One of the secrets to great homemade popcorn is coconut oil. It gives the popcorn a rich flavor and delicate texture. Here’s how to make a perfect batch.
Did you know many movie theaters once used coconut oil for popping popcorn? Coconut oil became a popular choice thanks to its high smoke point. This means it can withstand high temperatures without burning. And we all want to avoid burnt popcorn!
So if you’re looking for that movie theater flavor and texture at home, coconut oil is the key.
You only need two ingredients to make coconut oil popcorn–and the ingredients are in the name! The salt and butter are tasty, but optional, additions.
- Popcorn. Use yellow or white popcorn kernels. Make sure they’re fresh. Stale popcorn kernels won’t pop as big.
- Coconut Oil. Look for refined coconut oil. It doesn’t have a coconut flavor. Coconut oil is solid at temperatures below 76℉.
- Popcorn Salt or Pink Salt. Popcorn salt is very finely ground salt. It coats each kernel perfectly. So that’s what I always use. If you don’t have popcorn salt or would rather use pink salt or table salt, they work great too.
- Butter. Totally optional but a drizzle of melted butter is a perfect way to finish this popcorn.
How to Make Coconut Oil Popcorn at Home.
Making popcorn on the stovetop is remarkably simple and really satisfying. Here’s how to make it—and how to avoid burning it.
- Heat the Coconut Oil. Place the coconut oil in a heavy bottom pot. Use a pot that’s 3 quarts or larger and has a lid. Heat it over medium heat. If the oil is solid, it will melt quickly.
- Test the Oil. To check if the oil is hot enough to pop the popcorn, drop a few popcorn kernels into the pot. If the oil around them sizzles or the kernels pop, the oil is ready.
- Add the Popcorn Kernels. Once the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels, and, if using, the salt. Give everything a quick stir to coat the kernels in oil and salt.
- Cover and Shake the Pot. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. If you can, vent the pot by placing it ajar on the pot. If your lid has vent-holes, don’t worry about this. Venting the lid helps to keep the popcorn crisp and prevents it from becoming soggy.
- Listen for Popping Sounds. When the popping slows down to about 2 seconds between pops. Remove the pot from the heat. Don’t wait until all the popping stops.
- Drizzle with Butter (Optional). Carefully remove the lid and transfer the popcorn into a large bowl. If you like, you can season your popcorn with a drizzle of melted butter. Toss the popcorn gently to distribute the butter evenly. Give the popcorn a taste. If it needs more salt, add it now.
Tips for the Best Coconut Oil Popcorn.
Salt the Kernels.
The best way to salt homemade popcorn is to add the salt to the unpopped kernels. This way each kernel is perfectly salty. And, the best part, the salt sticks to the popcorn. Sometimes when you try to salt popped popcorn, the salt doesn’t stick.
Use a Heavy Heavy-Bottomed Pan.
A heavy-bottomed pan helps to prevent the popcorn from burning. And remember to shake, shake, shake while the popcorn pops. Shaking the pot also helps to prevent it from burning.
How to Store Leftover Popcorn
If you have leftover popcorn, store it in an airtight container to maintain freshness. Leftover popcorn tends to become chewy after a day.
How to reheat leftover popcorn?
While leftover popcorn never tastes just like freshly popped, you can heat it to bring back some flavor and crunch. Here’s what to do.
- Preheat your oven or toaster oven to around 250°F (120°C).
- Spread the leftover popcorn on a baking sheet in a baking sheet.
- Reheat it for about 5-10 minutes. Stir the popcorn once or twice to prevent burning.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for a minute before eating.
- Leftover popcorn should only be reheated once. After that, it tends to get chewy.
Homemade Coconut Oil Popcorn
- 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil or other high-heat oil like canola oil (1 ounce; 28 grams)
- ½ cup popcorn kernels (4 ½ ounces; 128 grams)
- ½ teaspoon popcorn salt, optional
- melted butter, optional
Place the oil in a 3-quart pan. Heat over medium heat.
Add a few popcorn kernels. When they sizzle or pop, the oil is ready.
Add the remaining popcorn kernels and salt. Stir to combine. Cover the pan. If possible, vent the pan a little. This helps to prevent soggy popcorn. Shake the pan every few seconds until the popcorn begins to pop. Then shake constantly as popcorn pops. As soon as the popping slows down to every few seconds, remove the pan from the heat.
Carefully remove the lid and pour the popcorn into a bowl. Drizzle with melted butter and enjoy.
Popcorn Salt is a very fine salt that clings perfectly to popcorn. If you can’t find it, use table salt or pink salt.