Making Popcorn on the Stove

Popcorn is a bona fide food group in our family, a group craving of unparalleled proportions.  We pop it on the stovetop, with just a moderate amount of vegetable oil, and lightly salt it at the end — it’s pretty healthy, and thank goodness, because if you actually saw the amount that I and my family eat, you might catch your breath.   It’s also one of the three dishes (the others being a lovely cheese omelet and coffee) that my husband can make with his eyes shut, because it’s that important to the ecosystem of our family.

How to Make Perfect Popcorn on the Stove

This is so much better tasting and better for you than the microwave varieties, though I have to confess, as with so many things, sometimes my kids do clamor for the stuff in a bag.  I usually yell, “I can’t hear you over the sound of the popcorn popping,” and by the time a big bowl of this hits the table they stop whinging.

Stove Top Popcorn

First, the classic, plain stove top version.  The optional melted butter at the end is not at all necessary, because the fact that the kernels have been popped in oil already give them a “buttery” flavor, but sometimes we all need our lilies gilded. 

How to Make Perfect Popcorn on the Stove

Then a variation for when you might be having a grown up popcorn night, or if you want to put out a couple bowls for movie night, and see if some of the more intensely flavored popcorn hits a note.  Seriously, just start flinging herbs and spices that you like into the popcorn pot.  It’s fun, it’s cheap, and it usually is delicious.

How to Pop Popcorn on the Stove

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  

How to Make Perfect Popcorn on the Stove

Add the popcorn.  Put the lid on the pot.

How to Make Perfect Popcorn on the Stove

Shake it all about.  

How to Make Perfect Popcorn on the Stove

Heat until the popping starts, shake it every once in a while.

Take it of the stove the minute the popping quiets down to almost nothing.  

Drizzle over the butter, if using, replace the lid and give it a few more shakes to evenly distribute the butter.  Add a bit of salt, and shake to distribute.

How to Make Perfect Popcorn on the Stove

Transfer to a bowl.  Sprinkle over a bit more salt if necessary.  

How to Make Perfect Popcorn on the Stove: Homemade popcorn is so much better tasting and better for you than anything that comes in a bag, and it couldn’t be faster or easier to make.

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How to Make Perfect Popcorn on the Stove

Homemade popcorn is so much better tasting and better for you than anything that comes in a bag, and it couldn't be faster or easier to make.
Yield: 6 People

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup popcorn
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
  • Kosher or coarse salt to taste

Directions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the popcorn, garlic powder, oregano, and chili powder, and shake it all about. Heat until the popping starts, shake it every once in a while, and take it of the stove right when the popping quiets down to almost nothing.
  • Drizzle over the butter, if using, replace the lid and give it a few more shakes to evenly distribute the butter. Sprinkle with salt and the Parmesan, if using, cover, and shake it up again. Pour into a bowl and eat warm.

Notes

Variation: Seasoned Popcorn

Aside from this variation, you should feel free to experiment with other spices and seasonings, such as cayenne powder, curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and so on.
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup popcorn
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder 
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
  • Kosher or coarse salt to taste
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the popcorn, garlic powder, oregano, and chili powder, and shake it all about.  Heat until the popping starts, shake it every once in a while, and take it of the stove right when the popping quiets down to almost nothing.  
  2. Drizzle over the butter, if using, replace the lid and give it a few more shakes to evenly distribute the butter.  Sprinkle with salt and the Parmesan, if using, cover, and shake it up again.  Pour into a bowl and eat warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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