- 3 Tbs Canola or Peanut Oil (Or Other High-Smoke Point Oil)
- 1/3 Cup High Quality Popcorn Kernels (e.g. Arrowhead Mills Organic Popcorn)
- 2 Tbs Melted Unsalted Butter (Or More To Taste)
- 1 Tsp (Or More To Taste) Fine Sea Salt (Do Not Use Coarse Which Won't Distribute As Well)
- 1 oz (~1/2 cup packed) fresh, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- 1/8-to-1/4 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Heat oil in a 3-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan. When the kernels pop, add the remaining 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer.
- Cover, remove pan from heat (leave the stove on), and count 30 seconds (this brings all the kernels close to popping temperature so that when they return to the heat, they pop about the same time). Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon. When the popping starts, gently shake the pan over the burner.
- When the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, immediately remove the lid, and pour the popcorn into a wide bowl. Drizzle the popcorn with melted butter, then sprinkle with salt, cheese and pepper. Using your hands, gently toss the popcorn to distribute the seasonings evenly.
- To crisp the popcorn, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread the popcorn evenly onto a 10x15" rimmed baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven. Bake until popcorn is crisp, ~10 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Popping a few test kernels before proceeding with the full batch ensures a more evenly popped batch, wtih few unopened kernels and no burned popcorn.
- If you want crispy popcorn without transferring to the oven, carefully set the lid of the pot askew periodically as the popcorn cooks so that steam can escape. Make sure the steam is venting away from you to avoid burns.