So the Chief and I love popcorn, and we find it’s a very affordable snack for our big family. But we have always hankered after that magical, salty-buttery taste that movie theater popcorn has. There are a few factors that go into making the very best movie theater popcorn.
First Variable: What Kind of Popper Should I Use
The healthiest popcorn is made in an air popper They are cheap and very easy to use, and I used one for years. They look like this:
…and you dump a handful of kernels into the slot, put a bowl in front of the chute, plug it in, and watch the magic. They are a lot of fun. Add a little salt and they are the cheapest way to make popcorn, too.
Does the scoopy thingy up top work to melt butter? Thank you for asking. It does not.
Another fun way to make popcorn is in a Whirley Pop Popcorn maker. They sit on a stove eye, you dump a little butter in, and churn the crank to stir the kernels. This is fairly cheap and it can make delicious movie theater popcorn. It is also a LOT of work.
The Stir Crazy takes oil in its base and will stir your popcorn for you. Totally worth the extra ten bucks.
You can also just use oil in a sauce pan and stir it constantly, but for me the guess work of getting it the right temperature and the constant stirring would have me making popcorn less.
Second Variable: What Kind of Oil to Use?
First, let me save you some heartache. Do not use butter or margarine in your popcorn maker. Movie theaters do not make it that way, and if you do, you can burn out your popcorn maker. Yep, I’m saying that from experience.
You can use any good vegetable oil for your popcorn, but we have had a slightly better experience with coconut oil. Coconut oil doesn’t lend any taste to the popcorn. It is light and clear. For our ideal popcorn, we use two tablespoons of solid coconut oil.
When we run out of coconut oil, we use canola oil.
Last Variable: Seasoning (Movie Theater Popcorn, the secret ingredient)
In our research, we discovered that there is a salt you can buy for popcorn that makes it taste exactly like movie theater popcorn. The salt is called Flavacol. You can buy Flavacol right off Amazon, or you can look for it at your local restaurant supply store. For us it was a little cheaper locally.
Once the oil is hot, we add a cup of kernels to the popper – we don’t have a favorite kind of kernels right now. We’re just buying cheap store brand corn. I’ll update this later if that changes.
Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of Flavacol right over the kernels.
Wait for your corn to pop.
If you love movie theater popcorn, you will never go back to cooking it any other way. Enjoy!
p.s. There is also a glaze you can buy to make kettle corn at home. It cooks right in the machine just like the Flavacol. The kids love it!
p.p.s. There are affiliate links to Amazon in this article. Thank you for your support!