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Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

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Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby GA Russell » Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:29 pm

I plan to be eating a lot of popcorn in 2015! For now, I plan to cook it in the microwave.

Do any of you mavens have strong opinions about...

1) the world's best popcorn

2) the world's best popcorn oil

3) the best way to cook popcorn in oil in a microwave

Thanks!
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby brothers » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:39 pm

Can't be of much help. I'm just an average consumer. My mom used to use the pan on the stove with oil. At our house we get the grocery store popcorn that comes in a paper bag, pop it into the microwave and when it beeps when the bag is all puffed up, take it out, empty it into a bowl (maybe salt it, if I want) then eat it. Does that mean I'm not a maven? I don't know what they are, so maybe you weren't directing the question to me? :P
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby Straight Arrow » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:43 pm

One of the more interesting posts in recent memory. Although I have no good suggestions for you I am interested in learning the reason for your plan of increased popcorn consumption.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby Squire » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:45 pm

Ok . . . the trick to good results popping corn in a microwave is the cooking vessel used. A surprisingly large range of microwave proof dishes can be used but we got our best results with a dish specifically designed for microwave corn popping.

Peanut oil if you must use oil, we got away from oil and never looked back.

Any seasonings (sea salt, garlic salt, Cajun, Italian, Greek, red pepper flakes, etc.) that you or other members of the household like. Bulk popping corn is inexpensive and individual batches can be prepared quickly.

Popcorn is cheap, nutritious, low calorie and highly versatile.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby jww » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:18 pm

We just go with the Orville reddenbacher bags. Works best for us. Love popcorn.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby Squire » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:01 pm

Or just follow Wendell's example.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby GA Russell » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:23 pm

I knew this would be a good place to ask!

Straight Arrow, as Squire says, "nutritious and low calorie." I plan to change some of my diet in 2015, such as consuming more liquids to fill me up, and greatly reduce sugar from my snacking.

Squire, years ago I had an air popper, and I felt that the popcorn was unappealling without the oil. Do you pour any liquid over it after it is popped?

Squire, have you tried coconut oil? I gather that's popular for popcorn, but I've never had it.

Wendell, in 1969 New Orleans was a test market for Orville Redenbacher popcorn. So that September when I returned to college, I brought along a supply. I believe that I introduced Redenbacher's to my college campus!

The picture of Orville on the label was exactly the same as what it was for the remainder of his life, except that he had a flat top!

*****

PS - Amazon offers quite a number of brands which I have never heard of.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_st_revie ... eview-rank

Thirty years ago, I lived in Pennsylvania Dutch country. The best popcorn I've ever had was a local brand from Lancaster County next door called John Cope's. I haven't seen it on the internet, so maybe they don't make it anymore.
Last edited by GA Russell on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby CMur12 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:07 am

I haven't even thought about it for a long time, but I have one of those microwave corn poppers. As I recall, I didn't get good results with it, at first. I contacted the company and they sent me a different bottom piece (it may depend on the microwave) and it worked fine after that.

I'll need to get some good popcorn and put the unit back into service.

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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby Squire » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:11 am

Some good stuff here.

Russ you're correct about the air popper but be mindful it cooks by applying external heat whereas the microwave cooks the kernels from the inside out so there is no need for an oil coating. We did experiment with different oils, corn, canola (rapeseed), peanut, sunflower and olive. I believe coconut oil is used by the commercial poppers in movie theaters which accounts for that flavor profile.

The only thing I add to the finished product is sea salt but my control group (college students) like all sorts of seasonings/flavorings. One note of caution though, if you're adding anything sticky (caramel) or oily (butter) wash your hands before grabbing the tv tuner.

Murray brings up a salient point. Microwaves are not born equal and if you're using more than one unit cooking times will vary slightly so beware, the difference between perfect popcorn or burned is a matter of seconds.

And wear oven mitts. A byproduct of microwave cooked popcorn is a fine mist of steam and scalding hot corn oil so remove the lid carefully.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby ShadowsDad » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:14 am

I did some research into movie theatre popcorn a decade ago...

As Squire wrote, theatres use coconut oil for the popping oil. It's a healthful oil.

After it's popped they use a butter flavored oil, I found and use Super-Kist, you can find it online. It contains calories from the oil, but it isn't a harmful oil. It also contains beta-Carotene for color which the body metabolizes into Vitamin A. It's the same chemical found in carrots that yields vit' A. The butter flavor is synthetic and is generally considered to be safe. HOWEVER, if one works in the factory where it's produced or eats a huge amount of popcorn every day it can pose a problem.

Then they use a butter flavored salt. I don't know which one I found because I took it out of the cardboard quart container and put it into glass. I didn't put the name on the glass jar. This salt is significantly saltier tasting than table salt. Don't ask me why, but it appears to be so. I'd google "movie theatre butter flavored salt for popcorn" or variations to find it. Google the Super-Kist to find that also. Same problem with health concerns, or lack thereof, as above. Just eat a normal amount and you'll be OK.

Be advised, it's not sold in small quantities from what I remember. Maybe it's changed now, but I had to buy a gallon of the Super-Kist and that container of salt was maybe 5-8 pounds.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby GA Russell » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:52 pm

Brian, in 1973 I worked for the Winston-Salem Red Sox minor league baseball team.

I don't recall the brand of salt we used when making the popcorn, but I remember that it was designed to emit an aroma which all the fans could smell as the popcorn was being made. Remember, we're talking about an outdoor ballpark here!
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby Squire » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:31 pm

Making stadium popcorn as an employee will either create a lifelong passion for it or put you off the stuff for good.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby GA Russell » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:36 pm

Squire, many years ago I worked for Domino's Pizza. I was told the first day of work that the day would come that I would no longer want to eat pizza for the rest of my life.

That didn't happen, but I won't mind never having another pizza made with Domino's sauce!
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby GA Russell » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:37 pm

It also occurs to me that the ballpark salt we used ensured that everyone would want to buy a soft drink before the game was over!
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby Sam » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:39 pm

Like this thread.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby ichabod » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:57 pm

We have a popcorn popper modeled after the ones at cinemas, only smaller.
Something like this (only not this):
Image
People, in general, appear to like my popcorn quite a bit.
Corn kernels from wherever, I think they're different every time.
I pop it with peanut oil, and then dump melted butter on it in amounts usually carried by oil tankers, and douse it with fine ground salt. I put it in a very large bowl for this, and mix it very thoroughly with a spatula before putting it into serving bowls.
Simple and effective. Probably quite bad for anyone avoiding butter and/or salt though. . .
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Set a man on fire, he'll be toasty for the rest of his life.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby M6Classic » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:15 am

I use Yoder Premium Yellow popping corn ( https://www.yoderpopcorn.com/products/1 ... ium-Yellow ). I pop it in a very big non-stick caldron on the stove top. If you start with too much corn, the caldron will fill and the kernels at the bottom will burn and you will have an abundance of unpopped kernels. One should experiment with how much oil and what type. Mainly I use low grade olive oil or unscented peanut (groundnut) oil that I Get at an Asian market. Sometimes I use coconut oil which keeps well and is solid at room temperature. With college kids and their friends coming and going, we eat a lot of popcorn, I usually buy six three pound bags of Yoders at a time and it lasts about three months at our house.

Nota bene that we don't like buttered popcorn or any greasy or sticky add-on...just salt and maybe spices or herbs. The best variations, however, come from adding to your popping oil. Uses the minimum of aromatic for the maximum and most even distribution of flavor.

A few variations...

Add a few drops of chili oil...also from Asian markets...to the main oil before popping. Spicy Popcorn.

Add about a half cup of sugar to the oil before popping to make Kettle Corn.

Saute crushed fresh garlic in the oil before popping.

My daughter likes to put on just a bit of truffle salt, but she puts truffle salt on lost of things.

I will sometimes add a tablespoon or so of sesame oil (the characteristic aroma of Chinese restaurants) to peanut all. Street Food popcorn

Your choice of herbs, spices, cheese, et cetera to sprinkle on freshly popped corn are endless.

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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby Squire » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:28 pm

Good suggestions Buzz.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby brothers » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:25 am

Sounds reasonably healthy too Buzz. We tend to overeat and to to eat things that aren't healthy because it just tastes good, and no other reason. (Somebody should invent something - or hypnotize us - to imagine we're experincing a delicious array of tastes without anything actually passing from our mouth to our stomach.) I guess eating based on taste is one aspect of human nature, or possibly something we've learned because in the past we haven't tried to teach each other to the contrary from the beginning. Or we didn't know better. Sometimes it requires a doctor's order or warning to persuade us to eat less and eat healthy, if we have to eat at all.
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Re: Suggestions sought: popcorn and popcorn oil

Postby ShadowsDad » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:02 pm

Gary, it's coded into our DNA. In times past, the long past, taste told us if it would make us sick, or if it was good to eat. Since food was hard to come by things like marrow (fat) tasted good, if not spoiled, and it was readily consumed. Particularly marrow bones with their richness. Lots of times predators couldn't open them up to get at the rich marrow, leaving our hunter/gatherer ancestors the rich marrow contained within when they came upon a kill that had been picked clean. Since we don't have sharp teeth, it was the beginning of our use of tools, but that's another story.

I agree with you, at the moment it would be good to bypass the craving for certain tastes. If TEOTWAWKI ever occurs the taste survival guide could be useable again. But popcorn laden with butter taste definitely triggers our "tastes good and I want more" receptors in the brain. Or a marbled steak; there's so much in that category.
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