Back to Basics Popcorn: How to Make Popcorn in a Wok

I’ve become quite the thrifty popcorn connoisseur. I used to make my popcorn any old way….the microwave…the air popper….and heaven forbid, the electric non-stick popper that takes up way too much room in my cupboard! Egads! Now I’m back to basics. Popcorn can be made in a more frugal and natural way that is also healthy. How is it healthy you ask? Be sure to read this post on Popcorn: 7 Reasons to Pop Your Own. Here’s how to make popcorn in a Wok….yes, I said Wok.

1. First things, first: You gotta have a good Wok.

A couple years ago, I invested in this Cuisinart, Stainless Steel Wok. I needed a good one, and was tired of wasting my money on the non-stick ones that kept getting scratched up after just a few uses. Plus, I knew that wasn’t healthy for my family, and decided I was going to buy a good one. The thing is, I only spent $30 on this Wok, and it has been one of the best things I ever bought for my kitchen, and I pretty much use it every day.

As you can see from the picture above, you can really use any old Wok that you have (the above photo was taken by reader Jen P. who tried my recipe after I posted it on Facebook, and she loved it!), but if you can then I highly recommend getting away from non-stick surfaces and having a stainless steel one.

2. Second step, add in a few tablespoons of butter or coconut oil (depending on your mood, and which kind of healthy fat you want), and warm that baby up to slightly before medium level.

3. Add in about half a cup to a cup of popcorn – depending on how many hands are going to dig into the popcorn bowl, and place the lid on your Wok.

4. Let that heat up and start popping. Once it starts, I like to shake the Wok with the handle every 5-8 seconds just to keep the un-popped kernels centered on the bottom of the Wok. This helps prevent unwanted burning.

5. Once you start to hear the popping slow down significantly, remove from heat and fill your big popcorn bowl.

6. At this point I like to drizzle melted coconut oil or butter over the freshly popped goodness, and then sprinkle with either salt or sucanat. If I’ve got a sweet tooth, then sucanat it is. If i’m in for something salty, well then…it’s salt of course. And then if I really want to live on the wild side, I’ll do a combination of both (gasp)!

Then it’s time to enjoy my delicious goodness, as I sit on the couch with the hubs and enjoy an episode of Dr. Who. Cause really, who doesn’t love a good bowl of popcorn with a geeky Sci-Fi show?

Why it’s healthier:  Making your popcorn this way means you are avoiding preservatives and chemicals that are found in both movie theater and packaged popcorn. Your homemade Wok popcorn is made with real, natural ingredients. The nutrients in your food are preserved, and if you’re using organic ingredients then you’re really eating a healthier popcorn! The fats and preservatives in package or movie theater popcorn are avoided when you make your popcorn the more natural way!

So what do you think? Back to basics popcorn is fun! Have you ever tried making your popcorn in a Wok? How do you flavor your popcorn?

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  1. i used to make my popcorn on the stovetop in a wok all the time and loved it the best! we now have a glass top stove and you aren’t supposed to shake pans on it. i now use the microwave and a paper bag to make my popcorn. i still love butter and salt. I just recently got hooked on coconut oil but haven’t tried it on popcorn yet. maybe tonite. ha ha.

    also saw in the news just today another reason to avoid butter flavoring in popcorn (and other foods)..there is a link to alzheimer’.

  2. I don’t have a wok, but I love making my popcorn on the stovetop in a regular old pot. My dad taught me how when I was a girl, and after a brief stint with the microwave popcorn (LOL!) I now make it the very same way he taught me. SO yummy! Sometimes I make it kettle corn by adding sugar to the kernels. YOu have to shake it constantly if you do that, though.

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