Stepdad Frank's Popcorn

My stepdad makes the world’s best popcorn—hands down.

Like most stepdads, he hates when you leave your shoes out, enjoys watching the weather channel and football, and loves a Sunday afternoon routine: in his case, a lunch of popcorn, sliced apples, and cheddar. (“The popcorn gives you some carb, the cheese is the protein, and the fruit is fiber. It’s a well-balanced meal from the gods,” he says.)

But this is no ordinary popcorn. Frank’s popcorn is the stuff of legend. When he first started dating my mom, it was all the rest of us—my brother, my mom, and I—could talk about. How does Frank make the best popcorn in the entire world? we asked, while stuffing large handfuls of the popcorn into our mouths at an inhuman rate.

This recipe for popcorn has the self-falsifying title “The Popcorn Technique You Won’t Find on the Internet”, but it really is the best way to make popcorn I’ve ever made at home. I used to make popcorn in a heavy Dutch oven with a lot of shaking, but this method is easier and faster and tastes amazing.

Even before COVID-19 isolation, I adopted Stepdad Frank’s ideal lunch of popcorn, cheese, and apple more than I like to admit. My minor tweak is to add a little butter (just a dab) with the oil for flavor.