The Popcorn Thread - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 80 Old 03-02-14, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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The Popcorn Thread

I looked for an existing thread about popcorn, and much to my surprise, there isn't one (that I could find).
So....
What's more natural than eating popcorn while we watch movies, right?

So what's your secret? Everything from nuked popcorn to "regular" popcorn. How about some fancy popcorn?
Are there any "popcorn-o-philes" out there? What do you get and where do you get it. How about fancy salts and flavorings?

In a pinch (when we're particularly lazy), we'll use microwave "Pop Secret" brand. Most of the time it's their standard flavor, but occasionally we find the "Movie Theater Butter Explosion" type in the store, but that's pretty greasy.

90% of the time we buy the bulk (no name) stuff in the store and pop it in a Presto brand popper (pictured below).
The unit works great and pops the vast majority of the kernels, but can be a little messy. If you use real butter in the upper chamber, it has to be brought down to room temp, because the unit doesn't get hot enough up there to melt butter that's fresh from the fridge. For a hungry family of four, the unit produces just the right amount of popcorn.

As far as flavorings are concerned, we use a powdered white cheddar cheese from a shaker (Kernals Season's brand), and a salt called 'Salt-o-Riffic' (Jolly Time brand).

Ok...that's our secret. How 'bout you?



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post #2 of 80 Old 03-02-14, 04:34 PM
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Re: The Popcorn Thread

Great idea for a thread!

Huge popcorn lover here. My wife and I have Movie/Popcorn night every Friday and/or Saturday.

We switched to coconut oil a couple of years ago, and haven't looked back. After years of using LouAna, we're just finishing off a bottle of Carrington Farms that was purchased at Costco. In comparison, the LouAna has a neutral flavor while the Carrrington Farms tastes and smell slightly sweet and has a more pronounced coconut influence. For us, it was too strong, and we ended up diluting it with olive oil when used for popping. The next kind we'll be trying is Snappy brand white.

For an occasional treat, we'll use a 50/50 mixture of oil and bacon fat. The bacon fat tends to smoke pretty easily, but it also imparts a smoky flavor to the corn that's not overwhelming but still satisfactory.

As far as the corn itself, I prefer plain old yellow, and usually make Jolly Time (also from Costco) for myself. My wife prefers white or red kernels, which are purchased from Fireworks Popcorn. The red kernels have a slightly nutty flavor, but pop up smaller and crunchier. Sometimes I'll make a blend of different types for variety. Our favorite was Starshell Red, but it's been unavailable for years now. It had the best and boldest flavor of all.

One day we'll have a commercial popper, but for now it's countertop or stovetop only. I've gone from a stove top Whirly Pop to two different West Bend Stir Crazy models. The first Whirly Pop was aluminum. It worked OK, but the bottom warped after a while. The Stir Crazy was also OK, but I wanted to upgrade to the Kettle Krazy model. Had that for just over a year, and the stirring mechanism broke. The fine folks at West Bend replaced it, but shortly after I had the upgrade bug again. I came back full circle to the stovetop model.

But this time I picked the Great Northern Stainless Steel model from Amazon. So far, this is my favorite. Due to the thicker bottom, it probably won't warp from the stove's heat. I add the oil and salt once it's warmed up, which helps evenly distribute the sale throughout the entire batch of popcorn. I had done that with one of my earlier Stir Crazies, but the salt ended up scratching the non-stick surface of the popper. Also, with the Stir Crazy, the steam seemed to condense in the lid, so the outside kernels would get soggy. That isn't happening with the Great Northern popper. The only negative so far has been the handle. The short screws kept pulling out, so I replaced them with longer ones. That seems to be doing the trick.

For serving, we have some popcorn buckets that were purchased at a local store a couple of decades ago. They have an insert in the bottom with holes that are just large enough to let the old maids drop through. That's greatly reduced the risk of breaking a tooth on an unpopped kernel. I've never seen them again, but they're really solid and should last for many years to come.

For toppings, my wife demands real melted butter. We bought an electric baby bottle warmer years ago for this. the butter is sliced into a plastic bottle, and the warmer gets it to the perfect temperature for covering the popcorn.

Usually I eat mine with just salt, but occasionally, I'll add some spices. Thyme goes really well with it, as does pepper. I've also used a chili lime powder. We'll also make cheese popcorn using Cabot Cheddar Powder. It covers the popcorn nicely, although some usually drops down to the bottom, which is easily consumed with a wet finger.

Microwave popcorn is reserved for emergency use only, or if only one of us wants popcorn for some odd reason.

Eager to hear from other popcorn enthusiasts out there!

Scott
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post #3 of 80 Old 03-02-14, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Popcorn Thread

Wow Scott!
That was an awesome reply, thank you VERY much. There's enough information there to cost me about a hundred dollars when I go "popcorn shopping".

Fantastic information. This is going to be great. Yum.


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post #4 of 80 Old 03-02-14, 05:14 PM
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We buy the organic kernels at earthfare 1.99 a # cook them in just oil and some salt. It's perfect, Taste great and easy to clean
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post #5 of 80 Old 03-04-14, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Popcorn Thread

I bought some Flavacol and some coconut oil. Should be here on Thursday.
I've got several pounds of bulb corn already, so it'll be a bit before I get fancy with the actual corn.
Looking forward to it.


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post #6 of 80 Old 03-04-14, 08:48 PM
 
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Re: The Popcorn Thread

I just received my Lindy's Stainless Steel Stove Top Popcorn Popper, 6-Quart from Amazon with Arrowhead Mills Organic Popcorn, 28 Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)... My wife made a batch about 15 minutes after I unpacked it. The popcorn tasted excellent. We used Organic Coconut oil. I am glad I saw the thread or we would still me doing the microwave popcorn.

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post #7 of 80 Old 03-04-14, 08:54 PM
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Re: The Popcorn Thread

Regarding microwave popcorn, one thing that I have found to work wonders is to pop the plain, low-fat stuff, and then lightly drizzle some flavored oils after popping.

It may sound counter-intuitive, (why add fat to a low-fat product?) but the oils used in microwave brands have an odd, abnormal flavor that can overpower the popcorn. The light stuff tastes a bit bland, but topping it with a flavored oil really allows those flavors to come out.

I've used avocado, walnut, and olive oils, and then topped with just a very light dusting of popcorn salt.

It's still not as good as the real thing, but it does improve the standard microwave stuff.
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post #8 of 80 Old 03-04-14, 09:41 PM
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Re: The Popcorn Thread

Right now, we are doing the microwave stuff, but my wife and kids bought me one of the cart poppers for Xmas so I am hoping to really give it a workout once the lobby and brewing area are done. Following along for all the great tips!

Quote:
SRW1000 wrote: View Post
Regarding microwave popcorn, one thing that I have found to work wonders is to pop the plain, low-fat stuff, and then lightly drizzle some flavored oils after popping.

It may sound counter-intuitive, (why add fat to a low-fat product?) but the oils used in microwave brands have an odd, abnormal flavor that can overpower the popcorn. The light stuff tastes a bit bland, but topping it with a flavored oil really allows those flavors to come out.

I've used avocado, walnut, and olive oils, and then topped with just a very light dusting of popcorn salt.

It's still not as good as the real thing, but it does improve the standard microwave stuff.
As an aside - where about are you in Wisconsin Scott?


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post #9 of 80 Old 03-04-14, 09:52 PM
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http://m.kegworks.com/butter-flavore...FS1p7AodGCcAsg
This is some pretty good popcorn for those of you with the cart type popcorn poppers.
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post #10 of 80 Old 03-04-14, 10:00 PM
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Re: The Popcorn Thread

Quote:
ALMFamily wrote: View Post
Right now, we are doing the microwave stuff, but my wife and kids bought me one of the cart poppers for Xmas so I am hoping to really give it a workout once the lobby and brewing area are done. Following along for all the great tips!
Please give us the details once you have the cart up and running. That's definitely a goal for us one day, but we just don't have the room for one right now.

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As an aside - where about are you in Wisconsin Scott?
Just north of Milwaukee.

Scott
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