Homemade Movie Popcorn (Butter Popcorn) | RecipeTin Eats

How to make real movie theater popcorn

This intensely buttery yellow homemade popcorn stays crispy for days! save a fortune on the movie theater candy bar; just remember to bring a jumbo bag so you can smuggle in loads of your own homemade buttered popcorn…

Yellow Homemade Movie Popcorn in a popcorn bucket

Homemade Movie Popcorn (Butter Popcorn)

Today’s buttered popcorn recipe is for everyone who’s spent a fortune on movie theater chocolate bars.

particularly to all the fellow Aussies out there who remember enjoying cheap movie tickets on busy Tuesdays*, only to spend twice as much on popcorn and m&m’s.

I can’t help you with the m&m.

but I can help you with the buttered popcorn!!!

This buttery popcorn is intensely buttery, and stays crisp for days!

* In Australia, most cinemas have discounted movie tickets every Tuesday. we affectionately refer to it as tight-ass-tuesday. You’d be hard-pressed to find an Australian who isn’t familiar with this term!

Close up of yellow, buttery, Homemade Movie Popcorn

How to make butter popcorn without it going soggy

The secret to keeping popcorn crisp that’s really buttery is clarified butter, also known as ghee. this is just melted butter that is simmered until the water in the butter evaporates, because butter is made up of fat, milk solids, and water.

once the water evaporates, the melted butter is now pure butterfat. this has two benefits for buttered popcorn:

  • Use it to pop popcorn, because it has a higher smoke point than regular butter. you can’t pop popcorn with regular butter, it just burns; and

    It will not make soggy popcorn when you pour the butter over it. in fact, it stays crispy for days and days and days….

    alternative to making clarified butter: use store-bought ghee. this is clarified butter!

    how to make clarified butter: the secret to keeping buttered popcorn “crunchy”

    Preparation steps for how to make Ghee / Clarified Butter

    This stuff is also known as liquid gold. The buttery smell is just insane!

    And if that’s not enough, another miracle is that clarified butter can be stored in the pantry for months on end. it’s liquid when warm and has the consistency of smooth butter at room temperature (only microwave to melt).

    You will find that almost all Indian recipes call for ghee. Plus, use it in place of melted butter in any recipe – clarified butter is just browned butter that’s butter on steroids!

    Ghee in a jar

    How to make Movie Theatre Butter Popcorn

    So now that you know the secret to keeping buttery popcorn crisp, here’s how to make movie theater buttered popcorn that’s ultra buttery and will stay crisp for days! (I use the same technique in my slightly sweet and salty popcorn, which adds a slightly sweet twist compared to this buttered popcorn.)

    • grind the salt or grind it in a food processor to make a fine powder; it must be thin so that it adheres to the popcorn

      melt clarified butter (ghee) in a pot – do not use regular butter

      for optional movie theater yellow popcorn color: add turmeric and saffron powder (see section below for details)

      add popcorn kernels, fasten lid

      30 seconds after the popcorn begins to pop, shake the pot once

      When popping stops, remove from pot and immediately transfer popcorn to a large bowl

      Drizzle generously with more clarified butter and sprinkle with salt. don’t use regular butter, you’ll make it mushy!

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      Preparation steps for how to make yellow, buttery Homemade Movie Popcorn

      Skip to the recipe

      how to make a movie out of yellow popcorn!

      For a truly authentic popcorn experience, this recipe includes an option to make your popcorn yellow!

      after many batches of popcorn, I settled on a combination of imitation saffron and turmeric powder as the best way to add an authentic yellow color to popcorn. I dissolve it in a little water, then stir it into the butter before adding the grains.

      Warning: You will get yellow fingers and tongue, just like when you eat cheetos and cheezels! there is also the faintest hum of heat on the tongue of spices, barely perceptible. none of my friends noticed it, until I researched them repeatedly!

      For you food nerds interested in how I came to this: the spices should be dissolved in a bit of water because they don’t dissolve or leach into the fat. this was also the problem with regular yellow food coloring – it doesn’t dissolve in fat. I tried emulsifying it by shaking it in a jar with the butter, grinding it with salt and sprinkling it. I also found that using both spices achieved the color I was going for: turmeric on its own makes popcorn a crazy neon yellow color, while saffron has a cheddar orange color.

      Saffron and tumeric used to make homemade yellow Movie Popcorn

      Phew! Who knew I could write so much about popcorn??!!

      I’ll tell you this though. Yellow color aside, because that really is optional, homemade popcorn is incredibly addictive. it’s buttery in a way that just sprinkling with regular melted butter will never be. it has a light and uniform salt in a way that cannot be achieved by simply using table or kitchen salt.

      And the best part?

      stays crispy for days. as in – perfectly crispy.

      Start thinking about how you’re going to smuggle this into the movies. because honestly, it’s almost criminal how expensive it is to buy movie popcorn! -nagi x

      more popcorn recipes

      • Spicy Parmesan Popcorn

        salted caramel popcorn

        slightly sweet and salty popcorn

        christmas popcorn candy

        Close up of yellow, buttery, Homemade Movie Popcorn

        Watch how to make it

        dozer life

        Look what I found on my phone from the trip south to Araluen last weekend! just rolled out of bed, complete with ugg boots, trackies, bed hair, completely no makeup, clinging to the bulldozer.

        ooooh…. *light bulb goes off in head*…. I could be talking about any day…..

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