Food: How to Make Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

SN858682I consider myself a popcorn connoisseur. I eat it almost every day, and I’ve been known to eat it for dinner. I like sweet popcorn, salty popcorn, cheesy popcorn, movie theater corn, and even bacon popcorn. I love popcorn! One thing I never really enjoyed though, was the filmy, oily texture of microwave popcorn. I always hate to look in the bag and see all that yellow “butter” stuck to the sides. Yuck!

When I moved to Prague I began living sans microwave. A girl needs her popcorn, so I taught myself how to make it! It took trial and error, but I finally got it mastered. Not only does my popcorn taste better than microwave popcorn, but it’s WAY cheaper too! And, it has the benefit of being healthier. I also have a air popper, but honestly, this way of doing it yields the most popped corn and the least unpopped kernels. And I never burn any.

  • SN858679You can substitute any kind of oil you like: peanut, coconut, sunflower… I don’t recommend olive oil as it is heavy.
  • Once the oil is hot, you should run through these steps quickly.
  • You’ll need a pot with lid, a big bowl, oven mit


  • 3 tablespoons Canola oil (or enough to coat bottom of pot)
  • popcorn kernels, approximately 1/2 cup
  • salt
  • butter
  • brewers yeast (optional)
  • Tony Chachere’s or Lawry’s season salts (optional)


  1. SN858676Pour oil in pot (with lid) enough to coat bottom
  2. Turn heat to med/high (not too high), put THREE kernels into pot, place lid on pot 
  3. Relax and Listen until you hear that all three kernels have popped.
  4. Remove pot from heat, pour kernels into pot (enough to fill the bottom in a single layer. (Not enough corn will result in soggy, oily popcorn)
  5. Wearing an oven mit, place the lid on the pot, place the pot back on the heat and shake! Jiffy pop style! You are trying to coat all of the corn so it pops evenly.
  6. SN858677Once the corn begins to pop, tilt the lid so that some steam can escape. If you leave the lid tight you will get chewy popcorn.
  7. Every 10 to 20 seconds remove the pot from heat, secure lid and shake. Place pot back on heat, shift lid. Repeat.
  8. When you see that the popcorn is getting to the top of the pot, you’ll want to pour some into your serving bowl. This part can be tricky. While holding the lid down, begin to let some of the top popcorn fall into the bowl. SN858680Pour enough out so that the remaining kernels have room to pop, and the popped corn doesn’t burn.
  9. Melt the butter in the microwave. Slowly drizzle over the popcorn, while spinning the bowl. Season and Serve immediately.

6 thoughts on “Food: How to Make Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

  1. I couldn’t help but notice the irony of the last step: “Melt the butter in the microwave”. I think if I had one, I wouldn’t be making stove-top popcorn 😉 But in all seriousness, this is totally useful… going to have to try it out. Thanks!

    • I usually melt the butter in the hot pan, making sure not to burn it. But the microwave works easier, and doesn’t burn the butter ever so… that’s what I went with 🙂

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