The Perfect Popcorn Popped 3 Ways

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It’s the perfect snack but it’s even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it’s a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

To say we love popcorn would be an understatement… perfectly popped popcorn is king in my house!

We love it for movie night or for just your basic afternoon snack. We love it when it simply has a bit of oil and salt, and we love it when it’s jazzed up a bit.

We try to be classy when eating it but that gets old so instead we shovel fistfuls of popcorn into our mouths! 🙂 We can’t help it, popcorn is well loved in our house.

Popcorn is such a versatile snack, if you ask a handful of people how they like their popcorn, you’ll probably get a handful of different responses.

But one thing is very clear… to make the perfect popcorn, you have to know how to correctly pop it!

Popcorn is easy to burn and nobody likes the smell of burnt popcorn!

It’s almost amazing really, one minute it’s filling your home with a tempting smell of goodness that calls everyone to the kitchen but the next minute it smells of shattered dreams… OK that may be a tad dramatic but you get the idea, burnt popcorn smells horrible!

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Here is fun fact, yesterday was National Popcorn Lover’s Day (Yes, it’s really a thing!). It’s one of those few obscure holidays that I actually take note of! 😉

My love for popcorn stems back to my childhood when my mother would pop a big ol’pot of it almost every single night. After dinner and baths, I could hear the sound of the popcorn kernels pouring into the large pot and the gentle beginnings of popping start to occur.

I would gather around the kitchen table with her, usually with whatever book I was reading, and we would share a nice big bowl of deliciousness together. I had an extremely happy childhood but I’m not lying when I say our shared bowl of evening popcorn were some of the best memories.

My mom was a popcorn purist too. There were never any bags of microwave popcorn or bags of pre-popped popcorn you bought from the store . With the exception of our holiday popcorn tin from Topsye’s (the only approved store bought popcorn), all of the popcorn consumed in our home was freshly popped on the stove.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

I had sort of a crisis when I went to college. Where would I get popped popcorn from?

So I turned to what every other college student turned too… microwave popcorn. And let me tell you something, it isn’t the same, not by a long shot!

I would look forward to the weekends I went home and hoped they weren’t too busy for some evening popcorn time.

Fast forward a few years later, I was graduated from college, living on my own and newly married. I knew going home for popcorn every night was out of the question. So it was time for me to pull on my big girl pants and learn how to make it once and for all!

After much trial and error, I finally found the winning combination to make the perfectly popped popcorn in 3 different ways: the classic version, the light and airy version and the quick, single serve classic version. Scroll down below to get all three recipes!

All three popcorn recipes starts first with the best popcorn kernals. Since we eat a fair amount of popcorn, I only buy GMO-free or organic kernels. Yes, it’s usually a few bucks more expensive but I’m not convinced that GMOs are safe (for one thing there is NO long term study on their safely and thanks to the big powerful company, there probably never will be) 🙁 so we stick with GMO-free kernels.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Thankfully more and more food companies are taking note of what the consumers want. I recently took a look at some of the regular popcorn brands in the grocery store and many of them now have the official GMO-free seal on them!

Both Jolly Time and  Orville Redenbacher’s (certain varieties) both are now GMO free, Bob’s Red Mill is also a good choice. My regular grocery store has a bulk bins section with organic popcorn kernels that is usually cheaper than the bags, so that’s what I buy every week.

You also have the choice of white or yellow popcorn kernels. I personally prefer yellow because they pop up a bit plumper. White popcorn tents to be smaller and tighter once popped. My mom buys both and mixes them together. Either way, they both are delicious!

Once you have good quality popcorn kernels selected, the next thing you need is some good quality coconut oil. I promise you it won’t leave your popcorn tasting like coconuts but it will give your popcorn a truly decadent taste and will almost remind you of movie theater popcorn (without all the nasty chemicals).

Finally you will need a good quality popcorn pot. It has to be large enough to give your kernels plenty of room to pop and expand and it needs to be a pot that gets hot quickly. I use my large dutch oven but a regular large pot will do just fine. You don’t need a special popcorn pot but this one is good one if you are looking for a one.

Alright now that you have your star players in place, it’s time to start popping!

The Perfect Popcorn: Classic Edition

This is the perfectly popped popcorn that will feed a crowd, which is perfect for movie night. If you are looking for a single serve variety, keep on scrolling down.

Ingredients

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Directions

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Heat a large pot over medium to high heat on your stove. Place the coconut oil in the pot and allow to melt.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

To check for the temperature, place 2 to 3 kernels in the hot oil and put a lid on the pot. Once those kernels pop up, you know the temperature is just right!

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Carefully remove the popped kernels and add the remaining kernels. Put the lid back on the pot and gently give the pot a good shake to ensure that the popcorn is properly covered by the oil and has enough space.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Continue to gently give the pot a few shakes every so often as the popcorn starts popping. To allow for some of the steam to escape, carefully crack the lid to keep the popcorn mostly covered but enough space to let the steam come out. You don’t want to remove the lid entirely otherwise you will have popcorn popping all over your kitchen.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Listen to the popping. When it starts to slow down you want to remove the pot from the heat so you don’t burn it. If you have a smaller pot you may want to start pouring some of the popcorn into a large bowl to help give room to the remaining kernals still popping.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Once all the popcorn has popped, pour the remaining popcorn into your bowl. Sprinkle salt over your warm popcorn and shake the bowl to distribute the salt.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Enjoy!

If you like melted butter you really should try it just popped in the coconut oil first because I personally think it already has a rich buttery taste but feel free to add butter or other additional add-ins (see below) at this time.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

My kids LOVE eating their popcorn in these retro popcorn containers (be on the lookout in the Dollar Spot at Target, I periodically see them there too). Since this popcorn is so addicting, it’s best to give everyone their own bowls! 🙂

If you do have leftovers (that will be a miracle!) store in a bowl with a lid. It will only keep for about a day before it starts to get a stale taste to it.

The Perfect Popcorn Popped 3 Ways
Recipe Type: popcorn
Cuisine: snack
Author: Victoria Osborn
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10 cups
Ingredients
  • popcorn kernals – you will want enough to cover the bottom of the pot, so usually about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of kernels.
  • 2 heaping TBSP unrefined coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • large pot
  • large bow
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot over medium to high heat on your stove. Place the coconut oil in the pot and allow to melt.
  2. To check for the temperature, place 2 to 3 kernels in the hot oil and put a lid on the pot. Once those kernels pop up, you know the temperature is just right!
  3. Carefully remove the popped kernels and add the remaining kernels. Put the lid back on the pot and gently give the pot a good shake to ensure that the popcorn is properly covered by the oil and has enough space.
  4. Continue to gently give the pot a few shakes every so often as the popcorn starts popping. To allow for some of the steam to escape, carefully crack the lid to keep the popcorn mostly covered but enough space to let the steam come out. You don’t want to remove the lid entirely otherwise you will have popcorn popping all over your kitchen.
  5. Listen to the popping. When it starts to slow down you want to remove the pot from the heat so you don’t burn it. If you have a smaller pot you may want to start pouring some of the popcorn into a large bowl to help give room to the remaining kernals still popping.
  6. Once all the popcorn has popped, pour the remaining popcorn into your bowl. Sprinkle salt over your warm popcorn and shake the bowl to distribute the salt.
  7. Enjoy!

**The next two versions of popcorn do require the use of a microwave. If cooking in a microwave isn’t your thing, you can stick to the classic version. 

The Quick, Single Classic Version

Sometimes you just have a hankering for some good popcorn but don’t need to pop a whole pan of it it. I’ve tried making a single version in the pot before but I haven’t been able to perfect yet.

A few years ago I was wondering through the aisles of Target (otherwise know as the most dangerous thing you can do for your budget… and marriage!) 😉 when I came across this popcorn popper.

I’m not one for gadgets and I try to keep things as simple as possible in the kitchen but this is one of those few specialty kitchen items that I do love and we use A LOT.

While I don’t eat microwave popcorn you buy in bags, I do use my microwave to make popcorn on occasion. And thanks to this microwave popcorn bowl, I’m able to whip up a small batch of my favorite popcorn in under two minutes.

Ingredients

Directions

Place the coconut oil in the bowl, if it’s solid, microwave the bowl for 20 to 30 seconds to melt the oil.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Pour the kernels in the bowl and shake so the kernels are evenly covered in the oil. I also like to sprinkle a little bit of salt over the kernals in this stage too but you don’t have too.

Place the lid on the bowl and place in your microwave.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Depending on the power of your microwave will determine how long you cook it. My sweet spot is right at two minutes but you will probably need to experiment. When the popcorn starts to slow down, turn the microwave off so it doesn’t burn.

Carefully remove the popcorn (the bowl will be hot) and transfer the popcorn to a small bowl to eat. Add salt if you haven’t already and enjoy!

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

If you don’t have a microwave popcorn bowl, you could also use a glass Pyrex bowl with a ceramic plate as the lid but do be careful since both of those will become very hot.

To print off the recipe, head here.

The Light and Airy Version

I recently have started Trim Healthy Mama which means the above popcorn varieties are really off limits (with the exception of an occasional treat). But since I LOVE popcorn too much to only have it every so often, I knew I needed a light and airy version that would fall into the E category (learn all about THM here) but still satisfy my popcorn craving.

This light and airy version of the classic popcorn requires only a brown paper lunch sack, popcorn kernels and some extra virgin olive oil spray. It pops perfectly, makes for a perfect snack and doesn’t feel heavy or rich which is perfect for when you are trying to lose a little bit of weight but still want to satisfy your crunchy and salty craving!

Ingredients

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Directions

Place the unpopped kernels in the brown sack and fold the opening of the sack leaving plenty of room for the popcorn to pop.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Place the sack in the microwave. Sometimes I will place the sack in a bowl because occasionally I have had some of the popcorn pop through the bottom of the sack. If it’s placed in a bowl, I don’t have to clean the microwave afterwards.

Depending on the power of your microwave will determine how long you cook it. My sweet spot is right at two minutes but you will probably need to experiment. When the popcorn starts to slow down, turn the microwave off so it doesn’t burn.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

Remove the sack from the microwave and begin to pour into a bowl. As you are pouring it in, give the popcorn a quick spray of the oil and a pinch of salt. Shake the bowl and pour the remaining of the popcorn in with another small spray and sprinkle of salt.

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

To print off the recipe, head here.

Additional Popcorn Add-Ins

Now that you have the basics of the perfectly popped popcorn down, you can be adventurous and add in some additional flavors and toppings. While the classic is delicious by itself, enjoy some of these varieties to shake things up a bit.

  • Sprinkle in some nutritional yeast to give your popcorn a cheesy flavor without adding cheese.
  • Squeeze a bit of lime juice over with some fresh cilantro and garlic salt for a fresh taste.
  • Shake some finely grated parmesan cheese, garlic powder and sea salt over the popcorn.
  • Make ranch flavored popcorn by shaking some homemade ranch seasoning over it.
  • Like a sweet and salty variety Try this sweet and savory cinnamon popcorn.
  • To make kettle corn, add a little bit of sugar to the oil and unpopped popcorn.
  • Make a sweet treat by mixing in some M&Ms or other favorite chocolate candy.

The options are endless and a simple search on Pinterest will yield thousands of delicious popcorn recipes!

What is your family’s favorite way to eat popcorn?

Got a craving for perfect popcorn? It's the perfect snack but it's even better when popped correctly! Learn how to correctly pop popcorn 3 different ways, whether it's a large batch for family movie night or when you just need a quick and light snack.

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15 Comments

  1. We use the brown paper bag method. I never thought of doing it in a bowl in the microwave. Thanks for clarifying the difference in white and yellow popcorn too. I went white last time, but yellow sounds more my speed!

  2. I don’t know what I’d do without popcorn. I eat it almost every day!
    I use several methods. I have a large pot that I put canola oil in and enough kernels to cover the bottom. It’s a glass lid. To let the steam out, I use a toothpick hanging/stuck between the lid and pot. Just enough room to let the steam out without flying oil or popcorn. lol That’s the method I use when I want a lot made or just “have” to have that flavor. (It’s my most used method.) I also have the microwave popcorn bowl that you linked to. But later bought this one: http://tinyurl.com/jhqrspv (Nordic Ware Microware Quick Popper Microwave Popcorn Popper No BPA … that’s the title of it at Amazon.) I only use that one if it’s just for me. I’ll spray it with Butter Pam & salt it after it is popped. My 5 year old loves popcorn from our air popper. I’ve probably had it for 20 years. He loves watching the kernels bouncing around then the popped kernels falling out. I bought a new microwave a few months ago. The manual says NOT to use brown paper bags in it for popcorn. But, since I have that bowl that I linked, I’m not too disappointed.

    About to start up a VeggieTale…after I go make our popcorn!

  3. I love popcorn! Wow, it’s been forever since I made it on top of the stove. Love this!

  4. I always make it on the stove top too! You just can’t beat it. If I could eat one snack for the rest of my life the choice would be popcorn without hesitation.

  5. I love popcorn. I need to try stove top popcorn. Looks so good!!

  6. We love popping fresh popped corn for family movie nights!

  7. I’ve never made homemade microwave popcorn before, but I think I may have to try it.

  8. I’ve never tried making popcorn like this! This is awesome–can’t wait to give it a try for our next movie night!

  9. Definitely going to try this tip! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Popcorn is definitely a staple in my home and I LOVE finding new and amazing ways to pop and eat. This is a great post! I’ll be keeping this one in mu favorites to try all of the different varieties. ?

  11. Silas Knight says:

    You have some creative ways to make popcorn. I am also a huge fan of flavored popcorn, although it has to be done right. Your idea of putting Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and sea salt sounds so good!

  12. Thank you for taking time in your busy life to share your popcorn recipes. I was checking on ideas to use the popping corn to demonstrate God’s exciting love for His children.

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