Small pink paper bag of popcorn with an elaborate ice cream sundae next to it.

How to Choose the Best Kernels, Oils, and Seasonings for your Popcorn

Crafting the perfect bowl of stovetop popcorn is an art form and like anything worth investing in, it starts with the right materials. Put in good things, you get good things. Dusted is all about elevating an ordinary experience with exceptional quality goods, so we are here to help you make good choices.

Kernel 101

First things first, the kernel is the heart of your popcorn experience. But not all kernels are born equal. What sets the quality corns apart? Think moisture, expansion, and popability. Higher quality kernels mean bigger, more tender flakes, better texture & fewer unpopped kernels at the bottom of your bowl. It’s all about kernel hull thickness & moisture content. Want to nerd out on kernel science? Check out these deep dives from the American Society of Agronomy and At Dusted, we're picky about our kernels. We only stock producers who are as obsessed with quality as we are.

When choosing kernels, remember there are two shapes - mushroom & snowflake. Go mushroom for heavy-hitters like caramel and cheese; they can handle the weight. Snowflake's your go-to for home popping—those flakes are pros at trapping dusty seasonings. Want the full scoop? Check out our guide on popcorn kernels.

Popping Oils

Next up, the oil. Aim for high-smoke point oils for that perfect pop and clean taste. The "smoke point" is the temperature where the oil starts to break down and, well, smoke. Some oils also start releasing free radicals at this temperature, but many, like olive oil, have a high oxidative stability, meaning they are safe to eat even after they are smoking. We're all about health, so we stick to oils that we know for sure are stable at high temperatures, and also won’t make our popcorn taste smokey. Our faves?

  • Avocado Oil: Smoke Point 520°F
  • Almond Oil: Smoke Point 495°F
  • Sunflower Oil: Smoke Point 450˚F
  • Ghee: Smoke Point 485˚F

Choose your oil based on the flavor you're after for your final bowl. We offer avocado oil for a lighter touch and ghee for that full-on buttery bliss.

Seasonings: The Soul of Your Snack

Last but not least, the seasonings. This is where you can let your culinary creativity run wild. From health-boosting Turmeric Dust to chunky furikake, the options are endless. The key? Pair your seasoning with the right finishing oil for that perfect flavor and texture combo. When you're mixing up that perfect bowl of popcorn, consider how your finishing oil and dust are gonna vibe together—both in flavor and cling factor. Got chunky seasonings like furikake or everything bagel? You'll need a solid spritz of oil to make sure those flavors stick. But if you're going for a lighter touch, opt for powdery blends like our Fly by Jing Mala Spice Mix, smoky paprika, or the Turmeric Dust we mentioned. These dusty standbys will nestle right into those popcorn nooks and crannies.

  • Truffle Vibes: Elevate your movie night with truffle oil and truffle salt. Want a twist? A spritz of rosemary oil will do the trick. If you have some in the house, grate some parm on top for a real treat!
  • Ramen Riot: We're so into this, we made it our first Dusted Popcorn Pack. Get that kick with Fly by Jing's spicy oil, Ramen Dust, and a sprinkle of Furikake for that crunch factor.
  • Sugar Rush: Got a sweet tooth? Dive into this Mexican Chocolate blend from Macheesmo.
  • Sichuan Spice: Spice it up with this Sichuan Magic Dust recipe that's a ideal for Lunar New Year, and still a treat no matter the season.
  • Bacon & Butter: Craving something savory? Try these Macheesmo classics: Bacon Dust and Brown Butter Sriracha. We haven’t tried these together, but please report back!
  • Dinner for 2: Turn your popcorn bowl into trip around the word with these recipes & variations from Immaculate Bites. It's like a dinner date in a bowl.
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