Popping corn was something I always knew you could do on your stove, but I never tried it because I grew up during the age microwaves became wildly available. But in taking the preparedness lifestyle to a “Whole ‘Nuther Level”, I began searching for grains other than wheat to round out my 400 Lbs. per person per year goal point.
I bought a couple 50 pound bags, and put some in vacuum sealed mason jars, some in gallon Mylar bags with an O2 absorber, and I keep some in a gallon Tupperware container in my pantry. This is an easy item to store, and it has a very long shelf life.
I found that popcorn makes very good cornmeal if ground. I also found out that it is pretty cheap if you buy it in 50 pound bulk bags. (Say $15.00 per 50 pounds). When compared to more than $10 for a four pack of name brand microwave bags.
Also add in that popcorn is a healthly snack, and there is something familiar and comforting about sitting with your family with a big bowl of popcorn. If I ever have to live solely off my food storage, having some comfort food available will be a very welcome treat, (especially since my mason jars of M&M’s keep disappearing)….
Something else that drives this post is that when mentioning it my Mom actually said “Uh, Yeah, of course you can make popcorn on the stove”, but more than one individual my age, and most everyone I mentioned it to that is younger had no idea this was possible, or if it was, how to actually go about doing it.
If your goal is simply frugality you can make your own microwave popcorn with bulk popcorn, a little oil, and a paper lunch sack. If you’re concerned with food storage, or non-electric cooking, you can use a propane cook stove, or even a small fire if you’re careful.
- Place 1 to 3 tablespoons of oil (into a large kettle or pan (make sure it has a lid and a sturdy handle).
- Do not use butter, as it will burn!
- Grapeseed and Sunflower oils are high heat tolerant and a healthy choice of cooking oils.
- Heat oil at medium setting/* (between 460 and 470 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Oil burns at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oil starts to smoke, it is too hot.
- Test the heat by dropping in one or two kernels (when kernel pops or spins in the oil, it is ready).
- Add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer, do not add to many.
- Shake the pan/kettle to make sure the oil coats each kernel.
- Set lid on slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Allowing steam to escape prevents the popped corn from absorbing the moisture.
- Listen for popping and, when it slows to 2-3 seconds apart, remove from heat.
- Carefully pour popped corn into serving bowl and salt/season to taste.
- The wife likes lots of butter; I prefer pepper as a seasoning. We have put honey in with our melted butter and coated the popcorn, but feel free to experiment.