Homemade Popcorn Is 100 Percent Worth It
There are a few things I feel pretty strongly about making instead of buying. It's not because I think I'm Martha Stewart, or because I think I'm better than the stuff you can snag on grocery store shelves, or even because it's often cheaper (though, yes, it often is). It's because the homemade stuff is approximately five million times better tasting. Some examples: Granola. ($$$) Whipped cream. (No offense to the spray stuff.) Salad dressing. (Sorry, Paul Newman.) But the one that makes me passionately gesticulate and offer to prove my point ASAP is homemade popcorn.
Now, the microwaveable stuff is a feat of engineering, sure. But for as much as I respect the scientists behind the Orville Redenbacher and Act II bags, they can't capture the pure goodness that is popcorn made on the stove. And it really is SO good. It takes only a couple of minutes longer than microwavable popcorn, and only slightly more care. And it just tastes better, in large part because you can make it however you'd like, and top it with whatever you fancy. Homemade popcorn is infinitely adaptable in amount, too, which is helpful when you want to pop some for the 15 people coming over or you just want to pop some for yourself while you watch Gilmore Girls for the fifteenth time.
All you need to make popcorn yourself is some oil (canola, vegetable, coconut, and olive all work well), some popcorn kernels, and whatever you want for toppings (butter, that fancy smoked salt you got once, nutritional yeast, curry, brown sugar—they all work here). Take out your favorite medium-large pot with a lid. Add in a couple tablespoons of oil (enough to thinly coat the bottom of the pan you're using). Add in a couple kernels. Cover the pot, turn the heat on high, and wait for the kernels to pop. Once they do, add in about 1/4 to 1/3 cup per person, depending on how hungry you are, and replace the lid. As the kernels start enthusiastically popping, position the lid to let out any built up steam, and give the pot a good shake. Keep occasionally shaking the pot (with the lid slightly ajar) until the popping slows to several seconds between pops. Then remove from heat, and dump the popcorn into a wide bowl. Dress it up with the toppings of your choosing, and eat up immediately.