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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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. :T
 

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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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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!

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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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.

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

Scott
 

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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. :T
There's a world of difference in the flavor between stovetop and microwave, isn't there? Yes, the microwave is very convenient, but the stovetop version only takes a few extra minutes. You can start preheating the kettle while you get the ingredients together, which saves some time.

Glad to see people get something out of this thread. And don't be afraid to experiment. Popcorn is cheap!
 

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How do you keep the popcorn fresh? The bags are way bigger than would be used at once... I have a feeling it will be months before a bag is completed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I put my corn in a tupperware type quart sized container. it has a small pop-top lid that allows ua to pour out the kernels without unscrewing the entire lid.


We received our coconut oil, and Flavacol yesterday. We made a batch with the "regular, off the shelf" Jolly Time popcorn.
We both agreed it was very good, although we'll be using a bit more "Flava" next time. I used 1tsb of that with one heaping TBS of oil to just over a half cup of corn. With the same amount of corn, we would have generally used 1/4 cup of butter and a TBS of canola oil. So to say that last night popcorn tasted "drier", is an understatement. However it "felt" much more healthy but was surprisingly flavorful (or should I say, "flavaful")?

Suffice it to say that I firmly believe the days of canola oil and butter are behind us.
This stuff is a keeper. But of course that doesn't mean we won't continue to experiment.

Bob
 

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I put my corn in a tupperware type quart sized container. it has a small pop-top lid that allows ua to pour out the kernels without unscrewing the entire lid.


We received our coconut oil, and Flavacol yesterday. We made a batch with the "regular, off the shelf" Jolly Time popcorn.
We both agreed it was very good, although we'll be using a bit more "Flava" next time. I used 1tsb of that with one heaping TBS of oil to just over a half cup of corn. With the same amount of corn, we would have generally used 1/4 cup of butter and a TBS of canola oil. So to say that last night popcorn tasted "drier", is an understatement. However it "felt" much more healthy but was surprisingly flavorful (or should I say, "flavaful")?

Suffice it to say that I firmly believe the days of canola oil and butter are behind us.
This stuff is a keeper. But of course that doesn't mean we won't continue to experiment.

Bob
Is this what you are using?
 

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I have a 8cup popcorn 'old-school' type I bought a while ago for my man cave. I bought it from an industrial place but they sell the same 'flavor' at amazon. I didn't buy the 'cart' for it since my man cave is small and this one sits perfectly on the small refrigerator. I've been trolling websites looking for ideas on popcorn so glad I stumbled on this one! I've bought two different types of 'pre-made' popcorn packets. These packets contain the oil, kernels, and flavoring that i put the oil and salt in first and let the 'stirrer' warm up the pot and then i add the kernels and pop pop pop!! Both brands create a large set of old maids (I'm at work so I dont' know what brands I've used) and I've heard of using flavorcol so I think I might go the route of buying the ingredients individually. I have a big bottle of 'butter' to use but i need to buy the dispenser to put on the top since 'pouring' it over the popcorn has led to..well..WAY to much butter!
 

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How do you keep the popcorn fresh? The bags are way bigger than would be used at once... I have a feeling it will be months before a bag is completed.
We bought a number of acrylic canisters years ago that we use for our staples, such as sugar, flour, and popcorn. They're similar to these found on Amazon, but they cost a lot less.

51WjHz-74dL.jpg

They're large, locking, and look pretty nice.

Scott
 

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Glad to find this discussion going on. I have a Paragon popcorn machine that I would highly recommend
to anyone searching for a popper. We have been using the pre-measured packets from paragon to use with it.
I'm always curious to try something different or perhaps better,, as of late, I've heard a lot of talk about Black
Jewel popcorn. Has anyone heard of it or tried it??? If so, please share some info.

Thanks
Dtprkr
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've never heard of that one. News to me.

It's fun bouncing from the various typed of oils from night to night, but I'd have to say coconut is my favorite.
Wifey isn't convinced there's much difference, so it's going to hard for me to talk her into spending the extra cash for (what I think is) the good stuff.

The Flavacol continues to be amazing! :T

Bob
 
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