Stovetop Popcorn

I never thought I would be making stovetop popcorn. I grew up eating airpopped popcorn all the time – it was the evening snack of choice, and I only lasted a few months after moving out of my parents’ house before I bought myself an air popper. But I was thinking about kettle corn one night a couple weeks ago, so I googled how to make it, and instead of kettle corn, I discovered a recipe for perfect stovetop popcorn. And made it 3 days in a row.

It’s so simple, and a little oil is the only thing that makes it less healthy than air popped. And it tastes 10 times better. I don’t even use butter. Just sprinkle on some salt and it’s perfect! Mike loves it too (exact quote: “as popcorn goes, you can’t get any better than this”), and popcorn and a movie has become our standard date night. Perfect 🙂

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Yield: Makes 2 quarts, a good amount for two people.


2-3 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup of popcorn kernels
1 3 or 4-quart covered saucepan
Salt to taste


Heat the oil in a 3 or 4-quart saucepan on medium high heat. Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. This will bring all the kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time. Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release This will make the popcorn drier and crisper. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl. Salt to taste.

If you are adding butter, you can melt it by placing the butter in the now empty, but hot pan. We love it with just salt, however.

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  1. yum! here is a recipe for kettle corn, its quite easy, the original recipe from Joy the baker gives more precise directions on how to make it without the whirly pop!(and this time ill leave the correct link!) Enjoy!

  2. We actually don't own a microwave so we have an air popper but also just use the stove. You can get SO creative with this – we've added a bit of rosemary to the olive oil and then sprinkled parmesan cheese on top and it's DELICIOUS!!!

  3. heather – thanks for the recipe! Kettle corn is still on my list of things to make 🙂

    Simply Life – rosemary and parmesan cheese sounds so good!!

  4. Yum! Add a sprikle of sugar in the oil mix and you've got yourself a nice little declicious kettle corn experience! Pop corn is a wonderous food 🙂

  5. thank you for your sweet comment<3

    oh stovetop popcorn… ive always admired people who take the time to do this. yuckie microwave stuff. not that tasty.

    happy monday!

  6. I've never made popcorn on the stovetop before. It looks so awesome.

  7. This is how my dad had made popcorn for as long as I can remember. I have never tried it, but I need to!

  8. we love stovetop popcorn so many options, great recipe..thanks for sharing


  9. I have been using Simply Recipes popcorn recipe for months and months! I LOVE IT! I don't buy packaged popcorn packets anymore. It's filled with chemicals. Blarg!

    I use this recipe to make cracker jacks with. Oh…my…gravy. So good.

  10. I am not exaggerating – I make popcorn on the stove every day. It is my 'go to' snack. I use coconut oil, it makes it taste like old-school movie popcorn – SO good.

  11. I love popcorn like this. Sometimes the microwave stuff tastes too chemically!

  12. I love how many people make stovetop popcorn! I can't believe I was missing out for so long! 🙂

  13. I love stove-topped popcorn – can't eat the microwave stuff – its just gross. I got a WhirleyPop a couple of years ago since I have a flat top stove and couldnt shake my pan on it. It's probably my second most used "appliance" in my kitchen next to my KitchenAid. We love it and just add a little salt as well.

  14. I love popcorn… I might have to make some for a snack soon after reading this!

  15. We just recently did stovetop popcorn too (after not making it for many, many years) – sadly, my son didn't realize you could that that. He was amazed. 🙂

  16. The Whirly Pop pot is the bomb! We never have done the microwave popcorn…I eat too much and those little bags never fit the bill for me. Now that I have learned of how unhealthy anything microwaved is, I am glad that I never was hooked on the popcorn. A little fat is good for you…I use coconut oil or olive oil on our popcorn. It's so yum!

  17. i eat stove top popcorn on a daily basis… i love that you are placing a recipe on here! i hope everyone starts eating it! its a good snack– not too heavy and not too unhealthy! i use oil and butter in mine; i actually pop the butter in with the oil and popcorn and salt. it all goes in the pot and then it pops up! YUM. a different taste than pouring the butter over it, but i use less than 2 tablespoons of butter for a huge bowl of popcorn; that really isnt that bad! oh, and popcorn is so cheap, too! (can't say ive never brought my own into the theatre) hope everyone enjoys the stove top popcorn!

  18. We don’t own a microwave so this is how we make popcorn all the time. It is soooo delicious! My kids are popcorn snobs now….they won’t even touch the microwave stuff. 🙂

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