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Pop Your Own Popcorn

When we decided to stop using the microwave, one of the things we had to figure out how to make was popcorn.  It was pretty easy to heat up food on the stove or in the toaster oven, but popcorn was something we had to figure out. We considered buying an air popper, but have been trying to get rid of the "uni-taskers" in the kitchen so we really wanted to figure out how to use what we already had. There was a bit of trial and error but we've arrived at our favorite method and the popcorn is so good!  And SO CHEAP!

Here is the pot set that I use: a Rival 3 quart pot with lid, and the steamer that fits on it.  I love this for steaming veggies but it also works great to make popcorn, because you need to be able to let steam out without having the popcorn go flying out of the pot.

You don't have to have the steamer insert - just a pot with lid will work, you'll just have to be careful releasing steam to keep the popcorn in.

Pop Your Own Popcorn on the Stove

1. Put just a bit of oil* in the pot, cover and heat on medium-high for about a minute.
2. Add popcorn kernels.  1/2 cup is about right for a 3-quart pot.  Replace lid.
    3. Keep one hand on the lid and use the other to shake the pot frequently, to keep the kernals moving.  You want them to heat up without burning.
    4. Once you hear a couple of pops, remove the lid and keep the steamer insert on.  If you aren't using the insert, lift the lid slightly (about half an inch) to release some steam.
      5. Continue shaking the pot to keep the kernels moving.  As you shake it, unpopped kernels will fall down to the bottom while the lighter popcorn stays on top.  It will start to go crazy popping!

      6. Listen as you shake - when it sounds like there aren't many more kernels left to pop, and peeking inside shows the pot is pretty full, remove from heat and pour the popcorn into a bowl.
        7. Check the pot to see if there are any burnt bits and wipe them out before adding butter.
          8. Melt butter* in the hot pot.
            9. Pour popcorn back in, put the lid on and shake it around to ensure good butter coverage.  
            10. Pour back into the bowl, sprinkle with salt*, and enjoy!
             * Coconut oil is really good for this, unless you have a coconut-hater who might be able to taste it.

              ** You don't have to use butter or salt, of course.  Feel free to season your popcorn with whatever seasoning you like!

              Yum.  Homemade popcorn for a fraction of the cost of buying it or even microwaving it.  And no artificial colors!  Did you know the delicious popcorn sold at Target has yellow food coloring in it?  Crazy.  I buy Kerrygold butter which is naturally yellow and I think my popcorn looks just as pretty. :)

              Let me know if you try any other flavor combinations!  Butter and sugar for kettle corn?  Coconut oil?  Figure out a way to make it cheesy?  Tell me in the comments!


              1. Not wanting to "date" myself, this is how we popped popcorn when I was growing up. I remember taking a brown grocery bag, filling it with popcorn popped on the stove top and going to the Drive-In Movies as a child. There has never been pop corn that tasted that good since.

                This is a great motivator to go back to the stove top. Thanks.

              2. Yes! Just one of those things some never learned to do because microwave popcorn has been prevalent and seems so easy. This may take a couple of extra minutes but it is so much better! Plus there has been some info published that microwave popcorn isn't safe/healthy.

              3. Made this tonight--huge hit with the entire family! Thanks for the tips, your directions were much better than what was on the bag!!