Popcorn piled high in a white and red bowl on a white surface with popcorn all around
The Best Type Of Oil To Use When Making Popcorn
Whether cooking it on a stovetop or popping it in the microwave, popcorn needs to be made using an oil with a high smoke point so the kernels get cooked enough to develop.
According to research by the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the ideal temperature to cook popcorn is 356 degrees Fahrenheit, which is too hot for some oils and fats.
When oil reaches its smoke point, it begins to break down and emit smoke, giving food a burnt, bitter taste. For popcorn, oils with a 400-degree Fahrenheit smoke point are best.
Two popular choices are canola and vegetable oil, thanks to their more neutral flavors. Refined peanut oil is also a great option and can infuse your popcorn with some nuttiness.
Duck fat is another good option, which provides a rich flavor. Its smoke point isn’t ideal for popcorn, but close enough that you can avoid burning it by cooking smaller kernels.