Laura’s Cheap Trick #12

Stay Away from the Microwave Popcorn Bags….

…They are expensive and filled with unhealthy chemicals. Now I love convenience as much as the next person but, this trick came about because my daughter started developing headaches after eating microwave popcorn. That’s not good we thought and quickly isolated it to the popcorn. We decided to test the theory that it was more about the chemicals used in cooking and coating the popcorn rather then the actual food product itself. After returning to our roots and popping corn in a pan on the stove. Problem (for us) solved. No headaches and a much healthier treat was developed.

Honest it will take you no more effort than making it in the microwave. Here’s the recipe/routine.

First- from your local store choose a simple generic brand of popcorn. No need to buy the expensive name brands but feel free to sample around. ($2 for a pound of popping corn and it will easily last you a year.)

1/4 corn
a silver dollar size dollop of oil (put your thumb and pointer finger together…that much 1-tsp?)
3- quart sauce pan and lid

Toppings – butter, cheese, sugar, fun spices

-Put your pan on the stove high heat
-Add oil (really very little is all that is needed)
-Add 3 kernels into the oil cover and wait (about 1 minute- really no shaking needed)

While waiting I pull out my bowl and get some butter melting in the microwave

-As soon as you hear the three kernels pop quickly add the remaining 1/4 cup of popcorn and pop that lid right back on.

-Shake your pan back and forth coating the kernels and keeping them from burning.

-It takes about 30-60 seconds for the popping to begin in earnest

-You will notice almost every kernel will pop and if you have fresh corn the lid will pop off your pan. Feel free to pour a little off the top into your waiting bowl while the rest continue popping.

-Toss in your waiting bowl with your topping of choice

– Clean up will be little more than a simple wipe-down of the sauce pan

Tips: Keep you popcorn in an airtight container because it will last so long that it will most likely go stale before you can use it all. Old popcorn does not taste good.

There are air poppers (no need for oil) and microwave poppers also designed for homemade popped corn. But this will mean one less gadget to store or take up counter space.

If you miss hearing the first three kernels pop and they burn. Do not try to salvage your oil it has been tainted with a bad taste – throw it out and start again. (But at least it’s not the entire batch.)


About laurascheaptricks

Laura is a mom entrepreneur who owns a successful television production company in the greater Washington DC area. As the daughter of a couple of WW2/victory garden parents she is a free - associative thinker and often explores new and more efficient ways to accomplish tasks and save money. "I come by naturally."
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