How to Make Cheddar Cheese Popcorn at Home
Maybe it's a cynical ploy to make more money at the concessions, but there seem to be an ever-increasing amount of options of popcorn flavors at movie theaters. Gone are the limited days of salted or sweet. Now we can find all kinds of popcorn flavors with more being developed all the time. In many respects, popcorn is being treated the same as chips and other flavored snacks. One of the most intense and (sometimes) polarizing popcorn flavors is cheddar cheese. It gives a deep savory cheesy flavor to the popcorn, something we enjoy for its extreme snackability.
At oneHOWTO, we show you how to make cheddar cheese popcorn at home. This easy recipe makes the popcorn from scratch and don't forget you can use this as a base to add more flavors.
The first thing you should do is find a pot that is deep enough so the corn kernels do not fly out when they pop. Add the tablespoons of olive oil and put the pot over medium heat so that it heats up gradually.
Once the oil has reached the right temperature, pour in the cup of corn kernels. Make sure they are clean and free of debris. When you put them in the pot, start stirring constantly to prevent them from burning or browning too much on one side.
After about 3 or 4 minutes, you will begin to notice how the first kernels begin to explode, providing the popped corn texture we're looking for. At this point, continue stirring carefully so as not to burn yourself. When the popcorn starts to pop like crazy, cover with a lid.
The trick with popcorn is to ensure you pop as many kernels as possible, but you burn as few as possible. It is better to have some kernels unpopped than all popped and some burned. This is because you can always remove the unpopped kernels and try again, but you can unburn them. A general rule of thumb is to wait until the popping slows until there is a second duration between each new pop.
When the popcorn is still hot, you should put the toppings that you like the most on top. In this case, it is important to first add the cheddar cheese, which you will have previously grated into fine strands. This way they will melt faster. You can make white cheddar popcorn at home, yellow cheddar or use whatever is your favorite melting cheese. Cream cheese or other soft cheese won't work, but a nice hard parmesan would also do the trick.
When you see that the cheese is starting to get soft, you can tap the bowl to get the popcorn moving and ensure the cheese covers all the popcorn. If you add enough quantity you can stir directly with clean hands, but only if the popcorn has cooled sufficiently.
Once you have your cheese popcorn ready, add salt to taste. A little dried rosemary would also work, but so too would other dried herbs such as oregano or even a little basil. For those who are something of a heat seeker, you can add some chili or hot paprika. Sweet paprika works great with cheese if you want more flavor, but less heat. You could even put on a few sprinkles of homemade Worcestershire sauce for an umami punch.
Enjoy immediately as it won't be as nice served cold. If you don't like corn, make you want to try some other snack recipes such as our recipe for puffed quinoa or our guide to some of the best homemade superfood snacks.
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- There is a cheese-flavored popcorn option that consists of adding a ready-made seasoning powder that you can buy at the supermarket. However, we recommended you put real cheese on it so the flavor is much more intense and the result is healthier.
- The flavor of popcorn can have many variants. If you wish, you can previously make a combination of various cheeses you like the most and use this to prepare the homemade cheese popcorn.
- If you have a vegan diet and don't want to give up the flavor of cheese in your popcorn, you can use vegan cheese, which will often be better for the cheese dust texture.
- Popcorn can be a very healthy alternative for snacking between meals. It is recommended you do not make them with too much oil so that they are not too greasy and season them with spices to avoid a high salt content.
- There are all kinds of popcorn on the market that can be made in the microwave. However, it will always be healthier and more natural to make them in the pan. Also, this will give you more freedom to make them the flavor you prefer.
- To cook the popcorn, you can use either vegetable oil or olive oil. With the olive one, you will get a more intense flavor.
- If you are passionate about popcorn, you can speed up its preparation by getting a special popcorn machine that will give you a cheddar cheese popcorn just like they make at the movies.