How to make Popcorn on the Stovetop

Step-by-Step how to make popcorn on the stove

When I was growing up, almost every time we came to visit, my grandpa would pop up a whole boatload of popcorn for a snack.  We loved it because it was microwave popcorn with a ton of butter and salt, something we didn’t get at home.  Now as a grown up, I’m not a huge fan of the microwave popcorn but don’t want to spend any money and storage space on an air popper.  Not when it is actually super easy (and cheap) to pop my popcorn on the stove.

Step 1

The first step is to find a medium to large heavy bottom pan with a lid.  Heavy bottom being the key words here.  Cast iron Dutch ovens work nicely.  Canning pots do not.  My friend Mandy and I leaned this the hard way and ate burned popcorn one night.

Pour in 3-4 tablespoons oil of your choice.  Preferably one with a high smoke point.  Turn stove on medium high and toss in 1 kernel of popcorn.

Step 2

Wait for that kernel to pop.  When it has popped, the pan is ready.  Pour in the rest of the kernels.

How many can fit in the pot?  You can put in as many kernels as will fill the bottom of the pan on one layer.

Step 3

If your oil is hot enough the kernels will start popping right away.  You should put a ld on your pan.  While trying to take this photo, I had popcorn leaping all over my kitchen.

The popping shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes.  Every minute or so, while the popcorn is popping, give the pan a good shake to keep the kernels from scorching.

See.  Quick, easy, and cheap.  A big bag of air pop popcorn is only a couple bucks and lasts a long long time.  And now you can decide what kind of toppings you want.  My favorite is caramel.