernel of popcorn. Turn the burner or flame to medium heat, pop the lid on, and wait.
Measure yourself out 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels and have them ready and waiting. Storage tip: keep the kernels in the freezer. They will last almost indefinitely in there.
Once your single kernel has popped, dump in the 1/3 cup and gently swirl them in the oil to coat them. Get the lid back on and stand by.
Things will start happening quickly. It’s easy to keep an eye on things with the glass lid.
The glass lid also keeps the oil from splattering all over your stove. Keep regularly swirling the pot around. As soon as the popping stops, pull the pan from the heat.
Add butter and salt and settle in with your favourite flick.
Homemade Popcorn Without the Fuss
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
- Melted Butter , to taste
- Salt , to taste
Pour oil and 1 kernel of popcorn into a heavy bottom 6 qt pan with a tight fitting lid
Turn burner to medium high
After the single kerne as popped, pour in the rest of the popcorn
Swirl to coat kernels; replace the lid on the pan
Gently move the pan occasionally
When popping has stopped, immediately remove from heat