If you own a wok, you may know that it’s possible to make popcorn with your wok. Using only oil, popcorn kernels, butter, and salt, you can make popcorn in just a few minutes. If you’re not sure how to go through the process, these are the basic steps to follow.
This is my wok and lid setup for popping corn.
- 1.5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels
- salt and other desired seasonings
- 1 wok
- 1 wok lid
One of the popcorns I use is: Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popcorn Kernels, Original Yellow, 8 Lb. (I eat a lot of popcorn!)
- 100 percent natural, non-GMO project verified
- 100 percent whole grain, gluten-free popcorn
Another brand of popcorn I like is this 6 lb bag of white Amish Country Popcorn.
- Your purchase comes with 15 amazing popcorn recipes in a Guide eBook. You don’t even have to search for recipes, we’ve done the legwork.
- This product is Non-GMO and Gluten-Free, you can eat this popcorn with peace of mind!
- Not only is this Popcorn low calorie, but it is delicious and healthy.
- You don’t have to worry about nut allergies with Amish Country Popcorn products. Grab a bag, pop it, and you will be one step closer to heaven!.
I want to talk to you about popcorn oil for a few minutes.
Using a 14-inch wok, either stainless steel, carbon steel, or cast iron, I use around 1 Tablespoon of oil. Some recipes recommend that you use two tablespoons of oil. By oil, I am referring to popcorn oil, canola oil, or even solid coconut oil.
If you use coconut oil, make sure you use unrefined coconut oil.
Whether you use 1 or 2 TBLS of oil will depend on:
- the type of oil…Coconut, canola, popcorn oil, or other oils
- the shape and size of the wok used… like a round or flat bottomed
- whether the wok is made of stainless steel, carbon steel, or cast iron
- the type of stove you have….gas or electric or even open fire
- the setting of your temperature…high, mid-range, or low
In general, I try to use the least amount of oil as possible. It is just my thing! You will have to experiment to see how much oil you want to use.
Be careful with applying too much heat to the coconut oil or leaving your popcorn in the wok for too long because your popcorn will burn.
Coconut PopCorn Oil
My favorite popcorn oil is coconut oil. If you want you can use inexpensive unprocessed coconut oil like this. This oil will work fine and you can use it for other purposes besides making popcorn. Coconut oil is my favorite kind of oil because it gives the popcorn a very buttery flavor and smells great.
If you want to step up to coconut oil that has a little more flavor then I would suggest you try Dutchman’s Buttery Coconut Oil from Amazon.
If you would really like some high quality and safe popcorn oil, I recommend that you take a serious look at this Amish Country Popcorn Butter Flavored Canola Oil. This oil comes with a free old fashioned popcorn recipe guide.
If you desire more of a “Theater Flavored Popcorn” try Snappy. Snappy is made in Breda, Iowa and they have been making popcorn oil and other popcorn related products since 1940. I finally found something older than me!
You can find Snappy popcorn oil here at Amazon. Check em out!
Start by pouring in 1.5 TBSP oil and setting the heat under your wok to high. Once your wok has been heated for a few minutes add 1-2 popcorn kernels in the wok on top of the hot oil. When those one or two kernels pop then you can add the rest of the popcorn to the wok.
I always preheat my wok for a few minutes on high before I add the oil. If you want to preheat the wok like I do be careful not to let the wok gets too hot before adding the oil or it may spash on you. Caution is the word here.
Woks for Popcorn
The wok I like to use when making popcorn is this Lodge Pro-logic cast iron wok. Any 14-inch wok would work great but I like this wok because it sits solidly on the stove. If you do not have a cast iron wok, any 14-inch carbon steel wok would work fine.
It’s best to use a round-bottomed wok that’s 14 inches. However, you can adjust the recipe based on your wok size if desired. Cover the wok and then place over high heat until the kernels start to pop in a few minutes.
Wok Lids For Popcorn
Make sure that you cover your wok with an adequate lid or you will have popcorn all over your kitchen. If your wife or significant other comes home and finds popcorn all over the kitchen…you might be sleeping in your car for a few nights!
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I really like this lid because the handle is big and it’s easy to maneuver. Take a look at Amazon for this lightweight wok’s availability.
Remove the lid and pour the rest of the kernels in the wok. Immediately cover the wok and leave the heat on high. You should start to hear the kernels popping. Do not remove the lid until you no longer hear corn popping.
If you use a round-bottomed wok you will NOT have to agitate the wok to allow all of the kernels to pop. As the kernels pop they slide down the side of the wok to make perfect popcorn. I usually set my timer to 3 minutes with my heat on high.
Depending on the oil you use, the popcorn type, and the type of wok…the cooking time will vary plus or minus 30-60 seconds. With my cast iron wok, I have found the time around 2minute and 30seconds works perfectly every time.
If you do not have a timer and you start to notice a few seconds delay between pops, remove the wok from the heat.
I usually use 1/4 to 1/2 a stick of butter melted in the microwave. I pour this melted butter over the popcorn while it is still in the wok. Add butter and salt to your taste. You can enjoy your popcorn right away or store any remaining popcorn in an airtight container.
I found that if you reduce the heat to mid-range after you add all the popcorn, you will have unpopped kernels at the bottom of the wok. If you leave the heat on high for 3 minutes maximum and don’t adjust the heat all the kernels will pop. Keep the top on for 30 seconds more just to make sure all the kernels pop.
The amount of time may vary depending on the type of oil used.
For Nerds Only
I live in Northern Illinois and my altitude is 715 feet above sea level. Why is this important and what has this got to do with making popcorn in a wok? It is important because the amount of time I set on my stove (3 minutes) for making popcorn may have a different setting than what you need at your altitude! You will have to play with the time plus or minus depending on your altitude! Got it?
PopCorn Video Tutorial
Why Use a Wok to Make Popcorn?
Although you can use this recipe with any pan, most people find that they prefer making popcorn in a wok. The large size and wok shape make light and airy popcorn. The wok’s large surface area also helps avoid missing kernels, so you end up with more popcorn in general.
The sloping sides of the round-bottomed wok help the popcorn to pop without burning. It is a gravity thing!
Since you’re cooking with oil, making popcorn also helps to establish a patina on the surface. When you cook regularly with your wok, it seasons it more quickly, making it a better pan over time.
You have probably noticed that I sometimes call a wok a pan or a tool, and other times I call a pan a wok or a tool! Confused yet? If you find that you’re not using your wok very often, then you may want to use it for popcorn as well.
One expert tip that some people use is covering the lid of the wok in aluminum foil. Expect the oil to splatter on the bottom side of the lid while cooking.
Using a wok lid is not necessary, but it does make cleanup more challenging. The downside is that you won’t be able to see the contents cooking if you don’t have a clear lid, but the easier cleaning may be worth it.
Seasoning Your Popcorn
Although you can stick with salt if you prefer a basic popcorn recipe, however, for people who may want to spice up their popcorn, the sky is the limit! After making your popcorn is you can add any number of spices or seasonings to your popcorn after it.
There are many favorite popcorn flavors, but one great use for your popcorn is making caramel popcorn. Caramel popcorn is especially popular around the holidays. It makes a great gift, and you can also make caramel popcorn balls, which are fun and festive.
The first ingredient for caramel corn is usually 6-8 cups of popcorn so make sure you have freshly popped popcorn and then use your favorite recipe to get started.
Sweet popcorn is only one of the options you have for popcorn, though. Many people prefer more spicy flavors in their popcorn. You can purchase seasoning for popcorn but don’t be afraid to make your own as well. For a simple addition of flavor, add a dash of cayenne pepper, and you’ll notice that your popcorn starts to pack a punch.
Search through your spice drawer and decide on which seasonings you’d like to add. Remember that less can be more when you’re getting started, so don’t go overboard at first. Over time, you’ll find the optimal blend and amount to get great-tasting popcorn every time. There are also numerous recipes to help you get started so consider this when you’re unsure what to try.
Enjoy Your Popcorn
Now that you know how to cook popcorn in a wok, what are you waiting for? Get started, and you’ll never go back to either your other pans or, even worse, the microwave version! Woks make up one of the most versatile tools in a kitchen. Although many people don’t know that they can use a wok for cooking popcorn, they find that it’s fast, simple, and makes the perfect popcorn every time.
After you made your popcorn, all you need now is a good movie and a nap!
How to Clean a Wok with Burnt Food
The best way to clean stuck-food on your wok is to use a plastic credit card to scrape off the food. By using this method, you will find that the credit card will conform to the sides of your wok and cause no damage to the patina.
How to Make Flatbread Using a Wok?
Here is another way to utilize your wok by making flat bread. This method of making flat bread on a wok is easy and fun at the same time. Enjoy!
How to Season a Wok With Wooden Handles
Both wooden or bamboo handles must be protected during the seasoning process in order to preserve the color and composition of the handles. If you follow these seasoning instructions you will preserve you wok handles.
How to Clean a Cast Iron Wok
Here is a easy step-by-step tutorial on how to clean your cast iron wok. No special tools or dangerous cleaning chemicals are needed!
Why Use a Wok With a Round Bottom?
Round-bottomed carbon steel and cast iron woks are the preferred woks that are used by professional chefs. Round-bottomed woks are made of carbon steel, cast iron or stainless steel.
How to Cook Rice in a Wok
Fried rice is simple to make using a wok if you follow a few simple rules. It is a great way to use up leftovers. Couple that with the rules on making fried rice, and you get a delicious meal.