How to make popcorn on the stove without a popper

by Debi and Grant


Making popcorn on the stove without a popcorn popper is really simple. And as you'll see, you don't need any special equipment. While we prefer using our stove top popcorn popper, we've found the following method to be easy, quick and tasty.

We recommend using an 8 quart stock pot as this provides plenty of room for the popcorn to pop and the lid to remain secure. A 6 quart might suffice, just watch if the popcorn reaches the lid. Popping popcorn releases a lot of steam.

Also, you want to use an oil with a high smoke point to pop popcorn on the stove. Peanut, grapeseed and coconut oil works well.

Making Perfect Popcorn on the Stove Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Half teaspoon kosher salt
  • Enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the pot you use

Popcorn popping step-by-step on the stove

  1. Add oil and salt to stock pot (adding salt to oil allows the popcorn to be seasoned inside out)
  2. Heat oil in pot on medium high heat
  3. Move pot around to evenly coat bottom with oil
  4. Add 2 or 3 kernels to pot, be sure to put the lid on and wait until you hear the kernels pop
  5. Add popcorn to stock pot and shake pot so kernels are evenly layered on the bottom and evenly coated with oil
  6. Remove pot from heat for 30 seconds (this will allow all of the kernels to get to the same temperature, that way they will start popping at the same time)
  7. Place back on burner. Once popping starts, give the pot a little shake on the burner.
  8. Once you hear the popping slow considerably (about 1-2 minutes), remove pot from burner
  9. Immediately remove lid to release steam (an oven mitt is handy here). This will prevent condensation from making the popcorn soggy.

This method makes a good batch of tasty popcorn on the stove in just a few moments. And clean up is pretty quick too.

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