Friday, February 13, 2009

Frugal with the All-American Snack

My daughter is addicted to popcorn. She eats it almost everyday as a snack. I purchase a box of little microwaveable pocorn at the grocery store and *POOF* it's gone. Not to mention, those bags are not inexpensive!
A couple of weeks ago, the family was watching "Good Eats" during TV time and Alton Brown did a show about popcorn (we love this show, by the way). The episode included how to cook your own popcorn on the stovetop. Now I know what you are thinking as you begin smelling that all too familar burnt smell, but his trick actually worked. He proposed that the shape of the cooking pan/bowl plays a key role in how many kernels pop. Most store-bought stove-top popcorn is done in aflat aluminum pan. Alton says that a nice stainless steel bowl works much better because it always popped pieces to move upward and leave kernels at the bottom for more heat.
Long story short, my family tried his trick and it worked to perfection!

Pour about 2T of vegetable oil in your bowl and about 1/3 c popcorn. Cover with aluminum foil and poke wholes to let steam out. Using your tongs, gently, shake your bowl (constantly) on the stove eye.
It takes about 5 minutes total, about the same time to use the microwave, to get perfect popcorn! The frugal part?? Well, a box of microwave popcorn can cost almost $4 for 10 snack bags. A bag of just popcorn kernels costs about $1.50 and contains more servings.

Oh, one more hint. If you are still using the microwave bags, store the unpopped kernels in a plastic bag and when you have enough, cook them as mentioned above. Voila, an extra serving!

Happy Popping!


Lindy said...

Great idea! I love popcorn, so I am definitely going to have to try this one!

Stacy - Mae Mae's Creations said...

Great tips! My kids love popcorn too. Any tips for making the caramel they pour all over it cheaper?

Missy said...

Wow I am going to have to try this! What part of Ga are you I am in Pike County

Kristen said...

How high do you have the stove? This would be a great solution for our popcorn addiction!

n*stitches said...

I'm sorry - I didn't post the temp! I have it set at around medium high heat. It's probably around 300-350 degrees.

Kathy and Rebecca said...

Great Idea. My dad use too make popcorn on the stove when I was young. It smelled so good!

Popcorn is a great healthy snack too and low in calories! :)

Thanks for the tip. We like Alton Brown too!

God Bless

Alex Hall said...

"Good Eats" is my FAVORITE show! I have about 50 episodes in my DVR. We also love homemade popcorn, but I just pop it in a large pot with the lid on. I put 3 kernels in to begin with, and when they pop, I put the rest in and shake every 3 seconds or so. We also have added sugar in with the kernels to have kettle corn!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Jennifer B said...

I love AB! I make a sugar free version of his brownies... so good!

We got a popcorn popper for Christmas, wished we'd tried this first. Because you know a popcorn maker is really a unitasker... :D

Upstatemomof3 said...

We do that with the unpopped popcorn. Great tip!!

Sherry said...

Yum! Who doesn't love popcorn?! :D

LeelaBijou said...

Very cool tips, thanks! ^_^

Sinclair said...

PLEASE back away permanently from the microwave popcorn!!!

Please do a search in your browser for "popcorn lung"

KNOW that they say they have removed the harmful chemicals, but even so, it has soooo many artificial whoosits that it is not worth eating.

ALWAYS just pop fresh, plain popcorn yourself, either on the stove or with an air popper. And add REAL butter and unprocessed sea salt if you want to add flavoring.

(My .02)

Abbi said...

I love popcorn popped on the stove top! I hadn't heard of using a bowl. I usually used cast iron and sometimes there are some burnt but not real often. Lately I have been using our air popper a lot. I don't like the taste quite as well but it is easier.