Never again suffer soggy popcorn – this Butter Popcorn stays crispy for DAYS! Slightly sweet, lightly salty, with a heavenly real butter flavour, this is a much healthier alternative to other snacks and is 100% addictive.
Lightly Sweet ‘n Salty Butter Popcorn
Anyone who has attempted butter popcorn probably did what we all tried at some point: Douse fresh popcorn with regular melted better. Seems obvious enough, right? Only … you found after 10 minutes your popcorn turned soggy and sad (and totally ruined your movie night).
The reason it goes soggy is because butter contains 15% water. Yes, water is what is making your popcorn soggy!
So if you’re wondering how to keep popcorn from going soggy, the secret is to use clarified butter instead of normal butter.
How to keep butter popcorn crispy
Use clarified butter or ghee instead of normal butter. Clarified butter is simply normal butter that’s simmered to evaporate the water component from the butter which is what makes Butter Popcorn soggy. Ghee is a type of clarified butter (tastes the same).
You can buy it or make it yourself (it’s dead easy). It also keeps for months, without refrigeration! In Australia, you’ll find ghee in the Indian section of supermarkets or at Indian grocers. Clarified butter can be found in specialty food stores in Australia, but it’s common in Europe.
What you need for Lightly Sweet ‘n Salty Butter Popcorn
Here’s what you need: Popcorn kernels, salt, icing sugar/powdered sugar and clarified butter to keep the popcorn crispy (it’s just simmered normal butter! Read on…).
Just normal popcorn kernels. Make the popcorn any way you like – stove or popcorn maker. I’ve provided directions in the recipe card for stovetop popcorn.
Clarified butter (or ghee)
- Why you need it – For an intense buttery flavour, and keeping your popcorn crispy instead of going soggy like with normal butter, as explained above;
- How to make it (else buy it) – Melt butter and simmer for 10 minutes to evaporate the water content. See separate recipe for full directions – How to make Clarified Butter and Ghee.
Note: Ghee is a purer form of clarified butter that is used in Indian cooking. It tastes virtually the same as Clarified Butter which is more associated with European cookery (like Swiss Potato Rosti!), but it’s slightly nuttier (which is delicious!)
- Why you need it – Normal salt grains are too large to stick to popcorn. As you eat the popcorn it falls off and all ends up at the bottom of the bowl! We need finer salt, purpose-made for popcorn, that will stick.
- How to make it – Just grind ordinary salt into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder. It takes seconds.
- How much to use – I only use 1/2 teaspoon of popcorn salt for 13 cups of popcorn (which is 2/3 cup of kernels). This does not sound like much, but remember it’s much finer now and has halved in volume from the original regular salt. Also this popcorn is deliberately made to be only slightly salty because it also gets flavour from a touch of added sweetness. If you prefer just salted popcorn, add a little more.
Icing sugar / powdered sugar
- Why you need it – Dusting the popcorn for a lightly sweet note. We need icing sugar/powdered sugar because normal sugar won’t stick to popcorn unless you use lots and you melt it, like with Caramel Popcorn!
- How to do it – Use a small sieve to sprinkle the icing/powdered sugar over the popcorn, for even coverage and to remove lumps.
- How much to use – I only use 2 tablespoons which makes it lightly sweet. Because the whole point of this popcorn is that it’s slightly sweet and slightly salty, an addictive and can’t-stop-nibbling combination that won’t leave you reaching for glass after glass of water!
Storage: Keeping Butter Popcorn crispy for days!
Using clarified butter instead of normal butter means the popcorn will stay crispy for ages. 12-hour Star Wars marathon? Too easy. I’m talking days here! Super-handy snack stash, school lunches, and making ahead for parties.
As soon as the popcorn has fully cooled, transfer to an airtight container and store it in the pantry. Here are a few tips:
- It will go stale sooner or later though! Popcorn does go stale quite quickly, being the fragile little things they are, so don’t leave them lying around uncovered for a long if you want to preserve freshness for another day;
- Fully cool – Make sure it’s fully cool before putting the lid on. Impatience with this step results in condensation inside the container which will make your popcorn soggy (and so you will have come full circle);
- Bake to resuscitate – If your popcorn has gone a bit stale and needs a perk up, pour it into a baking pan (up to about 5cm/2″ deep is fine) then bake in a low 110°C/230°F oven for 30 minutes to dry it out. Note: There will be slight shrinkage.
So now you know the secrets to stay-crispy, ultra-buttery homemade popcorn! Well actually, those of you who are familiar with my Yellow Movie Popcorn recipe already know these tricks. We’re just bringing everyone else up to speed!
In case you need a reason to get on the Popcorn Train, here’s 6 reasons why you should should try homemade butter popcorn:
- Really buttery flavour you can’t get from pre-made shop stuff!
- Easy to make in large volumes;
- Healthier than most snacks;
- Versatile (eg sweet Caramel Corn or savoury Movie Popcorn);
- Cheap; and
- Has fun factor that appeals to kids and grown ups alike!
Movie night tonight?? – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Stay Crispy Butter Popcorn – Lightly Sweet ‘n Salty
BONUS: It stays crispy for days! The secret is clarified butter which is 100% fat, and no water. Normal butter is 15% water so it what makes popcorn soggy. It’s a Movie Popcorn secret!
- 2/3 cup popping corn
- 2 tbsp clarified butter or ghee , or oil, for stovetop popcorn(Note 1)
- 1 tbsp salt (you won’t use it all, Note 2)
- 3 tbsp clarified butter or ghee , melted (Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp Popcorn Salt (per directions below)
- 2 tbsp icing sugar / powdered sugar
Pop the kernels using your method of choice – either popcorn maker or stove (see next section)
Heat fat: Melt clarified butter in a large pot over medium high heat (medium for strong stoves). Add a few kernels of popcorn and wait until they pop – this means the oil is now hot enough. Quickly remove test popcorn.
Add popcorn: Add remaining popcorn, lift pot off stove to shake and spread corn out evenly. Cover with a lid and return to heat. Once the popping really gets going, shake the pot gently once.
Done! Remove from heat when the popping largely stops (3 seconds between pops) and transfer to a (very!) large bowl.
Place salt in a mortar and pestle then grind into a fine powder. You could also do this using a spice grinder. You won’t use it all, but it’s harder to work with a smaller quantity than this.
Sprinkle & toss!
Drizzle melted clarified butter all over the popcorn surface. Sprinkle with half the salt, then use small sieve to dust with half the icing sugar.
Toss very well in large bowl. Then sprinkle with remaining salt and dust with remaining icing sugar. Toss well again. At this stage you can add more sugar or salt, to your taste. The above quantities make it slightly salty and lightly sweet which to me is the perfect balance!
Clarified butter & ghee firms up to a peanut butter like consistency when cool in the pantry, and into a very hard paste in the fridge. Just scoop and melt in the pot.
You’ll find ghee sold in jars in the Indian section of large supermarkets (Coles/Woolies) and Indian grocers. Or make your own – it’s super easy and cheaper, lasts for 3 months in the pantry and you will use it to pan-fry and roast everything!
In Europe/UK, clarified butter in jars is also quite common.
2. “Popcorn Salt” – You need to grind salt into a fine powder otherwise it won’t stick to the popcorn, it all ends up in the bottom of the bowl.
3. Storage – Transfer to airtight container as soon as it has fully cooled. It will stay quite crispy for days! Stovetop popped popcorn is crispier than air-popped (ie. popcorn maker).
Reviving popcorn: If your stored popcorn is softer than you’d like on retrieval, bake it at 110C/230F for 30 minutes (you can fill the pan 5cm/2″ deep), no stirring required. This makes it super crispy again!
4. Nutrition per cup of popcorn.
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