How To: Pop Delicious Popcorn on the Stove

Pop Delicious Popcorn on the Stove

Remember the oh so delicious buttery popcorn you could only get at the movie theater?  You can actually make popcorn that tastes this good right in your own home.  All you need are the right ingredients and a little practice.  Once you try this delectable snack, you will never eat microwave popcorn again.

Have these ingredients and materials on hand before starting

  • six quart stainless steel pan with lid
  • a little less than one cup of pop corn kernels
  • a quarter cup of coconut oil
  • a quarter cup of butter
  • sea salt
  • electric or gas stove or single burner element
  • Large paper bag--the kind used for bagging groceries

Step 1 Turn stove on to medium heat


  • It's best to use a stove that can handle some friction as you will be moving the pan back and forth.  Stoves with flat glossy surfaces will scratch, so if you have that kind of stove, best to first invest in a single burner element.

Step 2 Put pan on stove and add coconut oil to pan


  • The best oil to use is cold pressed virgin coconut oil available online and at health food stores.  You can get by with refined coconut oil available at regular grocery stores.  It must be coconut oil to yield that delectable movie theater flavor.

Step 3 Wait for oil to get hot


  • You will know the oil is hot enough when it starts to give off steam.
  • Oil is also hot enough when it sizzles if you add a drop of water.
  • If oil isn't hot enough, kernels will burn giving popcorn and off flavor, so if in doubt, wait a minute or two longer.


  • Do not put the lid on the pan at this time or the oil could burn and cause a pan fire.

Step 4 Add popcorn to pan and put lid on


  • Vigorously move pan from side to side to spread kernels around

Step 5 Pop kernels


  • Keep vigorously moving the pan from side to side
  • Periodically crack open the lid to vent
  • Listen for the sound of the kernels popping.  Popping starts off slow, speeds up, then slows down again.
  • If you have to wait more than about fifteen seconds for popping to start, pan wasn't hot enough.

Step 6 When popping slows down, turn heat off


  • Keep vigorously moving the pan from side to side for a bit longer
  • Deciding when the popcorn is done is a bit of an art as there's a fine line between popping as many of the kernels as possible and waiting too long and burning the popcorn.  You'll get it with practice.

Step 7 Pour popcorn into paper bag

Step 8 Add butter and salt


  • Use the heat of the pan to melt the butter, then pour over popcorn
  • Add salt to taste.  Start with a little, then add more as needed.

Step 9 Shake bag vigorously to mix popcorn, butter, salt

Step 10 Serve and enjoy

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Photo Credit:  Carlos Porto /

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1 Comment

Yum, sounds delish. I always use the microwave method, but I think we will try this on our next movie night. Would probably be fun for a party too. Could use different toppings, like butter + salt, cheese, chili powder, etc.

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