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How to Make Great Popcorn on the Stove

Bowl of Popcorn
Everyone can make popcorn at home, quickly and easily!

Everyone loves fresh popcorn! And the delicious aroma of corn popped on the stove is unbeatable. Perhaps your popper is on the fritz? Or maybe you can’t find all the pieces?

Don’t worry – if you have the kernels, I’ll bet your kitchen already has everything else you need for a great snack!

If you can’t find a large pot, improvise!  You can try a wok covered with aluminum foil (poke holes for the steam to escape).  Or perhaps a large stainless-steel mixing bowl (with an aluminum foil cover, and tongs or oven mits to hold it – be careful!)

Once the pot is up to temperature and the kernels have been added, the popping should take about 2 minutes. Shaking the pot over the burner will help the evenly heat the kernels, and prevent the popped corn from burning. By shaking, I really mean “sliding the pot back and forth on the burner, just enough to keep the kernels moving.”

I also recommend finely ground salt, as it sticks to the popcorn better. This is available a “popcorn salt” or also as “picking salt”. You can also make it at home using a food processor (use the “pulse” button 6-7 times) or a blade coffee grinder (we use one in a lot of popcorn seasonings)


  • 1/4 cup of cooking oil (peanut or coconut oil if you have it, otherwise vegetable oil will do)
  • 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (finely ground, “popcorn” salt works best)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted (if desired)


Heat the oil, salt and 3 popcorn kernels in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the 3 kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn, and cover the pot. Shake continuously until popping slows down (usually about 2 minutes). Try to leave the lid open a small amount to let steam escape. When finished, pour into a large serving bowl immediately.

Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn slowly, tossing frequently to mix.  Or try one of the many other seasoning recipes on SnackZest!

2 thoughts on “How to Make Great Popcorn on the Stove

  1. His brings back memories of the time when this was the only way. Which having popcorn at home a real treat. I like the articles about the seasoned popcorn too.

  2. There’s nothing like stove top popcorn!! Thanks for this very easy and simple recipe which sounds delicious. I will try it this week with my kids who loves having movie nights on the weekend. 🙂

    Keep pumping more recipes out!

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