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The Best Way to Make Stovetop Popcorn is With Water

We've only ever cooked popcorn kernels to make stovetop popcorn with oil, but there's apparently a way to make popped popcorn with water, instead. That's right — perfect stovetop popcorn can be achieved with less fat and fewer calories, and it just takes taking away one ingredient from the process to do it. If you're sick of microwave popcorn and want to try something new, read on.

Making Stovetop Popcorn

If you've ever made homemade popcorn on your stove, you've probably used cooking oil with a high smoke point and unpopped kernels to do it. A lot of oils work to make those kernels pop — olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil all show up in recipes to pop popcorn on your stove.

But there is a way to make stovetop popcorn with water, instead. Cooking Light recommends covering the bottom of a heavy, lidded pot with a single layer of kernels, then pouring water over the top of them "until they're covered, but not floating." That's not much water, so don't overdo it.

Then, put the pot on a burner on your stove and set it to medium-high heat. Shake the pan every now and again, and once the water has evaporated but the kernels haven't popped, lift the lid, add another 1/4 cup of water, then put the lid back on.

The outlet says to then turn up the heat slightly, and step away as the lid rattles and steam comes out. After that exciting show has died down, shake the pot, and if you were successful, you should start to hear popping. Turn down the heat very low as the popping gets going in earnest and continue to shake the pot every 10 to 20 seconds or so.

Finally, when the noise has died down and the kernels have basically stopped popping, remove the pot from heat, leaving the lid on until the popping is totally done.

When your popcorn has totally cooked, pour it into a large bowl or a special serving bowl and add whatever you like to enjoy with popcorn at home — sea salt, melted butter, white or brown sugar, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper powder, paprika...the list is truly endless.

This method really makes the best popcorn and rivals even the yummiest theater popcorn. It's great for when you're enjoying a movie night at home and don't have a dedicated popcorn popper to make it.

Making whole grain popcorn with water is a healthy alternative, and you can be more sure that the popcorn you're eating is gluten-free if that's at all a concern for you or your family — something that is not a given when you order it at the movie theater or buy it from a store.

Are you willing to give stovetop popcorn made with water a try?

Watch: 5 Facts About Popcorn