Every night around 8PM, I head to the kitchen to make popcorn. I absolutely love popcorn with movies, sports, sitcoms, any broadcast media at all. Popcorn is my wind down treat. Not just any popcorn will do, however. What do I pop? White popcorn and only white popcorn. Friends that know of my love for these delicious kernels have gifted me with various and sundry types, black, red, yellow, blah blah blah. No thank you all. I want white, non GMO popcorn period. And I never eat microwave popcorn because I do not trust or understand the greasy mess the kernels rest in for years. I do not like air popped popcorn because there is no oil to hold the seasonings on and it feels like it is choking me to death. When gourmet air popped popcorn is gifted to me, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and yeast posing as cheese flies down my throat and up through my nose and I hate the whole experience so NO THANK YOU to air popped popcorn as well. Give me good old stove popped, white, non GMO popcorn in olive oil seasoned with salt. Its absolutely perfect in its simplicity and needs no adornment. To change it is to wreck it. This is what I do.
I pop my popcorn in a large designated pot that rests on the back burner on my stove the way that tea pots rest on other stoves. It will be used as surely as the coffee maker will (and the coffee maker will be used.)
Step 1. Which ever pot you use make sure there is a lid. It need not be tight fitting but you don't want kernels all over your kitchen.
Step 2. Lightly but completely, cover the bottom of the pot with oil. Depending on the size of the pot this could be from 4-6 tablespoons of oil. My first preference is extra virgin olive oil but vegetable oil is also delicious. Too little oil leads to very disappointing results (underpopped, less taste). Too much oil and you have very greasy popcorn. I stop pouring when the oil just covers the bottom of the pan. Somehow that always works out right.
Step 3. Turn the heat on HIGH under the pot. Yes high, not medium, not medium high. Popcorn explodes once the kernel is superheated. The higher the heat, the bigger the pop and the less popcorn shrapnel will end up in your teeth. Also with high heat, more kernels get to popping temperature so you end up with far less unpopped kernels.
Step 4. Add popcorn. Again you want to add enough popcorn to just cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Double layers will lead to more unpopped kernels.
Step 5. Put a large bowl next to the pot because this whole thing will be finished in less than 3 minutes. You must be ready.
Step 6. Place lid on the pot and leave the pot alone. Within a couple of minutes you will here popping, lots of popping. Leave the pot alone. There is no need to shake the pot or to peek.
Step 7. When the popping slows down so that you can hear individuals kernels pop, turn off the heat and holding the lid with one hand and the pot handle with the other, immediately pour this delicious goodness into the closely waiting bowl.
Step 8. Sprinkle the still very hot popcorn with table or sea salt to taste and enjoy. It already has olive oil so there is no need for butter.