Trust me on this one. 

By Sarra Sedghi
May 03, 2019
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Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Rachel Burrow and Claire Spollen

It’s no big secret, you can do a whole lot with coconut oil. It’s been used as a moisturizer and beauty product for ages, and can even be utilized to shine shoes and polish furniture. And you likely have a jar of it in your pantry, especially if you found yourself caught up in the health frenzy surrounding coconut oil a few years back.

One use you may have not yet considered, however, is using it to make popcorn on the stove. Since coconut oil has a low smoke point, it pairs with the homemade popcorn process, which doesn’t require high heat, perfectly. And if coconut oil isn’t necessarily going to help you live longer or attain perfect health, you might as well make a good snack with it.

Watch: How to Make a Big Tin Popcorn Cake

If you’ve never popped your own popcorn without the assistance of Orville Redenbacher, no worries—popping plain kernels on the stovetop couldn’t be easier, and the flavor upgrade is well worth it. You can find plain popcorn kernels at any standard grocery store. Consider these raw, unseasoned kernels a canvas ripe with possibility for whatever flavor combination you desire. The corn kernels obviously expand as they pop, so you should use a large pot or saucepan with a lid. The first thing you need to do is prep the pot: Turn the heat to medium and melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil for every ½ cup of kernels you’ll use. Then, pour those kernels in and stir them around so that they are coated in oil. Place the lid on your pot, leaving a little room for ventilation that’ll ensure the pot can build up steam.

Coconut oil on popcorn feels both familiar and refreshing. It’s just different enough in a way that’ll make you want to keep eating it. The coconut oil will act as both your cooking oil and a flavor booster, giving your popcorn a mildly sweet and almost nutty flavor. Some of those kernels will bounce around with a stronger force than what occurs in the microwave, so supervise your popcorn. Additionally, you’ll need to gently shake the pot so all the kernels can cook evenly.

Once all the kernels are popped, it’s time to add some seasoning. Go for something that won’t clash with the coconut flavor, like cinnamon or sea salt. Adding seasoning will also give the popcorn a chance to cool down before you plunge your hands in it. If you happen to be a fan of kettle corn, coconut oil is the perfect base because it’s lending sweetness to your popcorn from the start. Sprinkle some sugar and salt over the fresh popcorn to finish the deal. You’ll never want popcorn from a bag again.

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