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Cooking with Collin: Homemade Popcorn

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Today is my first attempt at my new weekly segment called Cooking with Collin that features a favorite frugal recipe of mine (or a favorite of a Hip2Save reader). This first recipe I am going to feature is something that I LOVE to munch on at night and I can actually eat the whole bowl! Yes, I have done this on numerous occasions. :) Any guesses?!

Why of course, Popcorn!

And, no, I am not going to tell you about a deal you can score on Pop-Secret or Jolly Time… but I’m actually going to tell you how you can make your own popcorn at home. You don’t need any sort of contraption… just a large Pan with a Lid. Now I will admit, I was pretty intimidated about even trying to make homemade popcorn at first. But now I am a popcorn popping fool and you will soon be too! ;)

Alright, so here is the recipe…


Ingredients:
3 tablespoons of Coconut Oil* (or any oil of your choice)
*I love using Coconut Oil as it gives the popcorn a slightly sweet taste (shhhh…don’t tell anyone as this is my super secret ingredient! ;) )!
1/2 cup of Popcorn Kernels
Salt to taste

Put 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and cook on medium heat. Add salt… and don’t be stingy! Add one popcorn kernel and cover your pan.

Once the kernel pops, remove it… now you know that the oil is ready. Add the 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels to your pan. Make sure the pan lid is tilted slightly to let steam escape. Now in a rocking motion move the pan back and forth over the burner. The kernels will start popping soon!

Once the popping slows, remove the pan from the burner. This is the hardest part of the whole process as you can easily burn the popcorn if you don’t remove it in time. I personally think it’s best to remove the popcorn before you think it’s done that way you’ll have a better chance of it not burning AND kernels will still be popping even when you remove it from the heat.

Wasn’t that easy?! Now you can go enjoy a bowl of delicious, freshly popped popcorn! Oh and if you have any popcorn seasoning ideas, please share in the comments! I would love to try out some new popcorn variations! Thanks!

If you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share or maybe you are looking for a specific recipe, please send an email to cookingwithcollin@hip2save(dot)com. If you are submitting a recipe, please provide a list of the necessary ingredients, step by step instructions, any photos that you may have, and the source of the recipe (i.e. name of the cookbook, web-site etc.).

Also, if you’re in need of some new recipes?! You may want to check out these recipe sites…

* AllRecipes.com
* RecipeNut
* Epicurious
* Back of the Box recipes
* Joy of Baking

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200 Hip Readers Commented

  • JulieStephens says:

    We love homemade popcorn and make it all the time!!! Substitute garlic salt for regular salt … it’s a family favorite!!!!!!!

  • shannon says:

    I have a concession stand for girl scouts – we make the best popcorn in the district! It’s a big deal to us – I have made it for years and years…and we bring home all the leftovers! We love our popcorn and once the season is over then I start making it for the school – I wish they made commercial popcorn oil that was lighter!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Will you share your secret?

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Shannon, I am interested in what you do with the concession stand for girl scouts. My daughter is a girl scout and her troop is looking for creative fund raisers as they are in the process of raising money to take a big international trip within the next 2 years.

  • JAMIE says:

    here’s an easy homemade version, but in the microwave! think…less mess. we love it. and i leave out the staples.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/plain-brown-popper-recipe/index.html

    • Linda says:

      the link didnt’ work

      • Megan says:

        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/plain-brown-popper-recipe2/index.html

        • couponbs says:

          I brown paper bag popcorn also, I used to do in the pot on the stove but it was such a hassle, now I just put 1/4 cup of white kernel in the brown lunch sack, drizzle a small amount of olive oil, fold over the top several times to make sure it stays mostly closed (I also don’t use a staple) shake it to coat the kernels and MAKE SURE the bag is upright (it took me a while to finally learn that the reason I wasn’t getting as much pop corn out of my kernels was because the bag was on it’s side) put in the microwave at about 2 min 45 seconds (I like it when I *just* starts to burn, I think it has more depth of flavor, you could do 2 min 30 seconds for no burn) then I melt a tablespoon or so of butter and drizzle, add popcorn salt, YUMMO! I have homemade popcorn in less than 5 minutes! My kids love it to, so easy/quick to make!

    • D says:

      I’ve made the microwave version that Alton Brown aired on good eats. Works great & the staple isn’t an issue.

  • Sarah F says:

    For ‘healthier’ popcorn, I love to use the air popper, then some olive oil (when not heated it is the most healthy for you, and actually has quite a few health benefits), and then some sea salt sprinkled on…delicious, and much healthier than bagged popcorn.

  • Jasmine says:

    We like Parmesan “shaker” cheese on our popcorn and the kids like to shake it!

    • Melissa says:

      I like it with the parmesan too and add a touch of chili powder or garlic powder as well.

      Also good is a little taco seasoning from the packets!

  • Anonymous says:

    For a sweet and salty treat add m&m’s to buttered popcorn as soon as it is done (will get melted and it’s delicious). Another good trick try shaking some red hot sauce on for popcorn with a kick.

  • michele says:

    I would recommend the Whirly popper, we haven’t worn ours out yet and use it constatnly :-)))

  • Yvonne says:

    We make popcorn weekly but we use a wok! We saw Alton Brown do it and it’s the best- hardly any kernels left. We like chili powder, cumin or my fab- curry powder. My hubby likes to add fresh garlic to the wok. Yummo!!!

    • Erin says:

      Going to have to try using my wok! Never thought of that. I’ve been eating too much cheap/free microwave popcorn. So delicious but so terrible for you!

      When we make our own, we like garlic powder and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I also really like Kernel Seasons ranch popcorn seasoning, but it is probably also bad for you!

  • Sarah says:

  • mtnhoney says:

    I put 2 spoonfuls of raw popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag, fold the top down twice, and press the popcorn button on the microwave, no salt, no oil and the kids can make it! Easy and no mess to clean up!

  • Jamie says:

    The cheese packet from the Annie’s organic mac and cheese white cheddar is so delicious on popcorn. They used to make a popcorn called “genius food” a spinoff of smartfood where you popped it yourself then added the cheese, but they stopped making it. But as long as you can eat a box of macaroni shells without the cheese, use it on your popcorn. Yum!

  • Amanda says:

    My house loves cheese on their popcorn so whenever we order out for pizza I have them stick a couple extra of the parmesan packs – there’s nothing better than warm popcorn with melty parmesan especially when it’s as inexpensive as that.

  • JESSICA says:

    This is one of my kids favorite night time treats…. the first time they had it was at our good friend’s, Bob and Shelia’s house. You would have thought Bob was magical they way these kids were enthralled with his amazing popcorn popping!! The kids now affectionately call this type of popcorn “Bob-Corn”!

  • Mars7282 says:

    We make stovetop popcorn all the time an I love adding garlic pepper to it. So yummy :)

  • Ashley H says:

    I often put red robins seasoning on popcorn. it’s delicious!

    another (slightly healthier way because it avoids oil) to make popcorn is to get those brown paper lunch bags nobody uses anymore and put 1/4 cup of popcorn in the bottom of it. then same rule applies – fold the top closed tightly – put it in the microwave on high. I usually set the timer for 4 minutes and then just listen. when it has been more than a few seconds between pops you know you are done!

    and then you can take it out – throw it in a bowl – and add red robins seasoning!

  • Gloria says:

    I use an air popper, spray the popcorn with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and one packet of Splenda. The spray helps the salt stick and the Splenda makes it sweet, a little like kettle corn.

  • Kelly says:

    My kids love to spend time with my parents. On one of their visits, my Mom made what she called “popcorn casserole” she popped some popcorn and added all sorts of other goodies, cereal, chocolate chips. marshmallows, candy corn etc. (it changes every time depending on what is in the cupboard) My kids LOVED it and still ask for it whenever we watch a movie.

    The great thing is I have a child with severe food allergies and she can eat kettle corn and I can add goodies that are milk, egg and peanut free and she can enjoy the food along with the rest of the kids!

    • Heather W. says:

      I have a daughter with a severe allergy to milk. We are always looking for creative ways to make our food fun. Thanks. Is there any sites you use for creative ideas or for tasty recipes?

  • Gina says:

    Reese’s Pieces!!! they melt just enough to be soft on the inside and make your popcorn taste even better. I’m going to make some now.

  • Jenna says:

    A not so healthy version– but absolutely delicious! I use about a 1/4 c oil and 1/4 real salted butter. Melt in the pan, then pop popcorn in it. It has a movie-theater flavor just not as greasy. I salt it with sea salt.

    We also have put cinnamon on sweeter popcorn. Very addictive on kettle corn!

  • Elisa says:

    I air pop popcorn in the microwave! Just put some in a paper lunch bag, fold it down and pop for about 2-2.5 minutes. Fat free and no dishes to wash! I sometimes sprinkle on a packet of equal and some cinnamon for a more dessert-like kettle corn taste. Yummy and cheap!

  • Jaclyn says:

    Lawry’s Garlic Salt is good!

    My absolute favorite is dark chocolate M&M’s! My kids are hooked! I pop my popcorn in the microwave. Have the M&M’s ready. When the popcorn is done quickly add them to the popcorn bag while trying to keep the steam in as much as possible. Quickly close the bag & shake the M&M’s keeping them in there for about 1 minute. The center will be soft but the shell will stay together with small little cracks. Then dump in your favorite bowl & enjoy! Gotta try it!!! ;) I stock up on the big bags of M&M’s when they hit rock bottom prices, like near or after the holidays so we never run out!

    Tapatio if you like a lilttle spice!

  • Wendy says:

    I actually have an old electric popcorn popper from the 70′s, where the top is the bowl. We use olive oil, it gives the popcorn a delicious taste. We usually just use sea salt, but sometimes we add pepper or garlic powder.

    We also make two versions of fancy popcorn

    1. “Caramel corn”. Melt a few tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Heat until it melts and drizzle on the popcorn.

    2. Buffalo Chicken Popcorn. Melt a few tablespoons of butter and add 1 teaspoon of Hot sauce, 1/4 tsp of celery salt and a few tablespoons of blue cheese dressing. Heat until it melts and drizzle on the popcorn.

  • Lisa says:

    Pop in coconut oil….white kernels only. Then top with real butter, sea salt, organic garlic powder and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Delish!

  • Dawn says:

    Does anyone have a method for butterng popcorn that doesn’t make the popcorn soggy? I don’t know how they do it at the theater, but at home-it just gets wet and GROSS. Any ideas?

  • Jessica Becker says:

    Hi Collin-
    My mom tought me to put all the seeds in at once and just wait for the first one to pop, and than holding the lid on, shake the pan back and forth holding just barely off the burner until all kernels popped. That way you get it all popped without burning it! Just a thought to share! ;’ )

  • Nina says:

    I am so excited to see this post! We have regular popcorn from the Boyscouts and no way to pop it! Now we do :-) We enjoy tobasco sauce on our popcorn. Be careful not to add too much or it ruins it. Enjoy!

  • AngelaPaige says:

    Hi Collin, Thanks for the idea and how to. I ran out and bought the ingredients today. We are trying to eat healthier at my house and this is so much better for them than chips, etc. Plus since I make it myslf I control the butter or lack there of. Thank you so much fr the idea!! and YEAH to cooking with Collin! I look forward to more.

  • Lynnet says:

    We make popcorn every Sunday evening and sometimes we fix it for lunch. We used to use an air popper, but after 15 years, it just gave out. We now have a Whirly Pop and a Stir Crazy (which we use most of the time). When we have homegroup on Wednesdays we like to make Kettle Corn in the Whirly Pop. Dump the following and follow directions for popping. if you use a pan or pot, you need to keep it moving, because of the sugar in this,will burn.

    1/2 c Pop corn
    1/3 c Sugar
    1/3 c Oil

    • Candi says:

      I love kettle corn made in my whirly pop too. We have also used a few drops of food coloring in it to dye it for special occasions. For example, red and green for Christmas. My daughter had a sleepover and we dyed it green and pink.

  • Tracy says:

    When I have it, and when I’m feeling like I need something a little more yummy…I pop my popcorn in bacon grease, then just add a little salt. It’s delish.

    • Vickie Caudill says:

      I was hoping I wasn’t the only one that used bacon grease to pop popcorn in! It is SOOO yummy!!! I usually mix it half and half with real butter and pop the corn in that. Then I sprinkle it with salt and black pepper. That makes it even better (if that was even possible!). We also like it with cheese and pepper too….. MMMMMM

  • Jessica says:

    I do a drizzle of truffle oil & sometimes nooch and cashews (vegan parmesan)… very delish!

  • Anonymous says:

    sometimes, believe it or not I have popcorn for dinner, when I’ve had a huge lunch and I’m not really that hungry, it works for me. I use olive oil to pop it in and sea salt. It is yummy. I can eat a whole bowl myself too Collin.

  • Lor says:

    This commentt is quite late from your post but just found it. I sometimes add 1/2 cup kernals, a bit of oil and also 1/2 cup white sugar and pop away. I get that kettle corn flavor and it is delish!

  • Aj says:

    Coconut oil: substitute for oil in cake mixes and brownie mixes; a tblsp in pancake batter to sweeten; I actually give my cats a very small tsp in their wet food (for hairballs – their fur has never be soooo soft!); I take a tblsp daily for optimal health. Coconut oil – you can’t really go wrong with it. I love the stuff!!!

  • Grandma Gena says:

    Since I am a “Grandma”…we always made popcorn from scratch. One day when I had all 10 of my grandchildren here and no ‘microwave’ popcorn I told them we would make ‘ol fashioned popcorn’….they called it “FASHION”. So since that day, many years ago, that is all we have. I still use the same old pan that my mother used! We love it all! I haven’t tried coconut oil, but hear it is better for you, so I will now!

  • Tonya says:

    This looks delicious, Collin! Thanks so much for sharing! I can’t wait to buy some kernels and make it. I havent had good “ol fashioned” popcorn since I lived at home and my dad would make it for us all! Good memories and yummy snacks!

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