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Microwave No More: How to Make Popcorn on the Stove

Microwave popcorn may be quick and convenient, but it is no match for the taste and quality of traditional stovetop popcorn. By itself, popcorn is a relatively healthy snack, and making popcorn on the stove allows you to control the amount of fat and salt you consume which can benefit those with health concerns or dietary restrictions. If you have ever read the label on a package of microwave popcorn you will have seen the long list of artificial flavours and colours, chemicals, and preservatives that lurk in each bag, but they can all be avoided with our step-by-step guide to how to make popcorn on the stove.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes Yield: 2 quarts or 2 to 3 servings


  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
  • Salt, to taste
  • Melted butter (optional)


1. Place a shallow, thick-bottomed, three-quart saucepan over medium heat and carefully add the oil along with three or four kernels of popcorn. Cover the pot with the lid and wait for the kernels to pop, which may take several minutes. Do not leave the pot unattended at any point during the cooking process.

2. Once the test kernels have popped remove the pot from the stove, carefully remove the popped kernels, pour in the rest of the popcorn, and leave the pot off the heat for one full minute. Give the pot a gentle shimmy to distribute the kernels evenly along the bottom of the pan.

3. After one minute return the covered pan to the burner on medium-high heat, and gently shake it every 20 seconds or so to prevent hot spots and ensure the popcorn is cooked evenly.

4. Once the kernels are actively popping, adjust the lid slightly to allow a small amount of steam to escape.

5. Continue to move the pan back and forth until the popping has almost come to a halt, and then remove it from the heat, leaving the lid on for another minute so that any stray kernels can pop.

6. Remove the lid and dump your freshly popped kernels into a large bowl.

7. If you plan to add butter, use the saucepan to melt it over medium heat, and drizzle over the top of the popcorn. Shake well to evenly distribute and add salt or other seasonings as desired.

8. Enjoy!

Tips for Making Popcorn on the Stove

  • Ensure the inside of the pot is clean and dry before adding oil, as the presence of water will make the oil splatter.
  • If you're using a gas stove and the burner is clicking, use these troubleshooting tips before calling for repair.
  • If the popped corn begins to overflow from the pot, remove it from the heat and dump the excess into your bowl before replacing the lid and returning the pan to the stovetop.
  • Be mindful of the temperature of your burner; once the oil gets too hot it will scorch your popcorn and leave a strong odour in your kitchen.
  • Check the expiration date on the popcorn before using, as old, expired kernels may fail to open.
  • Experiment with a variety of different toppings such as smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, garlic salt, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, or grated parmesan cheese.

Whether you prefer to cook your popcorn on the stove or in the microwave, Mr. Appliance can help to make snack time a breeze with professional appliance repair, maintenance, and installation services you can count on. Contact us online or call (888) 988- 5597 to schedule an appointment today!