Making popcorn on the stove is super easy, and it's a special way to enjoy this healthy snack. Follow this method for perfect popcorn that won't ever fail you! This is a great way to make movie night fun by letting the kids create their toppings with a popcorn bar.
Why this works
- Tried and true method - this method has been working for my family for years and it is easy for you to learn.
- Easy to find equipment - all you need is a good heavy-bottomed pan, and a good fitting lid.
- Fun family activity - this recipe is easy enough to teach your kids how to do with appropriate supervision while cooking. You can also make Instant Pot Hawaiian Little Smokies with the kids too!
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need. Scroll down to the recipe card where you'll find exact measurements.
You should use an oil that tastes good and offers the nutritional value you are looking for. You also want to make sure that the smoke point is at least 350-degrees. I like to use coconut oil, but you can also use olive or grapeseed oil.
Equipment for this recipe
You will need a heavy bottomed pot or large pan. Also, you will need a lid that will fit securely on top. I used an extra large cast iron pan.
How to make this
Step 1: Heat the pan and oil
- Put your pot or pan on the stove over medium heat.
- Add in the the coconut oil, and two popcorn kernels. Cover with your lid. Do not leave the oil unattended for safety reasons!
Step 2: Add the popcorn and cook
- Wait a few minutes, and once these pop add in the rest of the kernels.
- IMPORTANT remove the pan from the heat for a minute or two to allow all the kernels to come to the same temperature. Return to the burner, and continue to cook.
- The popcorn is done once the popping slows down or the pot or pan is full!
If to much condensation builds up then you can tilt the lid slightly to let some of that escape.
If your oil starts to smoke this is a surefire clue that the heat is to high. Remove from the heat, allow the oil to cool, and then clean. You do not want to take a hot pan from the stove then add water as the grease will pop. Start over with fresh oil.
The smoke point refers to the point where oil begins to smoke. We don't want this to happen as it will lend a burnt taste to our popcorn. The flash point refers to the point at which flames ignite on the oil, which is generally about 600-degrees. We definitely don't want this!
The answer is it depends. I have found that Instant Pot Popcorn is an elusive creature. You can follow the same directions in the post above but use the saute feature on high. Most people get mixed results, and so did I which is why I use the stovetop method instead. I found I had more success in my pressure cooker model like the Duo Evo which has a flat bottom than other models with a curved bottom.
Yes, because your ingredients are super fresh it has the real food made from scratch quality.
When you stay in for movie night one of the best parts is you can dress up your popcorn as fancy or simple as you like!
- Classic butter and salt, or buttered salt - you can melt a little butter in the microwave and add a little salt with your snack. Or, you can splurge on buttered salt tossed with your popcorn.
- Copycat Trader Joe's Chili Onion Crunch - looking for an Umami punch? Try out this delicious treat with pantry items you have on hand from Become Betty!
- Ranch - I adore ranch on everything, and popcorn is no exception! Toss a little homemade Ranch seasoning from Make Ahead Meal Mom for a special treat!
- Garlic Parmesan - a little melted butter, garlic salt, and Parmesan cheese for a savory treat.
- Spicy Palomitas - a spicy blend of cumin and ancho chile powder with a few sweet notes makes your snack a gourmet treat from Muy Delish!
- Everything Bagel - some melted butter then tossed with some Everything Bagel seasoning makes a great topping!
- Garlic butter - make some homemade garlic butter to drizzle on top.
If you want to up your game create a popcorn bar with a bunch of toppings so everyone can mix and match to their content!
Store in an airtight container or storage bag for up to one week. Note the quality is never as good as when it is first popped, and it will continue to go down the more it is exposed to air.
More snack recipes
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How to Make Popcorn on the Stove
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- Salt to taste
- Put heavy bottomed pot or pan on stove, and turn to medium heat. Add in coconut oil, and two popcorn kernels.
- Cover with lid, and wait to heat. Once the two kernels have popped add in the remaining popcorn kernels then cover with lid. Remove from heat for one to two minutes to allow kernels to reach the same temperature.
- Return to heat, and allow to pop. When the popping becomes less frequent and popcorn seems to have filled pan remove from heat.
- Once popping stops, remove the lid and toss with butter and salt then enjoy.