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Easy Stovetop Popcorn

Since I am all about food all the time … people sometimes ask me what my favorite food is. And there is no way I could possibly narrow that down to one thing, but my family and I have always kept a “Top 5 Foods” list just for fun. Popcorn is on my list. Surprised? Well … I am pretty sure I could eat popcorn every. single. day.

My grandpa had an old Standard Oil filling station in a small town, and the locals would often hang out there. He had a popcorn machine, and you could buy a little bag for a nickel. He made the popcorn at home every day or two, then filled up the machine in the morning. So I was indoctrinated into popcorn life at a very tender age. It’s in my blood.

In the microwave popcorn years, I remember liking the convenience, but not liking the fake butter. Then all the “microwave popcorn gives you cancer” reports started coming out and I went back to the stovetop … and reconnected with its total awesomeness! And it’s so easy, I’m not sure why I ever stopped.

Check out the video for an easy tutorial, and check out the topping variations for some fun ideas – some are sweet and some are savory, but all of them are delicious!


PS – check out this recipe for a popcorn snack mix!

Easy Stovetop Popcorn



  1. Add oil and popcorn to a large pot. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, and set heat to medium high.
  2. When about half the kernels have popped, give the pan a shake. Remove from heat when popping slows to 2-3 seconds between pops.
  3. Immediately pour popcorn into a large bowl; add butter and salt.

Topping Variations:

  • Prepared Italian Garlic Bread Butter + salt
  • Butter + 1 teaspoon Malt Vinegar French Fry Seasoning
  • Butter + 1-2 teaspoons Mama Mia™ Marinara Sauce Mix + 1 teaspoon salt
  • Butter + ½ Packet 1 Key Lime Cheese Ball Mix

Tips and Hints

  • I have better luck when I don’t preheat the pan or the oil – it all goes in cold. Preheating often leads to burnt kernels that don’t pop.
  • Keeping the lid ajar during the whole process allows the steam to escape, which results in crispier popcorn.
  • You might have to tinker with the heat a bit, as stoves vary. If it’s too hot the kernels burn, and if it’s too low they don’t pop. Once the first kernel pops, it should go really quickly … if it’s slow, turn up the heat.
  • I use a basic 4½ quart Dutch oven for a standard batch.