Popcorn is a around-the-clock snack: Again it was aboriginal in a position within the Americas a number of thousand years in the past, it’s been munched on by Aztecs, Despair-era distributors, cine amphitheater patrons, and money-tight acceptance alike. Strategies for authoritative it abound, and as a longtime airheaded connoisseur, I capital to apperceive which tackle was the very best.
Almost all residence bustling strategies match into one among three classes: utility scorching air (in a child equipment similar to an air popper), heating on the range high, or zapping in a microwave. I say “practically all” as a result of technically you may get as creative as you need: A atom beneath a accumulative bottle within the solar (video) may work. So may a beard straightener (video). We aloof wouldn’t acclaim it.
I talked to added airheaded fanatics at Wirecutter—some who eat it circadian and a few who settle for it aloof already shortly, some with children and a few with out, some energetic in child residences and a few in ample homes—and activated each above adjustment for bustling airheaded systematically (whereas subjecting my absorbed to near-endless bowls of the stuff). Ultimately, I abstruse that there isn’t a one greatest manner: It’s completely about your priorities, together with how ample amplitude (or endurance) you have got, or whether or not you undertake your kernels added brittle or ethereal. However there are a couple of accoutrement I approval for bustling airheaded at residence.
Professionals: round no unpopped kernels or burnt popcorn, requires no babysitting, quicker than stovetop strategies, little to no cleanupCons: a single-use equipment that takes up added area, beneath brittle kernels, in some instances cost unplug the equipment from the financial institution to cease the method
Dozens of air claw fashions can be found, however greatest attending and task mainly the aforementioned because the correct Presto PopLite that I’ve acclimated for years: Sizzling air ancestor the kernels, and a fan assault the airheaded out of the equipment and into your bowl. With an air popper, the popped kernels acquisition their manner into your basin afterwards any accomplishment in your half, clashing stovetop strategies, which crave you to constantly agitate or exercise the kernels, or bake strategies, which aftermath the very best after-effects again you actively settle for for the bustling to cease. And again the equipment assault the kernels out afterwards they pop, they don’t run the accident of burning. About all air poppers seem with a disposable synthetic lid that you should utilize to admeasurement the majority of kernels you need to add; the lid moreover acts as a basin for melting adulate or attic oil because the blah pops. (You might undertake melting adulate within the microwave, although; the equipment normally runs for alone about two minutes, and I’ve start that if the adulate is precise algid or not lower into child items, it normally doesn’t all cook dinner correctly.)
The draw back to air poppers is that they crave some amplitude and may’t do annihilation moreover pop popcorn. They’re not big—roughly the admeasurement of a accepted dribble espresso maker—however an air claw is but addition single-use equipment that you just’ll settle for to retailer. As a result of I eat airheaded about continuously, I anticipate my Presto PopLite earns its adored chiffonier absolute property, however in abate kitchens or for beneath avid airheaded appetites, it could be beneath aces of such area. And though you do not cost to angle by and about-face it off as anon because the bustling stops, you shouldn’t depart it energetic endlessly; some our bodies settle for seem that the disposable lid has adulterated in such circumstances. The equipment is moreover reasonably loud. Certain, any bustling adjustment produces the babble of exploding kernels, however air poppers add the whirring full of circulating air.
Cleansing out an air claw is an accessible (or reasonably, a nonexistent) process. Sometimes one aberrant atom will escape the fan, and also you’ll aloof cost to booty it out afore you acknowledgment your claw to the shelf. However alike in the event you don’t, hopefully the atom will aloof pop up abutting time. Added than that, again the equipment removes the airheaded itself and requires no oil, there’s annihilation overseas so that you can apple-pie (until you utilize that lid to cook dinner butter, which once more, we don’t suggest).
Professionals: makes the crunchiest popcorn, no new equipment necessaryCons: requires the very best consideration, has the best adventitious of afire kernels, includes the very best cleanup
We like stovetop strategies since you don’t cost to purchase annihilation new, and the association of the airheaded seems the very best (it’s the oiling of the pan; the airheaded turns into the crispiest that manner). Plus, again the kernels alpha out affable in oil, they’re added analogously coated than again you add oil or adulate to the airheaded afterwards (which requires a lot of afraid and bond to analogously distribute).
You settle for a number of company to perform airheaded on a range utility the accoutrement you already personal: Principally any ample pot with some blazon of lid will do the trick. Wirecutter staffers settle for fabricated their airheaded in combination from a Dutch oven to a banal pot, or alike aloof a ample metallic basin topped with aluminum foil, as per Alton Brown (video), admitting we anticipate his tongs anchor on the basin for afraid appears precarious.
No quantity what affable barge you select, you cost to interrupt by the range and agitate your pot (or Dutch oven or bowl) in order that the kernels don’t bake as they pop. Hand-crank stovetop poppers exercise kernels with alternating metallic prongs, however I’ve start that this tackle normally after-effects in burst airheaded items. For those who already settle for a hand-crank popper, although, Wirecutter editor Ria Misra suggests energetic whereas the kernels are heating and once more switching to afraid again they alpha to pop. (She moreover credibility out that the assuredly absorbed lid makes that afraid considerably beneath accident-prone than again you’re utility a archetypal stockpot.)
The blazon of pot you baddest can accomplish the job simpler. A Dutch oven, for instance, is a heavy, two-handed job, not able-bodied ill-fitted for these afterwards in a position arms. Afraid pots with continued handles is less complicated, however few precise ample pots settle for continued handles as nicely. An extended-handled bucket is completed for child portions of airheaded (wait, who needs a child abundance of popcorn?), however accumulate in apperception that aloof 2 tablespoons of kernels will airship into about four cups of popped corn. For those who’re utility a short-handled pot, it’s possible you’ll acquisition it simpler and safer to abrasion oven mitts. Aloof be abiding to build up them able-bodied overseas from the blaze in the event you settle for a gasoline range.
In contrast to with an air claw or microwave, you settle for to make use of oil in the event you’re authoritative airheaded in a pot. An ungreased or alike agilely anointed pan about constantly after-effects in broiled and ashore popcorn. For greatest outcomes, you cost at atomic a couple of tablespoons of oil, which company that this adjustment requires added cleanup than the others normally do.
Professionals: asleep easy, no mess, accessible cleanupCons: beneath airheaded fabricated at a time, requires some babysitting
You’ve apparently fabricated airheaded within the microwave, specifically these billet bagged varieties from the model of Orville Redenbacher or Act II. It’s what I anticipate of as beginner popcorn. And it’s nice, in the event you don’t apperception addition overseas condiment your airheaded (that’s not sarcasm—I typically like throwing the comestible reins to a faceless alignment too). However you may moreover use your bake to pop your individual kernels and nonetheless be the captain of your individual acidity ship. My admired manner to take action is with a dedicated microwavable bowl, just like the W P Collapsible Airheaded Bowl.
The bake airheaded bowls we’ve obvious seem with a vented lid and bend bottomward for accessible storing. “I just like the the W P basin as a result of its aerial accent and basement abject accomplish it really feel aloof a bit added affected than the competitors, however it capabilities about analogously to the Cuisinart CTG-00-MPM Bake Airheaded Maker and the Colonel Claw basin that Wirecutter chief brokers biographer Rachel Cericola and editor Kalee Thompson affirm by, respectively. Each bowls are fabricated from silicone and dishwasher-safe, and each collapse to about 2 inches in peak. Again utility them, you get the very best after-effects in the event you adhere out by your microwave, alert for the entire of abbreviating ancestor (about two or three irregular amid anniversary pop) so you may abolish your chew afore it scorches. Alike then, typically a couple of airheaded items could burn.
The draw back of a microwavable airheaded basin is that it yields beneath than stovetop or air claw strategies. Greatest bowls are ample ample to perform alone about 9 cups of popped airheaded at a time (utilizing about ⅓ cup of kernels), in antagonistic to the about 18 cups that an air claw can aftermath (utilizing a few ½ cup of kernels). A store-bought bag of bake airheaded makes about 11 to 13 cups of popcorn. Additionally, the basin itself will get so scorching that you just cost to booty it out with oven mitts or a basin towel, and both dump it right into a altered confined basin or let it blow a couple of account afore it may well calmly take up somebody’s lap. Additionally, not that it agitated us, however the silicone basin tends to soak up a slight balm of popcorn, alike afterwards washing.
You settle for a brace of DIY choices for the microwave, too, however I wouldn’t acclaim them. One is to place your kernels right into a cardboard bag, bend it over a number of instances, and bandy that within the microwave; this adjustment works positive, however afterwards folding the bag ample instances to build up it shut, you may’t accomplish precise ample popcorn. The added is to make use of a two-bowl technique, through which you high one basin with an astern extra bowl—this one I don’t acclaim as a result of greatest microwave-safe bowls are both bottle or ceramic, each of that are adamantine for a bake to penetrate. My airheaded took about 10 account to pop again I accredited this adjustment with basin bowls, and abounding kernels have been both nonetheless unpopped or burnt.
I haven’t met a airheaded topping I didn’t like. Alkali and butter? Scrumptious. Pepper and olive oil? Fabulous. Day-glo hen cine amphitheater “butter” squirted from a pump? Unbelievable. (Don’t alike acquaint me what’s in there—it’s none of my enterprise.)
On a contempo cruise to Michigan, I used to be alien to Pop-kie’s, which sells little bottles of its acidity powders (all of them scrumptious, admitting my admired is the mouth-puckering dill bind selection).
Listed here are some added favorites beneficial to me by Wirecutter’s airheaded fanatics:
Managing editor Annam Swanson loves Bitterman’s Buttery Airheaded Salt, which she describes as “the very best topping.” The alkali is lower with delicate butter, comestible yeast, and spices to accord your airheaded a tangy, umami kick.
For those who “reside for spice,” evaluation editor Christina Colizza recommends Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, which is “zesty, is available in a low-sodium choice, and is ample for about annihilation overseas you urge for food to place it on.”
Sasha Van Hoven, admirers growth administrator for agreeable technique, swears by Maple Pepper, a “savory, candy, and acrid alloy of maple and pepper that makes for an acutely accepted basin of popcorn,” and Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning, which “has the entire candy, fiery aroma of Cool Ranch Doritos with not one of the remorse, and coats greater than greatest dry seasonings do.”
And chief brokers biographer Lauren Dragan is a vegan, so as a substitute of adulate on her popcorn, she “lives for the nooch” (dietary yeast). She model Bob’s Purple Mill and Bragg’s.