My previous post about trying to come up with a steak-like popcorn seasoning led me to finally try making that recently. Over the weekend I blended up the spices in the proportions I wanted for Mark II using a coffee grinder, and the other night I tried some on a little popcorn.
Tasting the seasoning only on its own, it seems like doubling the black pepper was a mistake, and the onion powder even in a lesser quantity was too much, but it might otherwise serve as a proper steaky seasoning.
On the popcorn, however, I had different results. I used the Nordic Ware microwave popcorn bowl for this purpose; I’ve never had much luck with it in the past when using coconut oil in it, which all the videos I’ve seen say should be possible (it might be my crappy microwave), but I discovered if you give it enough time it can cook popcorn dry well enough. I made 1/8 cup (unpopped) of popcorn and then added a small amount of margarine (2 tbsp.), mostly so the spices would have something to adhere to.
The popcorn came out nice, but the margarine somewhat dominated its flavor profile. I found that when I sprinkled on what I thought was a generous amount of seasoning, I couldn’t taste it very well; adding more, it didn’t help much. I got a vague hint of pepper and I definitely picked up the savory quality of the MSG, but it was all muted. The smoky flavor all but disappeared.
I’m not sure Mark II is broken as such; except for scaling the pepper and onion powder back, I think it’d probably work dandy on something like a potato chip that’s already salty. But with popcorn, I’m completely reconsidering.
Taking this just as a popcorn seasoning, I think I need to put much more of it on my popcorn and readjust the proportions. I put on maybe a teaspoon worth, and it clearly needed more, but I think something much closer to the Mark I experience is called for. So for Mark III, I propose:
Steaky popcorn seasoning experiment #3 (proposed)
- 1 part onion powder
- 2 parts alder smoked salt
- 2 parts black pepper
- 8 parts granulated garlic
- 8 parts MSG
- 16 parts popcorn salt
I think the extra saltiness is very much the way to go when it comes to popcorn seasoning.