The Perfect Stove Top Popcorn

I know, popcorn isn’t a dinner. Let’s move on now. I love popcorn, but the popcorn at the movies always makes my tummy hurt, and I always burn the microwave stuff (EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.). So even though I loved popcorn, I rarely ate it. That is, until I stumbled across a blog post a guy wrote about his grandma’s perfect stove top popcorn recipe. I figured I would try it out with my daughter as a fun “kitchen science experiment”. Oh man! It is the only way I make popcorn now, and I make it ALL THE TIME!

This is a handy skill to have to if you want to impress on your date night, or if you want to add some magic to your kid’s slumber party. It really brings a smile to everyone’s faces when the kernels get popping, and the activity ends with a delightful and very sharable snack. I like to top mine with some simple butter seasoning, but you can get fancy with parmesan, spices, and even a bit of hot sauce!


  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • Salt
  • Creative popcorn seasonings

In a saucepan, add the oil and TWO kernels of popcorn. Stand there in excited anticipation waiting for the two kernels to pop, which means the oil is hot enough. When the two kernels have popped, go ahead and dump in the rest of the kernels to cover the bottom of the pan.


Cover the pan and remove the pan from the heat for EXACTLY thirty seconds. This allows the kernels to heat up and cook evenly! It’s fun to count the thirty seconds out loud with whomever is participating with you in this old-timey popcorn ritual.

After counting out thirty seconds, put the covered pan back on the heat and watch the kernels start popping! When the popping slows, shake the pan a bit to get any loose kernels down to the bottom of the pan. What’s great about this method is the popped kernels lift up out of the oil, preventing them from burning. Once the popping stops, dump the fresh, hot popcorn into a giant bowl and top it with salt and whatever creative toppings float your boat.


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