A few months ago, I confessed to friends that we had gotten rid of our microwave. The darn thing stopped working and while we planned on replacing it eventually, we just never got around to it. And to tell you the truth, I was surprised at how easy it was to get used to. Readers know we try to eat as much fresh food as possible so I’m not going to wreck it by cooking it in the microwave.
However, one friend, Miss Kitty, immediately pinpointed the biggest problem we had encountered in giving up the contraption: popcorn. “I don’t think I’d be able to live without it,” she said. And rightly so. It was the one thing I couldn’t live without either. However, we stopped eating microwave popcorn after the whole TBHQ affair, so I’d already been working on an alternative method.
It didn’t take me too long because Dad had always made popcorn on the stovetop and smuggled it into the moves with us. I also remembered there was a dedicated popcorn pot because of the dents and dings the kernels leave in the metal. Therefore, choose an old pot that you don’t mind losing or pick-up a cheap model at the grocery store.
I’ll admit it took me a few tries to get it right. The first time around, I ended up with more raw kernels than popped. The next few times, I burned it pretty badly. But then I found a recipe by Alton Brown that suggested ditching the pot’s lid and replacing it with a piece of vented aluminum foil. That, I believe, is the key to perfect stovepopped popcorn. It lets out just the right amount of steam, keeps in the right amount of heat and gets it done fast. here’s how you do it:
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons vegetable or light olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Penzey‘s granulated garlic
Combine oil, salt & garlic in pan. Add kernels and toss to coat. Cover the top of the pan tightly with aluminum foil, then use a knife to poke ten slits into the foil. Heat over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, gently shaking the pan the entire time. You’ll know it’s done when the popcorn stops popping. Let it rest for a minute, then shake the entire thing to distribute the spices
“Popcorn kernels + paper sack + 2 minutes in microwave = popcorn without artificial flavors or TBHQ. It’s really that simple.”
Whatever way you choose, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a tasty, chemical-free snack.