How to make Popcorn on the Stove

Yes, in a pot.

Not unlike Jiffy Pop, just better. Do they even still make it? Growing up, Mom never really bought us Jiffy Pop, but it didn’t bother me. Instead, she’d yank out the spaghetti pot, pour in some oil, add the kernels, and we’d stand back and wait.


Once it was finished popping, she would pour melted butter on it, sprinkle the salt, and man oh man were we in high cotton.

But then, the microwave came along, and the model we first got actually traveled with me to my first apartment. Big dinosaur of a thing…I imagine you could have popped a dinosaur in it, and at one time, someone may have. But it was a real trooper. I remember setting it on fire once when I was about 6, because I put a poptart in it, wrapper and all. Back when poptarts were covered in that metal coated cardboardy paper – remember? Yeah, I got fussed at a little for that one.

But back to my story. The microwave.

Once the microwave came along, gone were the days of everyone gathering around the stove, or, if you were my next door neighbor cousins, the countertop popper. The microwave was determined to become the future of all that is popcorn. And as you now know – it did.

First came the plastic tub thing that you poured a little oil into, dumped the kernels, added a lid, and off she went. Then came specially designed bags you added your own kernels to. Then came the popcorn as we know it – fake butter yellowness, salt, and enough artificial flavors to capture your kidneys. I’m not saying it isn’t tasty – I’m just saying that I think so many of us have forgotten what REAL popcorn tastes like.

But not me. Ohhh, no. Here in my house, we pull out the spaghetti pot. It’s so, so good. And, in honor of it being the Official Day of Popcorn, I’m going to fill you youngin’s in on how to make it yourself. You know, in case the electricity ever goes out. Or, you’re camping. Or Orville Redenbacher throws in the towel. Try it! You’ll like it…promise!

Homemade Stovetop Popcorn

  • 1 large potpopcornts
  • 1/4 Cup Oil, Vegetable or Canola
  • 1/2 Cup Popcorn Kernels
  • 5 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • Salt

Place the pot over medium heat, no hotter. Pour the oil in the pot. Place 1 kernel of popcorn in the oil. When it pops, add in the rest all at once. Shake and shake and shake that pot with all your might. You’’ hear the corn popping. When it slows to a stop, pull it off the heat. Pour into a bowl, add the butter and salt. Voila!

See? Easy. And, if you like sweet popcorn, add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar to the oil just before you add all of the kernels – its yummy!

Of course, you can add things like cheddar, or garlic, onion powder, cinnamon – you name it – once you’ve popped it. But butter is my favorite – it reminds me of being a kid, and sometimes that’s just what I need.

How about you? What’s your favorite way to eat popcorn?


And please…check out my Food Holidays site – I’m celebrating Popcorn Day over there, too!

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