- Food: Popcorn on Stovetop
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
I’m a stovetop popcorn connoisseur, which is a little-known truth.
I’ve been popping popcorn on the stove since I was in elementary school, thanks to my parents. Microwave popcorn and air-popped popcorn are both inferior to stovetop popcorn. You’ve been missing out if you haven’t made it yet!
I’m on a mission to ensure that everyone learns how to make homemade popcorn. Today, I’m going to share all of my popcorn-making secrets with you so that you can make excellent stovetop popcorn at home, too.
Popcorn kernels, a decent saucepan with a lid, oil, and salt are all you need. You’ve got this!
Stovetop popcorn is one of the tastiest and most affordable salty, crunchy, savory treats available.
I like that I can make it in under 10 minutes if I’m in the need of a snack and that I can simply change the quantities to make a single serving or party popcorn.
The 10-minute gap is actually beneficial since it prevents me from reaching into the pantry and mindlessly snacking on popcorn. I don’t keep tortilla chips on hand because I eat them too quickly.
How to Make Popcorn on the Stovetop?
- Make sure you have a good, heavy-bottomed pot. Cheap pots don’t properly transmit heat, resulting in hot patches that burn the popcorn.
- Don’t turn up the heat too much. It’s far too simple to burn oil at temperatures higher than medium, and your popcorn will taste burnt if you notice even a whiff of smoke coming from the pot.
- To test the temperature, start with two popcorn kernels. When those pop, your oil is ready. Remove the saucepan from the heat for 1 minute after adding the remaining kernels. This prepares the popcorn for popping without causing the oil to burn.
- While the popcorn is popping, slightly tilt the cover. This prevents the popcorn from steaming up in the saucepan and losing its crispiness. (As seen in the photo above.)
- Remove the lid and tip the excess popcorn into a basin if the popcorn starts to overflow the pot. Return the lid to the popcorn and return it to the heat until the popping has slowed.
- Carefully season with salt. It’s never too late to add more, but it’s never too late to take away too much.
Optional Cooking Oils
- Extra-virgin olive oil: You may make popcorn with extra-virgin olive oil if you cook it on medium heat. Olive oil is my favorite cooking oil, and it’s also the healthiest.
- Coconut oil is a type of oil that comes from coconut Coconut oil is used to cook popcorn at movie theaters, and it is excellent. Choose unrefined (virgin) coconut oil instead than the highly refined kind used in movie theaters.
- Canola oil and other vegetable oils: Canola oil is usually heavily processed, therefore I avoid it. Avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and safflower oil are all suitable possibilities for a neutral base.
Seasonings for Popcorn that We Recommend
- This variation, with black pepper and good olive oil, is so good that it made it into my cookbook.
- Cinnamon honey butter popcorn: This popcorn is sticky but delicious. 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, whisked together
- Make it more interesting: Add cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or white pepper to taste.
- Nutritional yeast is a healthy vegan substitute that tastes like butter. My friend Ali demonstrates how to create “Nooch” popcorn.
- Butter that has melted!
Is popcorn good for you?
Popcorn is one of the healthiest options in the crunchy, salty snack category. That is if you prepare popcorn on the stove with a decent amount of high-quality oil and don’t smother it in butter or caramel later.
My popcorn is made with extra-virgin olive oil and organic popcorn kernels, so it’s as healthy as the popcorn gets. Popcorn is a whole grain that contains some beneficial fiber.
A large serving of popcorn (2.5 cups) has the same number of calories as a handful of tortilla chips.
The difference between movie theater popcorn and flavored microwave popcorn is significant. They’re usually produced with highly refined oils and preservatives and artificial “butter flavoring” compounds.
Even if you choose unflavored microwave popcorn, the bags themselves are hazardous to your health. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the same dangerous chemical that coatings Teflon pans, is commonly used to coat them.
PFOAs can stay in the human body for a long time, and the EPA claims that high amounts of PFOA can cause a variety of health concerns, including cancer.
Why make popcorn on the stovetop?
- It’s incredibly tasty and chemical-free. You could create air-popped popcorn, which is likewise free of all the nasty things, but it’s flavorless and boring. Snacks should be tasty! With only one tablespoon of oil for eight servings, stovetop popcorn tastes much better.
- Go ahead and sprinkle butter on your stovetop popcorn (it’s delicious). Even a spoonful of butter on those eight cups of popcorn adds a lot of flavors. Do you know how much-saturated fat is in a medium popcorn at a movie theater? It’s the equivalent of a whole stick of butter.
Popcorn On Stovetop
|Time to prepare: 2 minutes
Time to cook: 8 minutes
10 minutes in total
Serving: 4 servings
In less than 10 minutes, you’ll be able to make flawlessly popped popcorn! After trying this recipe, you’ll never go back to microwave popcorn again. This recipe makes around 10 cups (about 4 servings).
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernels, divided
- Salt, to taste
- Combine the oil and 2 popcorn kernels in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cover the saucepan and set it aside for a few minutes to allow the kernels to pop. Meanwhile, keep a large serving bowl close to the burner so it’s ready to use when you need it.
- Turn off the burner, take the pot from the heat, and pour in the remaining popcorn kernels once the kernels have popped. Cover the saucepan once again and wiggle it around to spread the kernels evenly. Allow for a 60-second rest period to ensure that the oil does not become too hot before the kernels are ready to pop.
- Return the heat to medium, place the pot back on the flame, and continue to cook the popcorn, shimmying the pot regularly to ensure that the kernels are uniformly cooked. When the kernels begin to pop, tilt the lid slightly to enable steam to escape (see photo).
- Cook until the popping sound has decreased to about one pop every few seconds. (If the popcorn starts to overflow the pot, simply tip the top portion into your bowl and put it back on the fire.)
- Remove the top of the popcorn and pour it into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the popcorn with a couple of pinches of salt, to taste, and any other topping you would like. To get the finest flavor and texture, toss the popcorn and serve it right away. The popcorn will taste good for several hours, though.