My top two favorite snacks of all time are Chex Mix and popcorn. I can shovel both by the handful into my mouth and never, ever get sick of them. One summer I worked at a movie theater and honestly I'm surprised I didn't get fired for how much popcorn I ate on the job.
At the theater we were limited to 1 free kids cup of popcorn a day but since we also weren't allowed to sit down on a stool behind the concession stand even while all four screens were playing and no patrons were in the lobby I stand by my decision to eat no less than 6 cups of popcorn a shift.
Chex Mix has long been my go-to plane or car ride snack of choice, and recently Jimmy has earned his Husband of the Year trophy by making homemade Chex Mix by (what can only be described as) the bushelful at home. (Did you know the secret ingredient in Chex Mix is Worcestershire sauce, btw???)
Chex Mix seasoning is basically butter, a simple spice blend, and Worcestershire sauce tossed on your preferred blend of snacks and Chex cereal. Then it bakes for an hour. That's it! You've got Chex Mix!
When I saw how simple Chex Mix is to make, I immediately started thinking about what else I could Chex Mix. Popcorn, obviously, was at the top of that list.
The thing is, when I make popcorn I make it because I want it now. Not because I want it an hour from now. I also hate pouring melted butter over popcorn because it always ends up soggy.
I'm also deeply loyal to my air popper and didn't want to have to use a stovetop method to get the butter and Worcestershire to evenly coat the kernels. (Also, I tested this method and it was a burned Worcestershire and soggy popcorn disaster.)
Many batches of popcorn later, I finally got it right. The good news is you can use the popcorn popping method of your choice. The bad news is that you will need to bake the popcorn, but it's only for 5 minutes at 200F so it's not like you end up waiting around for the oven to preheat.
And the really, really good news is that the recipe makes enough of the seasoning blend for several batches of popcorn. Store it in an empty spice jar with one of those shaker tops for future movie nights.
tips for the perfect popcorn
- To blend the spices really well and create a fine powder that evenly coats the popcorn and clings into all the craggy nooks and crannies, I took advice from Brian David Gilbert's PEPCORN video where he uses a spice grinder to create superfine popcorn salt. I have a cheap coffee grinder that I use just for grinding spices so my spices don't taste like coffee (and my coffee doesn't taste like Chex Mix).
- Try to remove any unpopped kernels from the sheet pan before you stick it in the oven just in case they do decide to pop and fall below your oven rack or onto the heating coils.
- Use a spatula to reach in and give the popcorn a bit of a stir about halfway through its time in the oven so that it dries and crisps evenly.
you may also like
- chex mix chicken tenders
- one-avocado guacamole with quick pickled red onions
- perfect for a party salsa roja
- chocolate m&m popcorn
chex mix popcorn
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels (6 cups popped popcorn)
- 2 tablespoon butter (melted)
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch red chili powder or cayenne (optional)
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Combine seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and pinch of chili powder or cayenne (if using) in a spice grinder. Pulse and grind into a fine powder.
- Pop popcorn in a microwave, on the stovetop, or with an air popper. Place popped popcorn in a large bowl.
- Melt butter in the microwave and stir in Worcestershire sauce until well combined.
- Drizzle Worcestershire and butter mixture over the popcorn in the bowl.
- Take a sheet pan and place it over the mouth of the bowl. Carefully pick up the bowl and sheet pan together and shake and toss vigorously to evenly coat the popcorn with the butter mixture.
- Remove the sheet pan from on top of the bowl, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the powder over the popcorn. Replace the sheet pan over the bowl and shake again to evenly distribute.
- Flip the sheet pan and bowl over so that the sheet pan is flat on the counter with the bowl upside down on top of it. Remove the bowl and spread the popcorn into an even layer.
- Bake the popcorn for 5-7 minutes in the oven, stirring occasionally so that it all dries evenly.
- Transfer popcorn back into the bowl and serve immediately.