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.