how to make popcorn on your stove

How To Make The Best Popcorn of Your Life and Save Thousands of Dollars (kind of)

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homemade popcorn recipeHow much does a bowl of popcorn cost at the movies? Four dollars? Six? Eight?

And how much would that cost if you purchased the microwaveable bags? Three? Four?

And how much would it cost to buy a four-pound bag of kernels and make endless bowls of popcorn yourself?


We’ve been wasting our money, people. Wasting it! Popcorn is the cheapest snack known to man.  I can say that because I eat popcorn every day.

It is free of all allergens, except corn obviously, and when you make it homemade, it isn’t covered in chemicals and preservatives. It’s just fresh, warm, seriously deliciously popcorn.

If you want to save money and still enjoy something delicious, let me teach you how to make mouth watering homemade popcorn. Trust me, you will never eat microwave popcorn again.

Here’s what you need to make the best popcorn of your life:


  • A pot with a lid (preferably clear because it’s really fun to watch the popcorn pop)
  • Vegetable oil (We use extra virgin olive oil, but coconut oil or even plain vegetable oil works fine)
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Seasoning
  • Large bowl
  • Five minutes!

Step One:


Cover the bottom of your pot with oil. The first few times, I measured this, but now I just eyeball it. The rule of the thumb is equal parts oil to kernels. I use about 3-4 tablespoons of oil to cover my six-inch pot.

If you, like my husband, think, “I want buttery popcorn, I’ll just melt butter instead of using oil,” resist that urge. The butter will burn, unlike the oil, and your popcorn will be brown and a little mushy. Save butter for the finished product.

Step Two:


Pour one layer of kernels into the bottom of the pan. You want each kernel to be hanging out in the pool of oil and not sitting on top of each other. If you add too many kernels, it will raise your lid off the pot and burn the popcorn at the bottom of the pan.  Remember, burnt popcorn smell lingers a lot longer than fresh popcorn smell.

Step Three:


Turn on your stove top to medium-high heat. Place the pot on the stove and do not, do not forget the lid. With a gas stove, the popcorn will start popping in about two minutes. It will take a bit longer with an electric stovetop, but the taste is equally delectable.

Step Four:


Wait for the pops! The key to making popcorn is being a good listener. The popped corn will rise above the unpopped kernels, so you don’t have to worry about it burning. Soon the popcorn will rapid pop and fill your kitchen with the most wondrous smell.

Step Five:


When popping slows to 1 full second between pops, turn off the heat on your stove. If you have an electric stove, pull it off the eye. On my gas stove, I let the popcorn sit with the lid on for about thirty seconds to cool and allow those final few kernels to finish popping. If you open it too soon, the last remaining unpopped kernels will pop and fly straight out of the pot. I’ve done this multiple times, and it’s always terrifying.

Step Six:

bowl of popcorn

Pour your popcorn in a large bowl and add salt! Personally, I pour the popcorn in the bowl in batches and individually salt each layer, but I just really love salt. I also add Tony Chachere’s Cajun spice or paprika to give the popcorn extra flavor and color.

Depending on much salt you add, popcorn is a pretty healthy snack. That’s what I tell myself every day when I make it at least.

There are a million ways to enjoy fresh popcorn. Here some other helpful tips to make your cheap snack a little fancier:

-While you listen to the pops, melt a little butter in the microwave to pour over the finished product.

-Enjoy fresh popcorn with peanut M&M’s or chocolate chips if you have a sweet and salty craving.

-Hungry for kettle corn? Right after the first kernel pops, dust your crop with a layer of white granulated sugar. If you used three tablespoons of kernels, use equal parts sugar. Immediately lift and shake your pot carefully. The goal is just to toss the sugar to evenly cover the kernels. Clumps of sugar will burn in the oil. When it’s done, it’s covered in a sticky coat of melted sugar, just like you buy at the fair.

Thanks to my brother Colt for first teaching me home to make popcorn on the stove. It’s changed my life. Enjoy!


11 Responses

  • Much more healthy if you use Organic Corm (Non-GMO) and Mortons Canning and Pickling Salt.

  • Gee, I remember when the only popcorn you could get was the home made kind.

    • I wish I knew those days! Most people my age assume you can only get popcorn from a microwaveable bag :/

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  • […] we are far from experts, we know how to dump a tank, unclog our toilet, and throw together the best tasting popcorn of your life (slightly unrelated, but it’s so […]

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  • […] Since we travel with our kitchen, we try to always eat in to save money. Our meals for two people cost an average of $10.26 a day, and includes 3 square meals a day plus our daily bowl of popcorn. […]

  • Haha we love making our own popcorn too. Plus you can make your own flavours #score

  • I just melt the butter in the already-hot pan after I take the popcorn out. One less dish 🙂

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