How to Make Popcorn in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven

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Few things taste better or are more satisfying than fresh popcorn on a cold evening or while watching a movie. Whether you’re nostalgic for the good old days or you don’t have access to a microwave, making popcorn in a cast-iron Dutch oven can be a lot of fun. Make the experience even more enjoyable by asking friends or children to help dish up, season or serve the popcorn.

Things You'll Need

  • Cooking oil
  • Paper bags or bowels
  • Oven mitt or pot holder
  • Seasonings

Place the cast-iron Dutch oven on a stovetop or other source of heat. Pour 2 to 3 tbsp. oil (such as vegetable or canola) in the Dutch oven. The oil should coat the bottom of the oven. (The amount is flexible.) Add more oil if the bottom of the oven is not completely covered. Do not place the lid on the oven.

Turn your stovetop or other source of heat to medium or medium high. The oil should be hot before you add the popcorn kernels. Not sure if your oil is hot enough? Toss in a couple of unpopped popcorn kernels and cover the Dutch oven with the lid. Once the kernels pop, the oil is hot enough. Remove the popped kernels.

Add the popcorn kernels you want to pop to the heated oil. A good rule of thumb is about ¼ cup per person. Place the lid on the cast-iron Dutch oven immediately after pouring the kernels into the oil.

Stay near the Dutch oven. The popcorn seeds should begin to pop shortly after you place the lid on the oven. Vigorously rotate the cast-iron Dutch oven to stir the kernels. Wear a mitt or use a potholder when handling any part of the oven or lid. Continue to shake or rotate the Dutch oven to stir the kernels as they cook.

Listen for the sound of the popping kernels to slow down to 2 to 3 seconds between pops. When the popping stops, immediately remove the cast-iron Dutch oven from the source of heat to prevent burning. Turn off the source of heat.

Wait for a minute, then remove the lid of the Dutch oven. Pour the popped popcorn into bowels or scoop it into bowls or paper bags with a cup or ladle.

Season the popcorn with salt, butter, chipotle butter, seasoned salt, parmesan cheese or other seasonings. If you poured the popcorn into bags, close the top of the bag and shake the popcorn to distribute the seasonings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure children stay a safe distance away while popcorn is cooking and popping. Always wear an oven mitt or use a potholder to move the pan or handle the lid.

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