How to Make Popcorn on the Stove
Perfectly popped with a hint of salt and butter, stovetop popcorn is a classic snack you can make right in your own kitchen. Not only is stovetop popcorn delicious, it doesn’t take long to make and you can elevate the basic flavor with creative toppings to suit your tastes. Read this guide to learn how to make stovetop popcorn for your next afternoon snack or movie night.
STOVETOP POPCORN RECIPE
With just a few simple ingredients, you can create fresh homemade popcorn on your stovetop. Follow the steps below to create a batch of classic, movie night-worthy popcorn. Once you’ve made the basic recipe, consider trying sweet takes such as Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn.
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
Salt to taste
Melted butter to taste
Other toppings, as desired
Large, sturdy pot (stainless steel works well)
STEP 1. HEAT OIL
Add the oil to a large pot that is not too thick, such as stainless steel. Oil with a high smoking point works best for popping popcorn, such as canola oil or coconut oil. The power burner or largest burner on your stove may work best. Heat the oil in the pot over medium-high heat until it is rippling but not smoking.
STEP 2. ADD TESTER KERNELS
Add two or three kernels to the pot to test if the oil is hot enough for popping. If the kernels pop, you are ready to move to the next step. You may want to use a ladle or wear oven mitts for this step.
STEP 3. MEASURE AND ADD POPCORN KERNELS
Measure your popcorn kernels according to the instructions on the container. About ¾ of a cup of popcorn kernels will yield about 20 to 24 cups when popped. Once you have measured your popcorn kernels, add them to the pot. Shake the pot a bit so the kernels settle in a single layer on the bottom.
STEP 4. COVER AND REDUCE HEAT
Place the cover on the pot and immediately reduce the heat to medium. Once you can hear the kernels popping, shake the pot periodically to keep the popcorn from burning and to ensure as many kernels as possible are popped.
STEP 5. LISTEN FOR SLOWED POPPING
Kernels should be popping all at once, continuously. When you notice the popping has slowed to only a few kernels at a time, turn off the heat. If using an electric stovetop, remove the pan from the heating element.
STEP 6. ADD SALT AND BUTTER
Once your popcorn is done popping, add the salt and butter, shaking the popcorn in the pot to distribute it evenly. Alternatively, you can empty the popcorn into a bowl and melt the butter in the already-heated pot. Then simply pour it over the popcorn in the bowl for a delicious buttery topping.
STEP 7. SERVE AND ENJOY
Once you have topped your popcorn with your favorite flavors, add it to your serving bowl and enjoy.
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TIPS & TRICKS FOR STOVETOP POPCORN
Now that you know how to make homemade popcorn on your stovetop, check out the tips and tricks below to streamline your process and help you get creative.
WHAT IS THE BEST PAN FOR POPPING POPCORN IN?
The best pan for popping popcorn has good heat conductivity. Stainless steel, a dutch oven or a heavy-duty stockpot will all work well.
Keep in mind, if you have a ceramic-glass cooktop, you should not cook popcorn in prepackaged aluminum containers on the cooktop. They could leave aluminum marks that cannot be removed completely.
WHAT’S THE BEST BUTTER FOR HOMEMADE POPCORN?
For delicious, buttery results, clarified butter is the best option for your homemade popcorn. You can make your own clarified butter or use ghee. Clarified butter and ghee are great alternatives to regular butter because they have less water content and are less likely to make your popcorn soggy.
WHAT ARE THE BEST POPCORN TOPPINGS?
The possibilities are endless for popcorn toppings and it all depends on whether you want your snack to be sweet, savory, salty or all three. Some possible toppings include:
Everything bagel seasoning
Hot cocoa mix
Melted peanut butter
Using a food processor, you can quickly grate fresh parmesan or chop up herbs, nuts, toasted coconut and more to customize your popcorn. Try tossing with melted butter, truffle oil, salt and chopped parsley for an earthy, herby take. Or drizzle with melted peanut butter and honey, then add banana chips for an extra sweet crunch.
KitchenAid® food choppers and food processors make quick work of freshly prepared toppings to help you discover your next favorite stovetop popcorn flavors.
HOW MUCH SALT DO YOU PUT ON POPCORN?
The amount of salt you add to your popcorn will depend mostly on your taste preferences. You can start by adding about ⅛ teaspoon per ½ cup of popcorn.
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