Few things are as fun or stress-relieving as a family (or date) movie or game night. Everyone gets to unplug from their daily life and focus on the same movie or game for a few hours. It’s something that can create wonderful childhood memories for a kid and helps a couple or family connect, relax, and enjoy one another.
Next time you plan a family or date night, consider making some popcorn to add to the fun and enjoyment. Many people love popcorn, and it can even be a healthy snack if you’re careful with the salt and other toppings.
There is a bit of an art and science to making great popcorn, so take a look at these tips before family night, so you’ll be ready to impress.
Popping Corn on the Stovetop
Popping corn on the stovetop is a tried and true way to get great popcorn. Here are a few tips:
- Heat your pan over medium heat for a minute, then add oil that has a high smoke point, like grapeseed. You can also use half oil, half butter—that will give you a buttery taste without having to add melted butter, which can make your popcorn soggy. Heat the oil for a minute before adding the popcorn.
- Use about 3 tablespoons of oil or oil/butter mixture and 1/2 cup popcorn.
- Use a good quality popcorn. You might wish to experiment to find the type you like best.
- Try to keep the popcorn from popping for as long as you can. You can do this by shaking the pan, or you can use a Whirly Pop, which has a handle that’s easy to turn. The longer you can keep the kernels from popping, the more tender the resultant popcorn will be.
- Experiment with different amounts of oil. Many people find that using more oil than you’d think (6 tablespoons in the above example) can result in crispier popcorn that doesn’t need as much topping.
Great Popcorn Toppings
You can buy a variety of ready-made toppings for popcorn, but they often contain lots of salt and other not-so-healthy ingredients. Instead, consider some of these toppings:
- Nutritional yeast, which gives the popcorn a cheesy flavor without the calories or salt
- A dusting of sea salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Parmesan cheese
- Stevia powder
You can dump your popcorn into a paper grocery bag and shake it while adding toppings to get even coverage.