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Good, Maybe Even Great, Microwave Popcorn


hillvalley
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I'm trying to enjoy a bag of Wild Oats Organic plain but it's pretty bad. I just want a bag of popcorn that is light, fluffy, and tastes like popcorn, not chemicals and too much salt. Is that too much to ask?

So funny you mention this. I am trying, reeeeeaaalllly trying to enjoy the crimson popping corn that I ordered from Rancho Gordo. They are gorgeous unpopped and snow-white popped. But. They are are not terribly fluffy and I just cant' seem to find the right formula to flavor them. I'm using a bit of veg. oil and butter to pop them stove top. Then, I sprinkle in regular salt and micro plane some good parm. Most of which wound up on my shirt and couch last night.

It's...ok. I guess I am very used to the fake taste from micro bags. Mostly I feel like I need a good dentist to pick the hulls out of my teeth. I sure am getting fiber. Or something.

So, I'd like to hear the answer to your question, or any suggestion as how to make good popcorn at home that is good, and good for you. Or, at least not bad for you in a chemicals-will-hurt-you kind of way.

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Alton Brown had a show a few years back where he showed that you can put any popcorn in a small, brown paper bag, staple the top, and microwave it. I think he may have tossed in a little oil and salt. I tried to find the link, but there was a show since where he cooked it in a bowl on the stove, and it seems to have trumped the old show. At any rate, I've done it by placing the corn in a bag, folding the top, and putting it in the microwave. So you get the fluffy texture without that chemical taste that microwave popcorn always seems to have.

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So funny you mention this. I am trying, reeeeeaaalllly trying to enjoy the crimson popping corn that I ordered from Rancho Gordo. They are gorgeous unpopped and snow-white popped. But. They are are not terribly fluffy and I just cant' seem to find the right formula to flavor them. I'm using a bit of veg. oil and butter to pop them stove top. Then, I sprinkle in regular salt and micro plane some good parm. Most of which wound up on my shirt and couch last night.
Oh, I love that popcorn. It's great with excessive amounts of coarse sea salt and butter :lol:. (I pop it with corn oil.)
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I used to love microwave popcorn, but I just had a bag recently for the first time in years and was surprised at how much I noticed and disliked the chemical taste. Usually I pop popcorn on the stovetop with vegetable oil. Our favorite is to sprinkle it with truffle salt. Sometimes we'll use the hot air popper, but even so we'll still add melted butter and salt or truffle salt on top. I bought some jalapeno powder from Penzeys and tried that on the popcorn too.

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Alton Brown had a show a few years back where he showed that you can put any popcorn in a small, brown paper bag, staple the top, and microwave it. I think he may have tossed in a little oil and salt. I tried to find the link, but there was a show since where he cooked it in a bowl on the stove, and it seems to have trumped the old show. At any rate, I've done it by placing the corn in a bag, folding the top, and putting it in the microwave. So you get the fluffy texture without that chemical taste that microwave popcorn always seems to have.
Thanks for the tips. The microwave paper bag version is here and stovetop bowl method is here.
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Alton Brown had a show a few years back where he showed that you can put any popcorn in a small, brown paper bag, staple the top, and microwave it. I think he may have tossed in a little oil and salt. I tried to find the link, but there was a show since where he cooked it in a bowl on the stove, and it seems to have trumped the old show. At any rate, I've done it by placing the corn in a bag, folding the top, and putting it in the microwave. So you get the fluffy texture without that chemical taste that microwave popcorn always seems to have.

Doesn't the staple spark up?

I tried non-microwave popcorn a few months ago when there was that little news blip about workers in microwave popcorn factories were getting cancer (or something, I'm sorry, I don't remember) from breathing in some ingredient. I had a very hard time finding a replacement, I've tried all kinds of corn, all kinds of ways. This could be fun to try but if I hose up the microwave my husband will not be amused. :lol:

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Why does AB's stovetop recipe use a mixing bowl and foil?

I pop mine on the stovetop in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid.

I do mine in a saucepan too, but then I put it into a bowl. Maybe he's trying to eliminate an extra step by popping it in the bowl you eat the popcorn from.
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Maybe I'm missing something here but wouldn't the bowl be Very Hot after being on the stove long enough to pop popcorn?
I think it says something about using tongs to shake the bowl over the heat source. I guess you have to wait to eat the popcorn. (I'm really not sure of the practical advantage of a bowl on the stove vs. a pan.)
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Why does AB's stovetop recipe use a mixing bowl and foil?

I pop mine on the stovetop in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid.

Interesting - I'd always heard that you should leave the lid slightly open because the air would make the popcorn more crispy. I'll have to experiment and report back.

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OK,

I tried the AB method (both bag and bowl) and was not happy with the results (ok, I burned the bowl first time out of the gate). I too, have grown to dislike microwave popcorn. Have you ever tried to see what you are eating? Take a pair of sissors and cut a bag of popaorn in half. looks like a NJ chemical dump (my apoligies to anyone from NJ). After that I could not happily buy the stuff.

I did some reasearch and realized that hot air popcorn also tastes like crap, despite its fat free nature. So I bought one of these crazy popcorn makers... http://www.amazon.com/West-Bend-6-Quart-Po...6657&sr=8-3

This is a great popcorn popper. I ordered a few bags of organic popcorn and then have been poping away with corn oil. Add a little salt and pepper and I am good to go. My only comment on the popcorn popper is to NOT use the butter melt feature. Yes this is a uni tasker (which I dislike and AB hates) but it makes damm good popcorn, is easy to clean, very easy to use (my 8 yo can make it), and clearly taste does matter!

While this does not answer Hillvalley's Microwave Popcorn question directly.... It is the process I went through.

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