Popcorn has to be one of the more versatile snack foods available. Not only is it a crunchy snack to eat while watching movies, but it’s also a good snack for giving to the children after school. It can even be strung on string and used as a garland for Christmas or made into popcorn balls as a fun holiday snack. And that’s why I believe every home should have at least some popped corn on hand.
Unfortunately, a lot of people try to just grab whatever popcorn is available in their local grocery store and don’t give it too much thought. That is absolutely the wrong way to go about it because the quality between different types of popped corn can vary greatly from brand to brand. Which is why I’ve decided to give my top ten picks for the best popcorn so that everyone can find the best brand for their families.
My Picks for The 10 Best Popcorns
#10 Amish Country Popcorn-Baby White
Anyone who tries this baby white popcorn straight from Amish country will be impressed by its taste. Although this product’s kernels are extremely small, they’re also extremely tender and are almost irresistible. It’s also a product that’s suitable for people with specific allergies because it has no adding sugar, salt or flavorings. Which also means that it’s gluten-free, tree-nut and peanut-free, Vegan, Kosher, and lactose-free. This corn is grown in the United States without using any GMOs and is considered to be a 100% natural product. All of which makes it a healthy snack for anyone who needs to watch what they eat.
#9 Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Butter
Some people buy Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn for the first time because they’ve seen the commercials, but most people buy it again because it’s really tasty popcorn. This product is made without any artificial flavors, preservatives or dyes, and is made using high-quality real butter. This company has been making popcorn since 1952, and it’s quite clear that they know what they’re doing. Each bag of Orville Redenbacher’s pops up nice and fluffy, and very few of the kernels fail to pop. Overall, it’s a product that sources their corn from family farms and delivers a great bowl of popcorn.
#8 Snappy White Kernels
Although this popcorn is made from white corn, which isn’t everyone’s favorite type of popping corn, and it doesn’t come in one of those convenient microwave bags, it’s still a great product for anyone who is craving a hot bowl of buttery popcorn. These kernels can easily be popped on the stovetop or placed into a bowl and popped in the microwave for a quick and easy snack. This is a brand that’s been grown in Iowa for over 78-years and is not only high in fiber but also low in fat. This non-GMO popcorn can be used for the holidays, as an afternoon snack or as a snack for movie night.
#7 SkinnyPop 100-Calorie Bags
Popcorn is so delicious a person can eat an entire bowl and not even think about it. That can be a pain, especially if you happen to be on a diet. Fortunately, this product solves that problem. Each of these bags contains already popped popcorn that adds up to no more than 100-calories a bag. This makes it a great snack that can be enjoyed anytime and helps keep the person from eating too much popcorn at one time. This product is not only low-calorie, however. It’s also very fluffy and tasty. Another thing to enjoy about this product is that it’s gluten-free, peanut-free, preservative-free and is made with non-GMO ingredients.
#6 G.H. Cretors Cheese Lovers Mix
This already-popped popcorn has a number of things going for it. For one thing, it’s made from wholesome, high-quality ingredients that are certified gluten-free, is Kosher for dairy and is made from non-GMO corn. This product is specially made for cheese lovers and has a great combination of romano, parmesan, and white cheddar cheeses. This brand doesn’t just make its Cheese Lovers style of popped corn. They also sell a variety of other flavors which include Chicago Mix and Buffalo & Ranch. All of which makes these 12.5-ounce bags perfect for enjoying at home. It’s also great for packing in picnic baskets or children’s lunch bags.
#5 LesserEvil Buddah Bowl Organic Popped Corn
When this popcorn brand says it’s organic, it really means it. This product is made using non-GMO popping corn and is popped in only the best organic oils. This popcorn is popped in a combination of oils which includes coconut oil and avocado oil and is made using grass-fed organic ghee. It’s also seasoned with pure Himalayan salt. This attention to details and commitment to using only organic ingredients makes this popcorn not only healthy, with less fat and calories than comparable brands, but also quite tasty as well. And this makes this product ideal for snacks, eating during movies or for just about anything else.
#4 Angies Boomchickapop Sea Salt
This popped corn is manufactured in small handcrafted batches, so consumers can rest assured that they’re getting a high-quality product. It’s made with non-GMO popcorn and doesn’t contain any trans-fats or high-fructose corn syrup. It’s also Kosher certified, is vegan and is cholesterol-free. What really sets this popcorn apart from its competitors, however, is its delicious and fluffy taste. It’s a tasty snack that kids will love to find in their lunchboxes and adults will want to take with them to work. And it’s packaged in snack packs that are easy to carry and only contain 80-calories worth of popcorn. Overall, it’s a product that tastes good and is extremely healthy.
#3 Angies Boomchickapop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
This 7-ounce bag of Angie’s Boomchickapop Kettle Corn is approximately 140-calories a serving and contains some of the tastiest kettle corn anyone can experience. This product is made using non-GMO popcorn and is considered to be gluten-free, certified Kosher and vegan. It’s made with nothing but wholesome ingredients and supplies up to 8% of a person’s recommended daily allowance of fiber. The only ingredients which can be found in this bag, besides the popcorn itself, is sunflower oil, sea salt, and cane sugar. Which is pretty amazing considering that it delivers the same great taste that can be found at fairs or Octoberfest celebrations all over the U.S.
#2 Smartfood White Cheddar Flavor
Smartfood Delight makes popcorn in a variety of flavors including caramel & cheddar, kettle corn, sea salted and movie theater flavor, but I think their white cheddar flavored popcorn is the best flavor. White cheddar has a mild cheese taste that isn’t too salty and doesn’t overwhelm my senses when I eat it. Another thing I like about this product is that it’s made with real ingredients which include popcorn, vegetable oil, cheddar cheese, whey, buttermilk, salt, and natural flavors. It’s packaged in convenient to pack 5/8-ounce bags that can easily be thrown into briefcases, school lunchboxes or the glove compartment of a car for easy popcorn munching on the go.
#1 Popcornopolis 12-Cone Snack Pack
This gift-pack of popcorn provides the buyer with 3-mini cones of popcorn for each of the four flavors of popcorn represented in this pack. The four flavors which can be found include caramel corn, kettle corn, cheddar cheese, and zebra popcorn. All of the flavors are great, but the zebra flavor is especially delicious because it’s made using caramel and two different kinds of confectioners chocolate. Another great thing worth mentioning about this pack is that all of the flavors are made with coconut oil, are certified gluten-free and contain nothing but non-GMO corn. All of which makes this product a healthy taste sensation that’s perfect for use at home, for packing in lunches or to be given as stuffing stockers during Christmas.
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How to Make the Best Popcorn
Popcorn is so much a part of our culture everyone believes they instinctively know how to make the best popcorn. However, watching my friends and families mess up their popcorn has shown me that’s simply not the case. And that’s unfortunate because when popcorn is made correctly, it’s really something beautiful to behold.
In order to help my readers pop the perfect popcorn, as well as to help some of the popcorn challenged members of my own family do the same, I’ve written this guide on how to do exactly that. Not only how to make the best stovetop popcorn possible, but also make the best microwave popcorn. Having made that perfectly clear, let’s get on with this guide.
Microwave Popcorn Preparation
Buy High-Quality Popcorn
Before you even begin popping corn, it’s important to buy the best microwave popcorn possible. This not only means buying a brand that’s known for delivering good quality but it also means making sure that the popcorn isn’t expired. You can find what I feel are the best brands by looking at the above top list for tips.
Never use the popcorn button
The popcorn button should never be used for popping corn. I’m not even sure why most microwaves still have this button because even most bags of popcorn tell the user to not use this button. So it’s best to just avoid it altogether. The popcorn is either going to become burned or won’t fully pop.
Microwave Some Water First
A trick that I’ve been using forever is to put a glass of water into the microwave and microwave it for 90-seconds before I pop my popcorn. What this does is raise the humidity of the inside of the microwave, so when you take out the water and microwave your popcorn, then it pops up nice and fluffy. It’s a quick and simple trick that only adds a marginal amount of time to the cooking process.
Elevate the Popcorn
Another thing that can be done to make your popcorn pop better is to place a saucer or dish plate upside down in your microwave and then place the popcorn bag on top of it to cook. Raising the popcorn slightly will ensure that it will get hit from all angles from the microwaves. This will ensure that more popcorn is going to pop.
Place in a Microwave Safe Covered Bowl
Another trick for getting the most out of your microwave popcorn is to take the kernels out of the bag, pour them into a microwave safe bowl with a lid and then pop them according to directions. This is often the best way to make microwave popcorn.
It’s extremely important to follow the directions on the package. Although this may seem like a commonsense approach to making microwave popcorn, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t follow these simple directions.
Listen for the Pop
If you’re following directions, then you probably already know that you need to hang around the microwave to listen for the popping of the kernels slowing down. This is important because most microwave times listed on the bag are merely estimates, every person’s microwave differs.
Stovetop Popcorn Preparation
Fortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of rules when it comes to making stovetop popcorn. All it takes it following a procedure that ensures the kernels pop well without burning. Below is how I make my favorite popcorn on the stove.
- 3 Tablespoons of canola or peanut oil
- 1/2-cup of popcorn kernels
- 1/2-teaspoon of popcorn salt
- 3-Tablespoons of real unsalted butter
- Large metal pan with lid
- Small glass container
- First, you wall to place the oil, the kernel salt, and the popcorn into a large metal pan and cover it with a lid.
- Next, you’ll want to place the pan over medium heat and continuously shake for about 3-minutes to 3.5-minutes, or until the popcorn has fully popped.
- Remove the pan from the heat and take off its lid. Be careful there will be plenty of steam.
- Place the butter in a small glass bowl and microwave until the butter is melted.
- Drizzle the butter over the popcorn and immediately place into a serving bowl.
Making Flavored Seasonings
If there’s one thing that people keep asking me, it’s how to make a great popcorn seasoning. After all, it doesn’t matter if you buy the best popcorn kernels available if it isn’t properly seasoned. Although salt and butter is a traditional way to serve popcorn, sometimes people just want a little bit of variety. And with that in mind, I’ve included the following flavored seasonings.
- Ranch Seasoning: Take a one-ounce ranch packet and mix it with 5-Tablespoons unsalted butter. Toss into a cup of hot popcorn and then sprinkle the kernels with salt and 2-tablespoons of chopped chives.
- BBQ: Mix together a teaspoon each of garlic, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and then add a 1/4-teaspoon of cayenne. Mix with 4-Tablespoons of butter and 1-teaspoon of BBQ sauce and then sprinkle over popcorn. Salt to taste.
- Hot Cajun Surprise: Melt 6-Tablespoons of melted butter and add 2-Tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, a 1/4-teaspoon of cayenne and a 1/2-teaspoon of garlic. Drizzle over popcorn and then salt.
- Gingerbread: Add 1.5-Tablespoons of sugar, 1-teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4-teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/4-teaspoon of ground ginger to 1-ounce of oil. Drizzle mixture over 4-cups of popped popcorn.
- Taco Delight: Add 1-Tablespoon of taco season, 1/4-teaspoon of paprika, 1/4-teaspoon of onion and 1/4-teaspoon of cayenne to 1-ounce of canola oil. Drizzle mixture over 4-cups of popped popcorn.
Having a hot bowl of popcorn is perfect for just about any occasion, and now that everyone knows how to make a great bowl of popcorn, I hope more and more people will take the plunge, and begin making popcorn at home. Not only for themselves, but also for their friends and family. This salty, buttery treat is perfect for everything from Christmas celebrations to birthday parties and just about everything in between.