Perfect Popcorn

Total Time:
8 min
Prep:
5 min
Cook:
3 min

Yield:
3 1/2 to 4 quarts
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
Directions

Place the oil, popcorn and salt in a large, 6-quart, metal mixing bowl. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.

Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using a pair of tongs to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and carefully remove the foil. Stir in any salt that is on the side of the bowl.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Slowly drizzle over the popcorn, while spinning the bowl. Serve immediately.


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4.6 100
Wow! Didn't use a bowl, have an old stovetop popper, which worked great!!! Very few unpopped kernels, perfectly salted! Keeper!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We make this every movie night. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was amazed at how perfectly the popcorn turned out. I only had 5 unpopped kernels, and no burnt popcorn. Fluffy and tasty. item not reviewed by moderator and published
One of the best bowls of popcorn I've had in a long time. I used a wok and 2 oz each for kernels and oil. Didn't have peanut oil; used canola oil instead. I'm already thinking about infusing mesquite flavor, or hatch chili oil. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I prefer using a microwave safe casserole with about 1 Tbsp oil and a single layer of corn kernels pushed into it. After 4.5 minutes in the microwave, not a kernel is burnt and I have near perfect popped popcorn. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ruined my perfectly good mixing bowl. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Used ghee instead of peanut oil and did not use butter- really fabulous! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Doesn't even need the butter in my opinion. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Terrible instructions. Shook the pan for ten minutes and exactly zero kernels popped. I have no clue how you're all raving about this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good, but too much butter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I like buttered popcorn and so thought, "Why pop with peanut oil and then add butter?" I substitute 3 tablespoons of ghee for the peanut oil. The result? Light, fluffy, buttery, perfectly seasoned and non-greasy popcorn. Alton explains how to make ghee in the Good Eats episode Crustacean Nation III. I find that pliers (vice grips work better than tongs. And yes, the SS mixing bowl will scorch if left too long on the burner. The trick is to remove the bowl from the heat when the popping slows but BEFORE the popping stops completely. A bit of finesse results in perfectly popped corn. ;- item not reviewed by moderator and published
Prepackaged microwave popcorn is literally poisonous. Air-popped corn is, frankly, Blah! So I've carried on my mom's tradition of stove-popping kernels, yet the hulls always spoil the batch.... that is, until I tried your recipe, Mr. Brown. Initially I wondered, "What difference will a snip of this or that make?" But, boy was I wrong. Ladies & Gents, if you want a great bowl of popcorn for movie night, I highly recommend Alton's recipe. Fluffy, crunchy fully-popped kernels with nary a pesky husk to spoil the mix. Thank you, Mr. B. for a finally making my home theater night complete. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe does make the perfect popcorn. The ratios are just right. I added some smashed garlic to the butter and salt and pepper...heaven...except for the crumby movie. : item not reviewed by moderator and published
Truly makes a perfect bowl of popcorn! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had no idea homemade popcorn could taste this good compared to bagged ones. I used canola oil, another flavorless oil and no butter. Very, very easy to do, though my didn't start popping until 1 minute left and finished right up at the 3 minute mark. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very nice ratio of oil to popcorn to salt to butter. Thanks, Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Amazing! Puts other popcorn to shame. And is really just about as easy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Despite my reputation as a non-domestic goddess this recipe was a total success using organic popcorn, a stainless steel stock pot, glass-top stove on medium-high, and a combo of ghee and olive oil. I used extra virgin coconut oil the first time but I found the coconut taste to not work well with the popcorn. The nice thing about the ghee is that it's not necessary to use extra butter. For a treat I like to top my popcorn with Garlic Gold Sea Salt Nuggets. Yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Another trusted, tasty recipe from Alton. I added 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 T dried dill to the butter and the result was delicious!! I agree with others - no more microwaved popcorn! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Worked perfectly! I used a wok like many others over medium-high heat (electric coils. Seasoned it with rice seasoning...heavenly! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had forgotten what "real" popcorn tasted like because I've been eating microwave popcorn for so long. I now only pop my own using this recipe. It's easy, fast, and delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This has been Our favorite way to pop corn for years. It tastes better than any microwave or machine and is so easy. Try it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great popcorn...did not scratch my bowl or burn anything! However, the 3 minutes listed is not the time from the show - it's supposed to be 7 or so minutes. Mine finished before 8 minutes and it was perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Watched the episode on Popcorn and went to my local Target where for only $1.99 I bought a 32oz bag of yellow popcorn kernels. Good thing I watched the episode because I was starting to dispare after a minute rolled by with no activity other than my shaking. I don't have a metal mixing bowl so I used my Calphalon skillet with a foil wrap. Like Alton said, Patience will be rewarded, and were we. This popcorn was delicious. I will never buy microwaved or pre-popped again. Thanks Alton for making me a star in my kitchen. Have made many of his recipes and haven't been disappointed yet. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Flavor and texture is genuine...great! Cooking info...followed ingredients and instructions as written. Repeated using a popping machine at home. Got identical results. Thanks Alton! Annie , Fremont , CA item not reviewed by moderator and published
Don't Do It! I scortched my metal bowl and now I have to scrub and scrub and scrub. I was terrified that that popcorn was going to come leaping out of the tin foil and hit me in the eye. I put on a pair of glasses just in case. It burned on the bottom because I could not see what was going on underneath the foil. I tried it again with a Caphalon pan with a sturdy glass top I could hold down. I felt more comfortable and I believe it came out better because I could actually see what was going on. I would not try the Alton Brown recipe using the metal bowl and tin foil again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
awesome, totally perfect popcorn but maybe not so much butter if less totally perfect popcorn times 2!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Agree with Josjor, use a wok. I used a small electric wok, set at 380 degrees F. Same ingredients/amounts. Tip the wok lid away from you to let out the steam about 1/2 way through the popping. Mine popped almost all at once, and practically stopped popping all at once. Dump into bowl, add salt and melted butter. Perfect. And not a single unpopped kernel. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It sounds funny to look for a recipe to make something as simple as popcorn, but I was never able to get it right when I made it myself on the stove top (always came out soggy from steam). This is by far, the most siple, and most tasty popcorn. My kitchen smelled like a movie theater and the popcorn was amazing. The only thing I did differently was adding some grated parmesan and fresh dill on top of the melted butter. Yummy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellant!! No large mixing bowl....use a wok. It works great and many already have the handle so no need for the tongs Alton uses. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make this about three nights a week. Love the smell, the flavor, and the ease item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow! So easy and so tasty! It reminded me of the popcorn we made when I was a kid. I have a solid disc electric range, and this recipe solved all of my corn popping problems. item not reviewed by moderator and published
phizz1363_12993332, I use an electric stove, and have better luck with it turned up higher than "medium" (I expect "medium" on Alton's high end gas range is a bit higher than many). On a small burner (since the bottom of the bowl is small) I set it for 6 at first then down to 5 once it gets going. That is on a knob where the top setting of "high" is the setting one above 6. As far as this recipe goes, it's a bit greasy for my taste, and I not generally a "make everything lighter" type guy. I think 2 T of oil is plenty and you can certainly use less butter, though of course that should be "to taste". item not reviewed by moderator and published
Finally after all these years I'm able to make popcorn the whole family can get behind. My problem was always ending up with chewy popcorn as a result of the steam building up inside the pot. For years though, all you ever heard or read was to use a tight fitting lid and of course this is the problem. The aluminum foil with the slits worked like a charm! Every kernal popped, it was tender and flavorful and I never have to look at microwave popcorn again. :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried the popcorn for the first time last night, the result was a light crispy popcorn with a perfect balance of salt and butter. I am logging off now to make more! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just tried making this and I stood over a hot (electric) burner for 5 minutes with no popping. I don't have a wide bowl but one that's taller. I did everything according to the recipe. Please help!!!! What went wrong? item not reviewed by moderator and published
...because they ate it all and I didn't get any! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Instead of using the metal prep bowl, I used a wok. It worked great. The handle made shaking it really easy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Enjoyed the show LOVE the popcorn. We enjoy popcorn a lot but are trying to watch what we are eating. Air popped is too boring for words. This is amazing. We did it without the butter and it doesn't need it. Now I just need to figure a way to take it to the movies with us and life will be sweet!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I came across this recipe while looking for one from Michael Chiarello (saw him make it on his show) and decided to try it. Very simple recipe. I agree with the others that using tongs is a bit uncomfortable and I did have trouble. I used a kitchen towel and it worked fine. I think I need a bigger bowl next time. The popcorn came all the way up to the top, no unpopped kernals, no burnt popcorn, and no scorched bowl. I didn't use butter because I used Orville Reddenbacher popping and topping oil to pop mine. Reminded me of movie theatre popcorn. yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This really is great popcorn. You can easily dress it up into a gourmet treat by omitting the butter and salt. Drizzle a little white truffle oil (the oil I have is grapeseed infused with white truffles - gives it a rich earthy taste) in place of the butter and grate some Parmigiano-Reggiano over it instead of salting it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this so much better for me and my kids and they just gobbled it up, the other thing is, is you do not get that after taste of the microwave popcorn, or that yucky coating all over your mouth this was great thanks soo much! item not reviewed by moderator and published
How do you keep the butter from "wilting" the popcorn? Every time I add the butter, the popcorn turns into ... well, it ain't fluffy ... P.S. Forced to add a rating in order to post this question ... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this popcorn for the first time and immediately after tasting it I threw out the microwave popcorn we had in the cupboard. Not a single unpopped kernel remained and not a single burn mark appeared in the bottom of my bowl. I found that wearing an oven mitt on each hand and grasping opposite ends of the bowl lip to shake things around worked much better than a pair of tongs; as soon as a couple of seconds passed without any popping I removed the bowl from the heat, added the butter, and voila: Perfect Popcorn. Highly recommended! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loooove this technique! I've never been able to make stove-top popcorn before, and this came out perfect the first time. It's all the fun of Jiffy Pop without the heavy (unhealthy) synthetic butter flavoring. I did have to scrub the pan for a bit afterwards, but the fresh flavor of the p-corn made it well worth it. I might try the wok suggestion next time... Thanks Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do not like microwave popcorn. This is so easy. The fancy popcorn gadgets are expensive. Like to use the white kernels. As my grandson said "It's the best popcorn we ever tasted". item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe is great. When I first starting making the popcorn I used the recommended metal mixing bowl. Over time it built up scorch marks on the inside bottom of the pan, regardless of how I mixed the oil and popcorn and regardless of cooking time. Plus I always had lots of un-popped kernels. So, following a suggestion made by a previous reviewer, I used a wok instead of a metal mixing bowl. I set the wok cove a little off center to simulate the vents recommended in the aluminum foil method. The wok worked perfectly. No scorching, no burned kernels and no un-popped kernals. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made the popcorn and it turned out great. I prefer virgin coconut oil and used my morter and pestle to make the popcorn salt. The oven mitts worked out better for me, the bottom of my mixing bowl didn't drag as heavily across the burner. I was amazed it was all popped and seasoned. The coconunt oil give it a nice flavor without the butter. A wonderful alternative for us who don't like the microwave. My german shepard who likes popcorn also gave it 5 stars. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We don't like microwave popcorn so we make ours on the stovetop. This recipe is much better than how we used to make it. Make sure you watch the episode and use the bowl technique and then make this, it really is perfect - without bitter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My Family really like microwave popcorn, especially the personal size bags. When you pop them though, there are alot of extra kernals. I started saving those kernals and now use them for this, and they wrok perfect!!! thanks for helping us stretch our wallet item not reviewed by moderator and published
I really think this is easier than microwave popcorn and a heck of a lot cheaper. I love it when stuff turns out perfect on the first try. It is imiportant to salt the popcorn if you aren't using any other seasonings. Very Good Alton. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have never been able to make great stove top popcorn before but this was super easy and it came out perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hi, I am an Ohio University advertising student. We are conducting research for a project for an advertising campaigns class. We are doing research on a brand called Crown Jewel Gourmet Popcorn, and also the gourmet popcorn market in general. Anyone that takes our survey will greatly help us out in understanding our target audience. Thank you, you can take the survey at Click Here to take survey Any additional comments on this review page would also be helpful. Thanks! Carrie Scherach Ohio University Advertising Management Student item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is definitely the best way to make popcorn! It was super easy and we could control how much topping we wanted (light salt, no butter). Plus, this was a lot more fun than just putting a bag in the micro. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not as fluffy as microwave popcorn though that may be because of the kernels I am using but it makes up points in fun and an almost complete lack of "old maids." I also used a wok- so I'm happy I found yet another use for this kitchen tool. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Freakin' awesome! item not reviewed by moderator and published
What I love about GEats is it gets me to rethink much of what I do. What could be easier then microwave popcorn. Well this is and it tastes great. I second those who recommend an oven mit over tongs or a six qt pan if you have it. However, I did make it in a SS bowl and it turned out fine with 2 maybe three old maids. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have no idea what some people were doing to give this a 1 star rating, but I had no problems with this recipe. It even tasted great without the peanut oil (which I didn't have the time) and used regualr vegetable oil. I followed the recipe exactly and was shaking my bowl on the burner as soon as I got it on and 3-4 minutes later EVERY kernel was popped with zero burned. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was kind of hard to shake the bowl with the tongs, so I put on my "Ove Gloves" and held the rim of the bowl and it worked like a charm! I used the cheap store brand popcorn and had no problems. Nothing was burnt, few unpopped kernels. Goodbye microwave!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Making popcorn this way brings a toasty, nutty taste to the party, in ways a microwave cannot. Thanks Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Even though I had to substitute ingredients (veg. oil and grind up kosher salt in the blender for popcorn salt) it came out wonderful and it was fun!! It brought back memories of the old Jiffy Popcorn days. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this method but used my regular dutch oven since I don't have a really good metal bowl. It worked great and I had the handles to hold onto. I will definitely make popcorn this way again. We ate the entire bowl. Alton is the best personality on Food Network!! I really enjoy his explanations to the whole cooking process. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I would not suggest using the bowl as Alton does, I would use a regular sauce pan. I always use a pan and it never burns and there are never unpopped corn. item not reviewed by moderator and published
hi item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this method because it looked like fun..and haven't stopped...it's SOOOOO cool. I even ordered a pound of each variety of popcorn from Crown Jewel Gourmet...the place Alton got his... I'll NEVER go back to yucky micorwave popcorn again.. Thanks Alton! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't have a large steel mixing bowl, but I do have a large wok w/ a cover. I figured the shape of the wok would mimick the shape of the mixing bowl. It worked perfectly. Only 7 unpopped kernels and it tasted wonderful! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Saw this done the other night on tv, kids wanted popcorn and gave me a chance to try it. Popcorn came out right exactly as Alton said it would. Thanks folks!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It is ridiculous (and unsafe) to be using a bowl with no handles to pop corn. The best instrument is a WOK! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was so so easy! My kids loved "seeing" the pop. They were amazed that it was even a possibility to have popcorn cooked on the stove. They still do not believe that I was a teenager before we had a microwave in our kitchen. My husband thrives on "healthy" -this was right up his alley! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I use coconut oil instead of peanut oil. I make this for family and guest at least once a month, it is not as sickly buttery/greasy as movie popcorn. I actually think it taste better than movie popcorn! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Haven't opted for my own griddle yet, but did purchace my own ss popcorn bowl. Attached a 4" C-clamp to the bowl to make shaking it easier. Followed the recipe with popcorn from Whole Foods, corn-canola oil, even rendered my own kosher salt. Full success! Only 3 old maids. To their credit they did launch, but didn't have enough power to pop. All were delicious, even the old maids. DR Atkins TX item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was hesitant to try this but wow is it good. I even did it without adding any butter...which I never thought I would like. This is the only way I make my popcorn now. I use Canola Oil instead of Vegetable oil (makes it a little healthier) and sometimes I leave out the salt and after the corn is popped I add the cheese popcorn topping ( my son loves cheese popcorn). Yummmy!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Followed the directions and provided some great tasting popcorn. Better than any microwaved product. item not reviewed by moderator and published
C'mon people, different metal pots will produce different results, if you don't know that by now, what the heck? And better than tongs... an over mitt. So much easier to grip and shake the bowl with! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It is truly perfect popcorn. We used corn oil instead of peanut. It turned out great nonetheless. The first minute nothing happened, then they seemed to pop at once. The oil and butter and salt made it perfect. Great recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The popcorn with half and half and a little sugar is the best cereal I have had in a long time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
very good method item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was great! I used my wok instead of a bowl. item not reviewed by moderator and published
way better than micro popcorn...in fact, I may never make popcorn any other way again. The trick to not ruining your bowl I think is to keep it moving, and on an electric stove I had to use high heat to keep it continuous (takes a while to heat up too). The more sloped your bowl the better, I imagine, so the unpopped and popped kernels can separate easily. item not reviewed by moderator and published
A fun way to make popcorn for the kids. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was incredibly easy and delicious. The popcorn cooking smell drove me crazy! Using the tongs to shake the bowl was difficult; however, when I switched to heavy duty kitchen oven mits, it was a cinch! No burned kernals....no old maids...just Good Eats! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe and it scorched my steel mixing bowl. Although Alton is against unitaskers, the whirlipop is the best popcorn maker ever. Just when I thought he was going to pick it as the best popcorn maker, he goes against it saying too much steam on the inside. It has just as much ventilation as the method he liked. But the whirlpop scrapes the bottom to prevent scorching and as I see with other reviews, holding the pan with tongs is uncomfortable. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is just wonderful. Easy, fun and delicious! I sprinkled on mine a dash of cayenne pepper and my friend sprinkled Tapatio salsa (mexican aisle of your supermarket)...just superb! Thanks Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love to make my own...the bowl makes it a lot cleaner. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I will never make popcorn any other way again!! It is delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Probably the best popcorn I have had since the last time I shelled my own that we grew back when I was a child. We started on a cold electric burner set on medium so it took about four minutes for the popping to begin, then maybe another two to fully pop. At the moment it started to slow popping we removed it from the heat and let it continue to pop. No burned kernels and only 6 or 7 unpopped kernels. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just made this with my 11 year old daughter. We enjoyed doing this one together very much. This truly is perfect popcorn! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The way the popcorn tasted after using this method reminded me when I was a kid and we used to use our popcorn machine! Microwave popcorn is definitely more convenient but this way tasted so much better! I had difficulty using the tongs to hold the bowl in place. Other than that it was worth the effort! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wanted this to be the perfect popcorn! I really did! I shook my bown with tongs the whole time and the popcorn still burned and I RUINED MY BOWL!! So sad. I'll go back to my regular sauce pan. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Only five unpopped kernals: I kid you not. item not reviewed by moderator and published
great, fun way to make popcorn item not reviewed by moderator and published
AB strikes out for the first time with this one. He's right about stove top popcorn being the best, but invest $10 in a whirlypop. Shaking the foil-covered bowl was noisy and ineffective. And the corn came out overdone. His multi-tasker philosophy fails here. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've always been a fan of fresh popcorn with only a little bit of salt. I never thought to prepare and serve it in the same bowl. One recommendation is to not go cheap with the kernels. Buy the best you can find! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Alton is right. This is the best way to pop popcorn. Best I've ever had! item not reviewed by moderator and published
After trying this, we are never going to use the popcorn maker again. Terrific! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this, and we ate the whole bowl. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have eat my popcorn out of my big stainless bowl for years. But I never thought of popping in it! Alton is crazy, good crazy. Mark item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ill never make popcorn anyother way from now on, The best ever item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'll never go back to microwave popcorn again! I would be very careful not to overdo the salt, though. A little goes a long way here. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy, fun and delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
If you poured unpopped kernels covered in hot oil into a plastic bowl, it's your fault, not the recipe's. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yeah, those instructions are tough to understand. /sarcasm item not reviewed by moderator and published

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