There is a secret, and a secret ingredient. So get off the couch, and head into the kitchen.
First things first, you’ll need yourself a good popcorn machine (for serious popcorn eating fanatics only).
The machine I bought was a Paragon Theater Pop 6-Ounce Popper Popcorn Machine (#ad). I bought it for 2 reasons: 1) It’s huge and it makes a ton of popcorn (they make smaller versions, and larger ones too). 2) It’s steel… Easy clean up! It has a hinged aluminum non-stick surface kettle that wipes clean in seconds.
Now the popcorn:
You must buy the right popcorn. I tested a bunch of different popcorns, first starting with Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popcorn Yellow Kernels (#ad). That’s a good tasting popcorn (yellow kernels taste better than white), that’s less crunchy, and a bit more chewy. Most people will grab this popcorn because it’s well-known and easy to find.
I also tried Great Northern Popcorn Premium Yellow Gourmet Popcorn (#ad), which tasted fine, but I found the popcorn to be extremely crunchy. Meaning, my jaws got tired after a bowl. 🙂
Ultimately, I ended going with Snappy Yellow Popcorn Kernels (#ad), because it’s the perfect combination of texture, taste, and crunch. It’s crunchy, chewy, and just tastes great. Snappy is my go-to-popcorn, and that’s all I ever order.
Next up, the OIL!
You can use many oils for cooking popcorn, but the best is coconut oil. I buy the Paragon Coconut Popcorn Popping Oil (#ad), as it produces golden-colored popcorn with exceptional flavor and aroma. It tastes just like popcorn you’d get at a movie theater, and it doesn’t need refrigeration. Whether it gets hard, or melts, it doesn’t matter. You can use it in the popcorn machine all the same.
Now the SECRET INGREDIENT!
Flavacol. That’s both a buttery flavoring, and a dusting of salt as well. It really is the secret that movie theaters use to make their popcorn so addicting. A box of Gold Medal Flavacol Seasoning Popcorn (#ad) is the best thing you could ever buy.
P.S. You can also buy Kettle Corn…
If you like Kettle Corn, you can buy Gold Medal’s Pop ‘N Glaze Pop (#ad), and put it into the machine instead of the Flavacol. Trust me, it tastes just like the kettle corn you can get at the fair.
That’s what you need… Now onto the cooking instructions:
Using the Popcorn Maker:
The Paragon Theater Popcorn Machine (#ad) has two buttons at the top. A Power Button (which turns the light on to keep your popped popcorn warm in the bin), and the Kettle Button. I turn both on… And then add in a 1/4 cup of coconut oil. I use a 1/4 Cup Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scooper (#ad) to scoop out a level scoop of oil and drop it into the kettle (then just toss the scoop into the dishwasher when you’re done). You’ll never measure your oil any other way.
Now, add in 1 teaspoon of Flavacol (#ad) as the oil is melting. Toss in about 3 kernels of popcorn as well. That tells you when the kettle is hot enough. Wait until they pop, then dump in the rest of the popcorn; 3/4 cup of popcorn kernels (I use a measuring cup to do this).
Close the lid and wait.
It takes about 2-3 minutes for the machine to pop all of the popcorn. The lid will lift up and popcorn will spill into the bin. Wait until the popping slows down, then shut the kettle off. Twist the kettle arm to dump the rest of the popcorn into the bin, so it doesn’t burn.
Now simply scoop your popcorn (I use an aluminum popcorn scoop (#ad), with holes for dropping unpopped kernels).
But, if you want BUTTER… And who doesn’t???
Add the Butter:
The buttery coating, is something called Buttery Flavor Popcorn Topping (#ad). I buy it in a gallon jug and dump it into an Olive Oil Sprayer Mister (#ad). That way I can dump a scoop of popcorn into the bowl, spray some butter on it, dump some more popcorn, spray… So the entire bucket of popcorn is evenly coated in butter. It’s soooo GOOD! If you love buttered popcorn, this works like a dream.
P.S. The hand pump on the gallon bottle is worthless. Don’t even try it. It drips everywhere and makes a mess.
I also bought a Stainless Steel Table (#ad) to put in my basement, so it’s quick to clean up and won’t rust.
I’ve been using this machine, and making popcorn a couple times a week for over 2 years. I LOVE IT!
Here is my entire setup below:
And if you notice that sheet on the wall behind the table, I made that myself. It’s a popcorn cooking instruction sheet for me (and others)… Just in case I forget all the steps, or measurements. And, I’ll gladly share that cooking instruction sheet with you. Just print it out and enjoy your freshly popped popcorn: Popcorn Cooking Instructions (#ad).
I clean my machine after every use. I buy this specifically made cleaner to spray and wipe down every piece and component when finished. It’s made for machines, and is food-safe. It’s called Nu-View Concession & Food Equipment Cleaner (#ad). It works effortlessly. Just spray, and wipe. It takes just a couple of minutes to make a machine like this look brand new again.
And that my friends, is how you make movie-style butter popcorn. CRUNCH! 🙂