I have to confess something. I am a popcorn snob. I am very picky about it and what I will and will not eat. I loathe the microwave stuff (although I do know it can be handy) and I strongly object to paying cinema prices for a bucket of never very warm and not that fresh stuff.
At home, I make my own, for the kids and for when we need it.
It’s cheaper. It’s easy. It tastes far better and you can control exactly what goes into it, and add your own flavours. One big bag of popcorn kernels is cheap (especially when you compare it to the cost of what you pay for in the cinema)
It can also be allergy-friendly, you can control what goes in it, and if you use only the little oil needed and go easy on the seasoning it can be a healthy snack too.
Making your own popcorn is simple and worth the minimal effort required.
You need a big pan, with a lid. I use a casserole or soup pan, that can take a lot of volume. I cook our popcorn on our gas stove, which is easier for heat control I find but you can make it on an electric stove, I have done this when on holiday.
To serve 2-3 people you need about 150g of popping kernels, which you can get from most supermarkets and health food shops.
I simply heat two tablespoons of a flavorless oil, like sunflower oil in a pan, and add the kernels as it heats up. Cover with the lid and shake the pan to make sure the kernels are covered. I have the gas turned onto high. After about 1-2 minutes you will hear the corn start to pop and it will get faster as more pops. I find it usually takes about 2-3 minutes to slow down and stop, but basically just listen and when it starts to slow down and stop you take the pan off the heat. I go by when the pops are every five seconds then I turn the heat off, you don’t want burned popcorn, that is horrible.
Be careful lifting the lid, popping corn likes to still throw the odd pop.
Season with whatever you want. We use salt, or sometimes a dairy-free caramel sauce, or cinnamon sugar. But you can use whatever you feel like.
Feed it to your impressed kids. Or like me, make up a bag and take it to the cinema with you…