How to Make Popcorn on the Stove
Find out how to make popcorn on the stove at home, plus get four favorite popcorn seasoning recipes! Easy stovetop popcorn is a tasty and healthy snack for kids and adults.
I was recently chatting with a couple girlfriends when I mentioned that I don’t have a microwave in my current kitchen. I’m simply not a fan of microwaves. One of my friends asked, “How do you make popcorn without a microwave?”
“Easy!” I replied. “I make popcorn on the stove, and it takes just a few minutes.” I’ve wanted to share how to make popcorn on the stove ever since that conversation. If you already know how it’s done, stick around for a few of my favorite homemade popcorn seasoning ideas.
One of the reasons I don’t recommend microwave popcorn is that many include unnecessary chemicals and artificial flavors. You don’t need any special appliances like popcorn air poppers to make perfect homemade popcorn. I first learned how to make popcorn on the stove during an episode of Everyday Italian about 15 years ago, and I’ve been making it this way ever since.
Stovetop Popcorn Ingredients & Equipment:
- Organic Popping Corn. You can get this by the bag at Trader Joe’s or the bulk bins at Whole Foods.
- 1 tablespoon of coconut or olive oil
- A large, heavy, lidded pot such as a Dutch oven
Popping Popcorn on the Stove
Coat the bottom of the pot with oil, over medium heat, and add one kernel. Cover the pot.
When you hear the kernel pop, the pot is hot enough to start.
Pour one layer of kernels into the pot. I used about 2/3 cup for this large Dutch oven. Cover the pot and give it a shake, occasionally, while the kernels pop. It takes about 2-3 minutes for all the kernels to pop, so don’t leave your pot.
When the popping has slowed to a few seconds between pops, turn off the heat. Carefully remove the lid so that you don’t get hit in the eye with rogue popping corn.
Stovetop Popcorn Seasonings
Keep it simple with a little sea salt, or try some of our favorite homemade popcorn seasonings.
Nutritional Yeast Popcorn
Nutritional yeast, aka “nooch”, ads a cheesy flavor to popcorn and as well as vitamins and minerals. I use Bragg’s nutritional yeast or one from Trader Joe’s. Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt too.
This one is my personal favorite! A pinch of truffle salt makes nearly every savory food better.
Sweet & Salty Maple Nut Popcorn
Do you love caramel or kettle corn? Heat up some maple syrup so it’s nice and thin and toss it with the cooked popcorn, a pinch of salt, and your favorite nuts.
Dill Pickle Popcorn
Have you tried the pickle popcorn at Trader Joe’s? My kids love it! We make a similar version at home by spritzing pickle juice over the popcorn and tossing with dried dill and salt. The pickle flavor is not as strong as the store bought versions, but it’s tasty.
Stovetop Popcorn Tips and Tricks
- To adhere dry seasonings to popcorn, spritz with olive oil or water
- Err on the side of under-popping to avoid burned pieces
- Seasonings work best when added right away while the popcorn is still hot. Toss to combine.
- 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
- 2/3 cup organic popping corn
- nutritional yeast + sea salt
- garlic powder + sea salt
- spritz pickle juice + dried dill + salt
- truffle salt
- warm maple syrup + chopped nuts + salt
- ground cinnamon + coconut sugar
- squeeze lime + chili powder
- spray Bragg's liquid aminos
- In a large, heavy pot (I use a Dutch oven), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add one kernel of popping corn and place the lid on the pot.
- When the kernel pops, add a single layer of the popping corn to the pot and shake to coat the kernels in oil. This trick lets you know the pot has reached the right temperature. Place the lid back on the pot.
- Cook with the lid on, shaking the pot occasionally so that the popcorn cooks evenly. You'll hear popping for a few minutes and then it will slow. Once the popping has slowed to 2-3 seconds between pops, remove from heat. It's easy to burn popcorn, so be sure not to overcook.
- Add your desired seasonings directly to the pot, or to a bowl with the hot popcorn and shake or toss to combine.
- Careful! Popping corn expands a lot when cooked, so be sure to use a large enough pot. 3 tablespoons un-popped corn makes about 4 cups popped!
- This recipe does not use much oil. To help adhere seasonings to popcorn you can use a spritz of water or cooking oil if needed.
- Nutrition information is calculated without seasonings and is approximate. Nutrition info is calculated by a third party app, and accuracy is not guaranteed.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200 Carbohydrates: 37g Fiber: 7g Protein: 6g