Bacon Fat Is The Secret Ingredient For Delicious Stovetop Popcorn

There are lots of tips you can apply to make the best popcorn at home. Whether it's using the right side of the microwave bag or mimicking the salty-sweet flavors of kettle corn, one of the greatest ways of making popcorn is on the stovetop. And if you're a stovetop popcorn fan who hasn't yet used bacon fat, you're missing out. Letting bacon fat pop your kernels won't just make your kitchen smell fantastic, but it will flavor the popcorn with that characteristic bacon taste of smoke and salt. 

When the fat in bacon renders and cools, it leaves behind a translucent smoky-smelling grease, which is well worth saving. Not only does it store well, but it is also useable across a wide variety of recipes, of which popcorn is a prime example. Another thing to note is that bacon fat has a very high smoke point compared to other cooking fats. Where something like extra virgin olive oil won't reach nearly a high enough temperature before it starts to smoke and burn, bacon fat has a smoke point of 370 degrees Fahrenheit. That is more than enough heat to get the kernels popping without smoking up your kitchen or burning the kernels. 

How to use bacon grease to make stovetop popcorn

One of the great benefits of making stovetop popcorn is that it is highly adjustable to your preferences in terms of flavor and serving size. As popcorn expands to 40 times its original size when cooked, you are going to need the right-sized pot to hold it all. A standard 3-quart boiling pot will be enough to pop a 1/3 cup of popcorn, which should yield more than enough for a 3 to 4 person movie night.

About 2 to 3 tablespoons worth of bacon grease will be enough to pop the kernels. Once the fat has rendered, place a few kernels into the pot. Once the bacon fat reaches the right temperature, the sample kernels will pop. Add the remaining kernels in an even layer at the bottom of the pot. 

Cover and remove the pot from the heat for 30 seconds allowing the kernels to match the temperature of the fat. Return the pot to the heat and shake it vigorously as the kernels begin popping. Once there begins to be several seconds between pops, the popcorn is done. Remove it from the stove and pour it into a bowl to cool. Though your popcorn will already be flavored by the bacon fat, you can add additional flavors, like ranch seasoning, if you desire. Whatever you choose, you've got yourself the perfect savory treat for a movie night.