What kind of corn is needed for popcorn: choose the right variety, process the grains and cook them at home
We all remember that alluring smell that haunts us when we go to the cinema. It's popcorn, of course! But how to cook such a yummy at home? Let's find it out!
The content of the article
- What corn is needed for popcorn
- The nuances of growing and storage
- How to make popcorn at home
- How to make sweet / salty popcorn
- Corn doesn't explode: what to do?
- Tips & Tricks
What corn is needed for popcorn
Not every variety of corn is suitable for preparing this dish. The whole point of the process is that in every corn suitable for making popcorn, there is a drop of water containing starch.
When the water heats up, it turns into steam. It is also released under pressure from the temperature from the walls of the seed, which causes a mini-explosion.
Corn that is suitable for popcorn contains less starch than regular corn. In addition, it contains 21% more fats and proteins in composition. The seeds look shiny and varnished and their walls are much thinner than other species.
There are many varieties of corn suitable for cooking. Let's highlight the most popular and proven ones:
- Volcano- plant height reaches 200 cm, and the length of the cob is up to 20 cm. It is considered ideal for making popcorn.
- Pop-pop- the size of the plant reaches medium parameters, up to 150 cm. The variety is considered early or medium early, ripens earlier than other species. Its seeds turn orange and look wide.
- Zeya- a well-remembered corn variety. Its seeds are bright burgundy. The growth of the stem reaches 180 cm, and the length of the cob itself is 20-25 cm.
- Ping pong- a plant reaching a length of 220 cm. Fruits are small, 100-150 cm each, and the seeds are oblong.
- Hotel - a type of corn that tolerates heat well. Its size is about 200 cm, and the cobs reach 20-25 cm.
- Grandchild's joy- the most productive variety, it is whimsical and requires good care. It is necessary to water frequently. With good care, it tolerates illness well. It is considered early ripe and low in size, about 150 cm, the fruits are also small - 12-15 cm.
- Red- a beautiful kind of corn. You can call it decorative. Its fruits are deep red, as the name implies. Low, reaches 150 cm and small heads of cabbage.
When choosing a variety for planting, you should focus on the region and climate. To get a good harvest, create the right growing conditions.
Can you make popcorn out of regular popcorn?
In theory, making popcorn from plain corn, or, as it is also called, maize, is possible, but the result is unlikely to satisfy you. Not all seeds will open, and those that open will not be as airy as from varieties suitable for this purpose.
The fact is that ordinary varieties inside the grain do not contain the necessary amount of air for an explosion to occur. And for it to happen, you need to form a lot of pressure, about 200 degrees. This will require special equipment.
Therefore, it is better to choose the right varieties of corn in advance or, if you grow at home, purchase seeds of the right varieties.
The nuances of growing and storage
Growing this plant is not particularly difficult. Popcorn maize and regular maize are very similar in planting and care methods. Let's consider some of the nuances.
Roots develop more slowly than cereal maize, the plant also does not like dry soil, requires frequent watering and can grow poorly if not weeded.
Popcorn corn is thermophilic, so it is better to plant in early May. 1-2 grains are placed in the dug hole. According to the recommendation, it is better to plant where the nightshade used to grow: potatoes, tomatoes, etc. Since pollination with other crops may occur, plant it separately from other species.
Remember the rules, the implementation of which will lead to healthy ears and a large harvest:
- Harrow the soil before planting.
- Do inter-row cultivation about three times during the entire growing period.
- Water the corn once a week, this is the minimum.
- Do not forget to fertilize the soil in the root system with organics or minerals.
If you pick corn for popcorn unripe, then eat it like regular sugar. But you won't be able to make popcorn out of it.
It is best to harvest corn at the very last stage, when the ripe ear begins to dry out and becomes covered with a shiny crust. Such seeds should be prepared for further planting. Best stored directly on the stems. To do this, we wait until the plant begins to dry completely along with the cobs, this is somewhere in the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Do not pick corn earlier and dry it at home, it will explode badly.
Dry cobs are broken out and dried for about a month in a cool and dry place. Place them in rag bags or paper bags. An attic or closet works well for storage. If there is a chance of drying the ears too much, send the crop to a more humid place for several weeks. This is a cellar or balcony.
Processing and preparation of grains for popcorn
No special handling of the popcorn is required. Store and harvest properly. The only recommendation is to place the beans in the freezer for 20 minutes. Due to the sharp temperature drop, they will explode better.
How to make popcorn at home
Traditional home-made popcorn is done in a saucepan or skillet. In cinemas, special popcorn machines are used, which have a special heating plate and air heating in order to minimize product burning.
Of course, it is unprofitable to purchase such a device for home use; it is better to use the existing means. Use a thick-walled skillet, it is easier to grease it with vegetable oil.
In a frying pan
We take a good frying pan and put it on fire. We heat it well and put it on a stand. Pour the prepared corn kernels in one layer into the pan... It is better to have one thin layer, otherwise not all grains can be fried. Then pour with vegetable oil - 1-2 tbsp. spoons. Mix well with a spatula so that all the grains are covered with an oil film. Then we cover with a lid and put on fire.
You will soon hear frequent claps. Never open the lid, this will lower the temperature. It is good to focus on cotton when cooking. When the frequency reaches one cotton for 3-4 seconds, shake the pan again and simmer on the stove for 5-10 seconds, then remove from heat.
Open the lid carefully so as not to burn yourself with the steam. The contents are poured into a bowl, left to cool. Salt or sugar is added to taste.
In the microwave
It is easy to cook popcorn in the microwave, but the dish will turn out to be many times more caloric - you have to add more oil than when cooking in a pan, since you won't be able to shake it several times.
The cooking procedure is simple: pour corn kernels into the dishes, pour oil on them and place them in the oven. The power should be 600 watts. Then you will hear explosions. When they happen at intervals of 3-4 seconds, take out the ready-made popcorn.
In a multicooker
Some cook in a slow cooker, but if you decide to use this method, it is better not to use salt in cooking, as it corrodes the surface of the bowl. The recipe is the same - pour small layers of grain into a bowl, pour with oil and select a mode for soup. When the pops subside, turn off and take out the popcorn.
In a saucepan
Take a large saucepan, preferably thick-walled. If cooking spray is available, spray the inside of the pan with vegetable oil all over the sides. Add a small amount of beans.
Cover the pot with a lid and heat. Do not open until the time between claps is 1-3 seconds. Turn off the stove and open the pot. The popcorn is ready.
In a special apparatus
Special machines are used to prepare popcorn for sale in public places. Small devices for home use are also sold. The method is the same, only coconut oil is used here. First, heat the cauldron for 5-6 minutes, then add the coconut oil.
After we make sure that it has melted, add corn. Add salt or sugar to the grains, to taste. We warm up the apparatus to 240 degrees and wait for the end of the claps. Then we place it several times, making sure that the popcorn is ready.
How to make sweet / salty popcorn
You don't need any skill to make sweet or salty popcorn. Simply add salt or sugar. But if you want to diversify the dish, there are many recipes with the addition of various spices, you will learn about them by reading below.
Note. Popcorn recipe depends on the presence or absence of syrups and spices. Popcorn can be salty, sweet, or bland. Plus, popcorn is not only a fast food made from corn, but also a component of some interesting snacks and even baked goods.
Adding seasonings and spices
The standard cooking method is to add powdered sugar and coconut. Sometimes vanilla is added. All spices are added to freshly made popcorn, tied in a bag and shaken.
Corn with caramel is a famous recipe used in all cinemas. His recipe is very simple:
- Melt 30 g of butter in a saucepan and add a glass of sugar.
- Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour caramel over the popcorn and stir.
Add various spices to the dish: cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, and also marshmallows, you will see what happens - you will lick your fingers!
Corn doesn't explode: what to do?
There are several reasons why corn kernels do not explode:
- the grains are overdried;
- unripe ears if picked too early;
- corn does not explode from excess moisture if stored incorrectly;
- corn has been pollinated with varieties unsuitable for making popcorn;
- the simplest reason is too low temperature or heating power.
Mistakes are made when storing corn or growing it, they are all described above. To prepare a good meal, just follow the tips. The main thing is to love popcorn and cook with love.
Tips & Tricks
There are some tips to help in the future:
- Dry beans that have not burst are best stored in a closed container in the freezer.
- Some grains are too dry and therefore do not burst. Soak them overnight in cold water. Then dry well.
- To prevent the popcorn from getting damp, remove the lid as soon as it is ready so that condensation does not form in the dishes and water drops do not fall on the beans.
- It is better to mix popcorn with seasoning, after mixing the grains with butter.Salt or sugar will be better placed on a damp surface.
Now you know everything to cook a great dish! Use our tips and tricks to enjoy amazing taste not only in cinemas, but also at home.