If you love butter popcorn but you would rather add your own butter, you might be wondering if this can be done without getting greasy, soggy popcorn. This delicious snack is one that lots of people want to make at home – but can it be done?
Can you add butter to popcorn without making it soggy? You can make butter popcorn at home using real butter by removing the milk fats from the butter and then cooking the popcorn kernels in it so that they pop. Taking out the milk fats makes this easier and ensures that the popcorn doesn’t turn soggy.
How Do You Make Butter Popcorn at Home?
You can make butter popcorn at home by popping the kernels in clarified butter. Don’t use normal butter or you will get soggy, unappetizing popcorn. You need to clarify the butter before you add the kernels.
To do this, you should start by adding some butter to a pan. To make a batch for about 5 people, you will need to use two sticks of butter. It looks like a lot, but you are going to be removing the milk fats, which will decrease the quantity slightly.
Place the pan over a medium heat and bring the butter to a slow boil. You should see foam starting to form on the top of the liquid. This is what you are going to remove. Use a large spoon to skim it off the surface and discard it.
If it helps, tip the pot toward you to encourage the foam to clump, and then you can scoop it out more easily. Once you have removed all of the milk fat, the butter will be easier to cook with and will not burn as readily.
Next, add your clarified butter to a larger pan so there is space for the popcorn. Add half a cup of corn kernels and put a lid on the pan, and then increase the heat so that the kernels can start to pop. It should take about 5 minutes for them all to pop, and they will be deliciously buttery, without being remotely soggy.
Why Does Removing the Milk Fats Help?
Removing the milk fats helps to prevent the popcorn from going soggy because it increases the ratio of oil, and oil will keep the popcorn crispy, rather than making it soggy. If you leave the milk fats in, they will get soaked into the corn as it pops and will make it soggy instead.
By taking the milk fats out, you ensure that you are essentially popping the kernels in oil, and this gives a better flavor and a better texture. Most people pop kernels in oil instead of butter, so this provides a middle ground that offers the best in terms of taste and texture.
Do You Have to Pop Your Own Kernels?
If you’re in a hurry or you only have ready-popped corn, you can drizzle it with butter instead. However, you must make sure that you still take the time to remove the milk fats by skimming them off the boiling butter, or you will again end up with soggy popcorn.
Drizzling the clarified butter across the popcorn should work almost as well as popping your own fresh kernels, but you may find that the flavor doesn’t get absorbed quite as well. It’s better to pop your own corn if you can. If you are going to drizzle it, make sure you are also stirring well at the same time to spread it across as many pieces as possible.
Alternatively, put the ready-popped corn into a bag with the melted butter, close the top, and shake it thoroughly for 30 seconds. If you want, add some salt at this point, and then shake for another 30 seconds.
This will help to distribute the butter throughout the popcorn, spreading it across all of the pieces. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you get evenly buttered popcorn, with no pools, and no butter sitting at the bottom of the bowl. Taste a piece, and if necessary, carry on shaking to further spread the butter.
Another option involves adding the melted butter to a small spray bottle and thoroughly spritzing your popcorn. However, this can be a bit fiddly, and often ends up with grease getting spread around the kitchen. You may also find that the butter blocks the nozzle of the spray bottle when it cools and solidifies, so this may ruin the bottle.
How Else Can You Make Butter Popcorn That Isn’t Soggy?
If you don’t have time to clarify your own butter, you could consider getting some ghee instead. This product is sold in many stores now, and it is just clarified butter with a different name. You can use this instead of normal butter, and it will work well for butter popcorn.
You can melt the ghee and pop your kernels in it or drizzle it across ready-popped kernels. Either of these methods should give you perfect, buttery popcorn that is not greasy or soggy.
Can You Use Margarine Instead?
Some people use margarine as a substitute for butter when they are making butter popcorn, and it should work reasonably well. You may find that the flavor isn’t quite as good, but it should still create enjoyable popcorn. You can add a little vegetable oil along with the margarine to keep the oil content high.
Using just margarine may not work very well, as some margarines have a higher percentage of water than true butter does. They will make the popcorn soggier, even if you pop the kernels yourself, so they are best avoided.
It’s reasonably easy to make buttery popcorn at home without ending up with a soggy mess in your bowl. You need to either purchase clarified butter (ghee) or clarify the butter yourself at home by boiling it and skimming off the milk fats.
However, once you’ve done this, you can pop your kernels in it or drizzle it across your ready-popped kernels, and you’ll get deliciously buttery popcorn with no further effort.