How to Make Popcorn on the Stove?

This Stovetop Popcorn cooking method is so simple that nearly every kernel pops, and nothing burns, leaving you with a gorgeous bowl of popcorn! This stovetop approach ensures that the kernels achieve an even temperature before popping, ensuring that practically every kernel pops at the exact moment and nothing burns, resulting in minimal waste and perfectly crisp and delicious popcorn.

How to Make Popcorn on the Stove

It isn’t easy to go back to anything else once you’ve learned how to make popcorn on the stove. It takes a little longer than other ways, but it’s simple enough to throw together late at night when you’re craving some heat, crunchy nibbles.

How to Make Popcorn on the Stove?

This recipe makes a large amount of popcorn, around 10 cups. Check out our guide on making the most excellent popcorn for additional information.


  • Two tablespoons of oil, such as canola or peanut
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • Melted butter
  • Salt


Step 1: Bring the heat

Cover the pot with the oil and the kernels. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Wait. The popcorn will start to sizzle at this point and continue to wait. (Be sure to grab a pair of oven mitts!) You’ll eventually hear the first pop.

Editor’s note: It’s critical to use medium heat to avoid scorching the kernels. Heat the oil in the pot with a few kernels to test the temperature. You’ll know it’s time to add the remaining kernels once those pop nicely.

Step 2: Shake it

Start shaking the pot once the first kernel pops, holding on to the lid, so it doesn’t blow off. (If you want extra-crispy popcorn, leave the lid ajar while shaking or use a cover with a vent hole to let steam out.)

As the popping rate increases, continue shaking to avoid scorching the kernels. (Also, keep an eye out for these homemade popcorn blunders!) The popping will slow down after 2 or 3 minutes and then sporadic. Turn off the heat in the pot.

After you’ve stopped shaking, keep the lid on the pot for another minute—a few additional kernels may pop. To avoid coming into contact with the steam, open the lid away from you.

Step 3: Add mix-ins

Pour the melted butter over the popcorn and shake it to distribute it evenly. I prefer to do this in the pan and add the salt last to ensure it sticks evenly. Try these flavored popcorn recipes if you want to venture out from the traditional butter and salt popcorn toppings.

To get the movie theater-style salt, use superfine popcorn salt or grind regular salt in a mortar and pestle. Your batch will be pleasantly salty thanks to the refined grains, and you’ll be able to use less salt without sacrificing flavor.

Is Stovetop Popcorn Healthy?

Popcorn is generally healthful because it is low in calories and high in fiber. Like any handmade popcorn, Stovetop popcorn may be as nutritious (or bad) as you make it, depending on how much butter, salt, and other toppings you use. Although stovetop popcorn is generally healthier than a microwave or buttery movie theater, air-popped popcorn is the healthiest.

Both stovetop and air-popped, Popcorn may be a surprisingly healthful snack if cooked with the appropriate oil, tossed with the right toppings, and eaten correctly. Popcorn kernels are complete grains containing the germ and bran, which contain most of the nutrients.

Which oil Should you Use While Making Popcorn on the Stove?

You’ll need to use oil for the kernels to pop when preparing popcorn on the stove. Canola, grapeseed, sunflower, or vegetable oil with a high smoke point can be used. Check out our guide to the many types of cooking oils if you’re unsure about an oil’s smoke point. While butter is a tasty popcorn topping, please don’t use it for popping your kernels because it will result in soggy or burnt popcorn.

Extra-virgin olive oil: You may make popcorn with extra-virgin olive oil if you cook it on medium heat. Olive oil is my favorite cooking oil, and it’s also the healthiest.

Coconut oil is used for frying popcorn at movie theatres, and it is excellent. Choose unrefined (virgin) coconut oil instead than the highly refined kind used in movie theatres.

Other vegetable oils, such as canola oil: I avoid it because canola oil is usually highly processed. Avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and safflower oil are suitable possibilities for a neutral base.

Recommended Popcorn Seasonings

  • Good olive oil and black pepper: This particular variant is so unique that it was included in my cookbook.
  • Cinnamon honey butter popcorn: This popcorn is sticky but delicious. 2 tablespoons melted butter, one tablespoon honey or maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, whisked together
  • Make it more interesting: Add cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or white pepper to taste.
  • Nutritional yeast is a healthy vegan substitute that tastes like butter. My friend Ali demonstrates how to create “nooch” popcorn.
  • Butter that has melted!

Why Make Popcorn on the Stovetop?

It’s delicious and chemical-free. You could create air-popped popcorn, which is likewise free of all the nasty things, but it’s flavorless and bland. Snacks should be tasty! Stovetop popcorn tastes much better with only one tablespoon of oil for eight servings.

Go ahead and sprinkle butter on your stovetop popcorn (it’s delicious). Even a spoonful of butter on those eight cups of popcorn adds a lot of flavors. Do you know how much-saturated fat is in a medium popcorn at a movie theatre? It’s the equivalent of a whole stick of

How do you Make Popcorn Fluffy?

Make air-popped popcorn or handmade paper bag popcorn in the microwave for the lightest, fluffiest popcorn. Because it is cooked in oil, stovetop popcorn is recognized as crisp and delicious. The color of the popcorn kernels (yellow or white) can also affect the texture.

The droplet of water changes to steam as heat is added to the dried kernels and pressure builds. The kernel explodes when the hull can no longer withstand the pressure of the steam. Popcorn is made from the starch inside the kernel, which transforms into a white fluffy, crunchy substance.

Can you Air Fry Popcorn?

Using your preferred cooking oil, lightly coat the popcorn kernels. Place the popcorn in the air fryer basket that has been lined. Make sure the kernels aren’t stacked on top of one another; a flat palette of single kernels is ideal. Place the basket in your air fryer and cook for 5 minutes at 400°F (205°C).

Place the popcorn kernels on top of it in a single layer. Cook for 8 minutes using the air fryer basket in the air fryer. Allow the popcorn to stay in the air fryer for 30 seconds to allow more popping. Remove the popcorn from the air fryer basket and set it in a mixing bowl.


Line the bottom of the basket with aluminum foil and a single layer of 1/2 cup popcorn kernels. Cook the popcorn for eight to ten minutes, stopping the machine when the popping stops. Allow for an extra minute or two of resting time if any remaining kernels desire to pop. In the bottom of a medium/large pan, pour about two tablespoons of oil. The pan’s bottom should be well-coated in oil. Over medium/high heat, heat the pan. Put three test popcorn kernels in the pan and cover it.

Any large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid can be used to produce stovetop popcorn. We recommend the Whirley Pop for an even more foolproof stovetop popcorn approach. According to multiple Taste of Home editors and workers, this old-fashioned stovetop popcorn maker includes a crank that helps stir the popcorn to keep it from burning, and it’s the most excellent popcorn maker overall. Sprinkle popcorn kernels with just enough salt to lightly coat the layer of kernels. You can always add more salt afterward if necessary. Cover the pot with the lid and add the butter. When the kernels begin to pop, constantly shake the pan back and forth across the heat until the popping stops.