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(Chicago Sun-Times)   Of course the most controversial debate of all on Fark is whether or not to pop your popcorn like a man with oil, or air like a sissy little girl   (suntimes.com) divider line 257
    More: Cool, Fark, River North, Lakeview, kitchen gadget, Parmesan, GMO, hot sauces, paper bag  
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6333 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Feb 2012 at 10:35 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-26 11:44:49 AM  
Popcorn was invented as a means to make hard kernel corn digestible to humans, in spite of its evolved natural defenses against penetration by the funguses that would occasionally wipe out the crops of softer-kerneled corn. Individual kernels require specific features to pop correctly, though: a certain amount of water inside the kernel (so no droughts in the season it grew), and a kernel wall tough enough to contain that water as it turns to steam until the entire wall ruptures at once, with no defects that might cause premature cracking or slow leakage, leaving an unpopped or partially popped kernel that provides little or no nutrition.

Oil popping essentially boils the outer wall in oil, toughening the outer wall and sealing any pores the steam could escape through, like cuir bolli leather. This makes it so only the kernels that lacked enough water to pop under any circumstances fail to do so. Microwaving directly targets the water inside the kernel, and the temperature difference between the water-rich center and water-poor shell helps contain the pressure, but can also make the shell soggy from internal condensation and more likely to crack instead of pop, not to mention the potential to trigger burns due to uneven microwave exposure. Air popping is fun to watch, but also by far the most likely to leave many unpopped and partially popped kernels bouncing around, not to mention the most inefficient use of energy among the three.

tl;dr Need lots of food? Pop in oil. Need healthy food? Pop in microwave (and buy popcorn without artificial flavorings). Need to relive your 1970s childhood? Air pop.
 
2012-02-26 11:45:43 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: HotIgneous Intruder: Olive oil in a crank stir popping pan, ftw.

Coconut Oil. You want coconut oil.

For starters, olive oil degrades pretty rapidly at the temperatures required for popping, meaning you lose almost all the flavor. Secondly, coconut oil smells like the movie theaters from when you were a kid, because that's what they used to use before the health nazis got their way. Seriously, try it, you'll be sold.


/raises hand

Um, yes, I would like to add my name to the Cocnut Oil Club, please.
 
2012-02-26 11:46:28 AM  
I thought that air popped corn made corn that was too chewy.

Am I wrong on this?
 
2012-02-26 11:47:40 AM  

louiedog: Of course if I'm making it for a lady I go for the oil. I also make sure to apply the melted butter with my penis. How else will she know that I'm a man?


That reminds me:

i41.tinypic.com
 
2012-02-26 11:51:02 AM  
This:

farm2.static.flickr.com

Is better than this:

www.cheese-burger.net

/I have both within 3 miles of my house
 
2012-02-26 11:51:20 AM  
No blood for oil!
 
2012-02-26 11:51:30 AM  
Medium sized sauce pan. Cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil. Do the same with the popcorn (Orville Redenbacher's, of course). Swish around to make sure all the kernels are covered, then wait for the magic to happen. Once the popcorn starts forcing the top off the pan pour out about half and place back on the stove until the rest stop popping.

About a quarter stick of butter and be liberal with the salt. Good stuff.
 
2012-02-26 11:53:13 AM  

Grables'Daughter: I thought that air popped corn made corn that was too chewy.

Am I wrong on this?


Nah, that's microwave popcorn. The chewiness comes from condensation of water due to the temperature difference at the surface of the popcorn making the water vacillate between the gaseous and liquid states, and can be controlled with certain container designs but never completely eliminated. Air popping makes the driest popcorn, but there are some people that compare its dryness to styrofoam packing material.
 
2012-02-26 11:55:21 AM  

Grables'Daughter: Um, yes, I would like to add my name to the Cocnut Oil Club, please.


Paging Dr. Freud. Dr. Freud to the white courtesy phone please.
 
2012-02-26 11:55:36 AM  
When I was growing up, we always made popcorn in a pan on the stove, then my parents got an air popper. In college, I was dating a girl and we wanted to watch a movie. I knew my roommate had some popcorn in a jar so I made stovetop popcorn for her. We've been married for almost 9 years now and she still asks me to make her popcorn on the stove like I did that time. It's just about 3/4 cup with some vegetable oil, never olive (hello, breakdown) and butter in the microwave. Made it for her last night, BTW.

Once I toasted a lot of whole spices like cumin and coriander for a soup and then spun them up in my spice grinder (coffee bean grinder). I usually use a handful of dry rice to help me clean the grinder, but I was out, so I used a handful of kosher salt instead. The superfine salt had a hint of the spice flavor so I saved it and it's great on popcorn. Since there's some oil from the spice in it I keep it in the fridge.
 
2012-02-26 11:56:10 AM  
Whirley-Pop is where it's at. All aluminum so it heats up FAST and it has a crank and vented lid. Easy to clean too.

I had been using a normal stainless steel pan but my lids aren't vented so I'd have to hold it cracked open just a little so the steam would come out but not the kernels. Also it took forever.

I got the Whirley-Pop for Christmas and it's great. The butter topping from the same company (Wabash Farms) is also fantastic.
 
2012-02-26 11:58:27 AM  

OccamsWhiskers: Popcorn fans, and that means almost no one in TFA, this is what you need:
Cuisinart Popcorn Popper (new window)


That thing is a piece of shiat. I bought one to replace my Stir Crazy popper that lasted nearly 10 years. Farking POS broke in two months. Tossed it in the trash and bought a Whirley Pop manual one that you use on the stove. Makes awesome popcorn.

If you use "Wabash Valley Farms Real Theatre Popcorn Popping Oil" along with it, not only will you feel your arteries harden, but it's as close to theater popcorn you can get. We're talking coconut oil here, the worst oil you can ever use! OH GAWD, MY HEART!!!!!!
 
2012-02-26 11:58:31 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: For starters, olive oil degrades pretty rapidly at the temperatures required for popping, meaning you lose almost all the flavor.


I just want to quote this again for truth and add that the degradation results in off flavors and worse.
Definitely don't use extra-virgin olive oil. Use peanut or coconut oil.
 
2012-02-26 12:00:04 PM  

KierzanDax: We're talking coconut oil here, the worst oil you can ever use! OH GAWD, MY HEART!!!!!!


Wrong. Science knows better these days.
 
2012-02-26 12:00:20 PM  

airplayne: About a quarter stick of butter and be liberal with the salt.



Law of diminishing returns applies to the butter -- past a certain point, all you get is a mess and a waste of money.

For my tastes, when I use coconut oil I don't need to add any butter... but I still do. Just a little. This is Wisconsin, they'll take away my right to vote if I don't.
 
2012-02-26 12:00:35 PM  
img.photobucket.com
 
2012-02-26 12:01:28 PM  
The only thing the microwave is good for on this topic is melting your butter.

Take a cast iron deep skillet and put it on the wood stove.

Heat it up hot.

Add Peanut oil.

When that's at the fragrance point
add pop corn and a glass lid with a handle.

Shake it, baby, shake it.

When it's almost done popping, remove and set on hearth.
It'll keep poppin' 'cause iron takes a while to cool.

Transfer to a bowl and add melted butter and sea salt.

/you don't need a microwave for the butter, if you have a wood stove, pilgrim.

//and that's how we're making it tonight for the boys' night at home while the wimmins do a "jewelry Party" and watch Movies That Don't Suck.
 
2012-02-26 12:03:50 PM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: HotIgneous Intruder: Olive oil in a crank stir popping pan, ftw.

Coconut Oil. You want coconut oil.

For starters, olive oil degrades pretty rapidly at the temperatures required for popping, meaning you lose almost all the flavor. Secondly, coconut oil smells like the movie theaters from when you were a kid, because that's what they used to use before the health nazis got their way. Seriously, try it, you'll be sold.


Hmm. Maybe I'll give that a try. I probably make popcorm about once a month, so I was wondering how long the shelf like of that was, so I took a trip on the google. I noticed that Wikipedia says that coconut has a lower smoke point than olive oil, so if true, is breakdown not a problem?

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_oil
 
2012-02-26 12:04:07 PM  
Oh, and those hot air poppers you can buy for free at yard sales?
Snap those up.
If you live in a trailer or an older home, you can hook them up to a thermostat, (park the temp gauge on the pipes) and aime them at your pipes where they historically freeze.

Nice to hear that farker humming below the floor at F-40o.
 
2012-02-26 12:04:48 PM  

MrGuilt: I really like the crunch and flavor of the peanut oil, more-so than the other oils I've tried (olive, canola, sesame).


How does peanut oil compare with olive oil, health wise?
 
2012-02-26 12:05:33 PM  

I_Can't_Believe_it's_not_Boutros: Grables'Daughter: Um, yes, I would like to add my name to the Cocnut Oil Club, please.

Paging Dr. Freud. Dr. Freud to the white courtesy phone please.


Stop.

: )
 
2012-02-26 12:05:46 PM  
Popcorn isnt supposed to have flavor. It is merely a delivery system for butter and salt.

I havent found an oil that I like more than butter (although the coconut oil sounds good, might try that). So I air pop and coat it in real dairy products. Hmm....
 
2012-02-26 12:06:10 PM  
i.ebayimg.com

Call me hipster, but I've been using this machine before it was cool. And NOT for coffee! Doesn't plug up if you overfill it, and rarely gives you excess kernels.
 
2012-02-26 12:07:07 PM  

Riche: I guess I'm the only one secure enough in my masculinity to admit I use a hot air popper and LIKE IT. If you think hot air popcorn is the same as packing material then there is something seriously wrong with you.


i myself cannot eat anything but air popped any more. anything else is too damned greasy feeling and tasting
 
2012-02-26 12:07:15 PM  

JonZoidberg: is breakdown not a problem?


Not a problem.

/dad used to bust open a coconut with a machete in the back yard after punching the three holes and giving us kids a cool drink.
Then he would lightly roast the shards, and grind them on the grater for use in cookies and pies later.

//in the 1960's that is how real dads acted.

///not that Don Draper horsecrap you see on TV.
 
2012-02-26 12:08:20 PM  

Devo Cornholiosky:
Call me hipster, but I've been using this machine before it was cool. And NOT for coffee! Doesn't plug up if you overfill it, and rarely gives you excess kernels.


EXACTLY what i use on my pipes.

No fires.

Hooked it up to a temp controlled firewire.
 
2012-02-26 12:08:21 PM  
static.flickr.com

hotlinked like butter
 
2012-02-26 12:14:56 PM  

ImaDoormat: Popcorn isnt supposed to have flavor. It is merely a delivery system for butter and salt.

I havent found an oil that I like more than butter (although the coconut oil sounds good, might try that). So I air pop and coat it in real dairy products. Hmm....



You probably want to avoid Virgin Coconut Oil, though, unless you happen to already have some.

It still makes perfectly delicious popcorn but a.) it costs more and b.) it will smell too coconutty for many people, especially the coconut hating weirdos out there. Use the regular old Refined Coconut Oil and it will only smell like movie theaters and popcorn wagons used to 40 years ago.

And if you're not old enough to remember back that far, make some for your parents, just to watch their faces...
 
2012-02-26 12:15:25 PM  

Grables'Daughter: I_Can't_Believe_it's_not_Boutros: Grables'Daughter: Um, yes, I would like to add my name to the Cocnut Oil Club, please.

Paging Dr. Freud. Dr. Freud to the white courtesy phone please.

Stop.

: )


www.debate.org
/hot
 
2012-02-26 12:17:51 PM  

Spanky3woods: A splash of Tabasco was what my grandpa taught me. Awesome taste


Might I recommend:

i41.tinypic.com
 
2012-02-26 12:18:42 PM  

Incontinental_Drift: How does peanut oil compare with olive oil, health wise?


Both a relatively healthy, and full of mono-unsaturated fats. Gun-to-head, I'd give the nod to olive oil for health, but it's close.

That said, peanut oil has a higher smoke point.
 
2012-02-26 12:18:53 PM  

KrispyKritter: [static.flickr.com image 400x300]

hotlinked like butter


upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-02-26 12:21:40 PM  
farm8.staticflickr.com
POPCORN SNOB THREAD!!!
 
2012-02-26 12:21:49 PM  
The only thing wrong with the air poppers is the alleged butter melter schemes they use. All are inefficient and grossly undersized.
 
2012-02-26 12:22:02 PM  

NewportBarGuy:
Might I recommend:

[i41.tinypic.com image 270x400]


The container used to say "use it on everything" (instead of "great on everything").

And I did.
 
2012-02-26 12:23:29 PM  
popcorn in sauce pan with oil. pop. melt real butter. pour on top. salt. eat.

/mmmm...corn
 
2012-02-26 12:26:32 PM  
Peanut oil.

Cottonseed oil.

/Ummmmmm
 
2012-02-26 12:26:57 PM  
Creoena
Buttered popcorn (especially microwave) smells like stale urine. It's put me off on other kinds. To me, walking into a movie theater to me is like walking into a men's restroom that hasn't been cleaned in forever.

Wolf! Right here and now!


// ok that one HAS to be obscure.
 
2012-02-26 12:27:07 PM  

Rasraf Mekerk: popcorn in sauce pan with oil. pop. melt real butter. pour on top. salt. eat.

/mmmm...corn


I have a theater popcorn machine that I use to make my popcorn. Well, maybe not a theater machine, but a commercial one. Coconut oil, heat. Add corn with Flavocol to oil after the oil smokes.

Am I doing it wrong?

Suggestions?
 
2012-02-26 12:27:44 PM  
Also, in a pinch, I've sprayed butter flavored Pam cooking spray lightly on popcorn.

Was pretty good, actually.
 
2012-02-26 12:28:42 PM  
All popcorn sucks, if you are cooking at all it should be bacon.
 
2012-02-26 12:31:57 PM  

Grables'Daughter: Add corn with Flavocol to oil


At least someone else knows that little secret. I add the Flavocol after the first kernel pops, then crank away with the whirley pop.
 
2012-02-26 12:33:15 PM  

Eddy Gurge: Grables'Daughter: Add corn with Flavocol to oil

At least someone else knows that little secret. I add the Flavocol after the first kernel pops, then crank away with the whirley pop.


Why wait until after the 1st kernel pops?
 
2012-02-26 12:35:12 PM  

Cyclonic Cooking Action: All popcorn sucks, if you are cooking at all it should be bacon.


No sooner said than done.

lh4.googleusercontent.com

Link (new window)
 
2012-02-26 12:37:25 PM  

OnlyM3: Creoena
Buttered popcorn (especially microwave) smells like stale urine. It's put me off on other kinds. To me, walking into a movie theater to me is like walking into a men's restroom that hasn't been cleaned in forever.
Wolf! Right here and now!


// ok that one HAS to be obscure.


It's "Right here and Now! Wolf!"

in spite of this enthusiasm..


/Stephen King isn't obscure
 
2012-02-26 12:40:16 PM  
What's wrong with squeezing it in your fists until it explodes like corn-scented diesel?
 
2012-02-26 12:43:20 PM  
I wasn't even aware that oil was an option for popping popcorn, and the thought of doing it outside of a microwave (by choice, or at least without one of those cool movie theater popcorn makers) would never have crossed my mind.
 
2012-02-26 12:43:32 PM  

Grables'Daughter: Eddy Gurge: Grables'Daughter: Add corn with Flavocol to oil

At least someone else knows that little secret. I add the Flavocol after the first kernel pops, then crank away with the whirley pop.

Why wait until after the 1st kernel pops?



Artificial butter flavor and yellow coloring?

I'm not one of those Mr. Natural-organicy-kinda-guys, but still I think I'll pass on this. To my tastes the thing I like best about the popcorn made the way I make it is that it *doesn't* taste just like every single movie theater/gas station/popcorn wagon makes it these days.
 
2012-02-26 12:50:08 PM  

Creoena: Buttered popcorn (especially microwave) smells like stale urine. It's put me off on other kinds. To me, walking into a movie theater to me is like walking into a men's restroom that hasn't been cleaned in forever.


whenever anyone at work microwaves "buttered" popcorn, it makes me gag a little. That stuff is NASTY.

As are the movie theater "pump your own 'butter'" pumps. I've seen people just go apeshiat on those to make what must be "butter" soup with chunks of floating popcorn in their giant buckets. Ewwwwwww.
 
2012-02-26 01:03:38 PM  
www.mikepirone.com

There is only one way to cook popcorn, and I have the machine to do it at home. Coconut oil and Flavacol salt. With the Flavacol you get the yellow color and flavor without actually adding any hydrogenated oil ("butter-like topping").
 
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