We took to the kitchen to see whether they can be saved.
Making stovetop popcorn is one of winter’s greatest gifts. It makes working from home, watching a movie, or waiting out a snowstorm infinitely more exciting. Needless to say, sharpening your popcorn popping skills is a worthy use of your time—especially when you’re stuck indoors.
Here’s my go-to method (this yields about 11 cups popcorn): Heat 3 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or coconut oil in a large, lidded saucepan over medium-high heat. (Avoid olive oil, which will smoke when heated over a high flame.) Add 3 popcorn kernels and wait for them to pop, about 30 seconds. (This lets you know when the oil is hot enough to pop the remaining kernels). Add ½ cup kernels, cover the pot with a lid, and gently but continuously shake the pot, allowing the kernels to pop but not burn. When the popping slows, remove the pan from the heat, but keep it covered. Allow it to rest for another minute, which lets the last few kernels pop.
In an ideal scenario, you’d pour your homemade popcorn into a large bowl and find that there’s no kernels left in the pot. Congrats! You just made the perfect batch of popcorn. But, if you pulled it off the heat a little early, you may have some kernels at the bottom of the pan. Good news: you can re-pop them. Simply add a splash more oil to the pot, cover it, return heat to medium-high, and proceed as you would new kernels. When the popping slows, remove from heat.
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