Making Homemade Stovetop Popcorn is the easiest thing in the world and on top of that it has a thousand benefits over any industrial version: it’s cheaper, healthier and more sustainable, among others! We can also control what we add, such as the amount of salt or type of oil. No chemicals and even with good properties!
Since I left my parents’ house about 6 years ago I haven’t had a microwave at home. One of the things that really made me go argh!!!! was popcorn. I first lived in the UK after leaving my parents’ and with so many grey and shorter days in winter, watching a movie with popcorn was really an appealing plan. So I learned how to make popcorn at home without a microwave, and OMG how easy it is!
But popcorn also make a perfect snack and appetiser for celebrations and barbecues, so now that warmer weather is coming these are perfect to have on hand. Honestly, you will see that once you make homemade popcorn, you won’t go back.
How to Make Homemade Stovetop Popcorn. Tips
Homemade popcorn couldn’t be easier, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Use a high smoke point oil. In order for the corn kernels to pop, the pan and the oil in which we cook them have to be at a high temperature. For this reason, we have to use oils that have a high smoke point so they don’t get burnt. Some examples would be avocado oil, refined sunflower oil or refined olive oil (extra virgin olive oil would not be an option in this case, since its smoke point is 160ºC).
- Use a wide pot or skillet so that all the corn kernels fit well without piling up.
- Use a pot or skillet with a lid, this helps with keeping the heat and ensures that the popcorn don’t escape when popping. Preferably, the lid should have holes for steam to escape, but if it doesn’t, no problem, you can lift the lid a bit from time to time.
- Shake the pot or skillet every once in a while after some popcorn have popped. In this case, any corn kernels that may be on top of the popcorn will fall onto the base.
The amount of options to season your popcorn is endless, although if I’m honest my favourite is salt plus some aromatic herbs at most. Let me share some ideas though to unleash your imagination:
- Let’s start with the salt, use the one you like best. For example, I have black salt, sea salt, pink salt, salt flavoured with thyme, truffle and even red wine.
- You can add a special touch with herbs and spices such as oregano, ground dried tomato, thyme, paprika, black pepper or even a touch of cayenne if you like it spicy.
- Another option is to use seasonings, as long as they only have good ingredients.
- If you have it, nutritional yeast can work great too.
- Melted butter. Another classic, especially in the USA. Pour it over the popcorn while they’re still warm.
- Nut butter, like my homemade almond butter, or peanut butter.
- You can even add melted chocolate, alone, with nut butter and/or with a pinch of sea salt.
- On the sweet side, you can also enjoy them with cinnamon powder or vanilla.
How to Store Popcorn
I think we can’t deny that they’re best when they’re freshly made, but hey, we can also have leftovers or maybe we want to make them in advance to get the job done earlier if we’re hosting a party.
Store in an airtight container. I find that they hold up well for a couple of days, and a little longer if we store them without salt or any other seasonings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my popcorn soggy?
This may be because there was too much steam in the pot or pan. As mentioned above, if your lid does not have holes, you can always lift it a little from time to time so the steam scapes.
Why Do I have corn kernels that haven’t popped?
This could be due to the corn kernel itself not having enough moisture inside. In fact, popcorn is made thanks to the water inside the kernel, which when heated causes the interior to expand until it breaks the shell. And this is also why it’s so common that industrial versions are for the microwave (microwaves heat the water inside the food).
Why do we have to wait for 30 seconds when adding all the corn kernels to the pan?
Once the oil is at the right temperature and we remove the 2 test popcorn, the resting time of the remaining corn kernels in the oil allows them to reach a higher and homogenous temperature. This means that when we place the pan back on the stove, they will pop more or less at the same time, ultimately preventing some popcorn from burning and others from not popping at all.
More Amazing Celebration Snacks
- White Bean Dip with Piada Chips
- Crispy Garlic Butter Chicken Wings
- Spinach Sundried Tomatoes Quesapita
- Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
If you make this Homemade Stovetop Popcorn recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Homemade Stovetop Popcorn
- 2 tbsp oil - with a high smoke point (e.g. avocado oil, refined or light olive oil, refined sunflower oil)
- 80 g corn kernels - about half a cup
- Salt - and seasonings to taste (see notes)
- Pour the oil in a skillet or pot over medium-high heat with 2 corn kernels.
- When they pop, remove the pan from the heat, remove the 2 popcorn, and add the rest of the kernels. Stir and cover, letting them sit for about 30 seconds.
- Put the pan back over the stove, heat to medium, medium-high, and let the kernels pop. If your lid doesn’t have holes, open it a bit from time to time to let the steam escape. Also, when there are already a few popcorn, you can shake the pan every now and then so the kernels fall onto the base of the pan.
- When you no longer hear any popping, remove the pan from the stove.
- Serve in a bowl and season to taste. Enjoy!
- For me, these quantities are perfect for 2 people if you’re planning to have them while watching a film or for 6-8 if we are making them as a snack for a party. That’s why I wrote 4, on average.
- In the blogpost, you can find a list of seasoning options.