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Making Popcorn Tips and Tricks

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Popcorn in Blue Bowl

Popcorn is a excellent, nutritious snack and can be even better when you know how. This guide is making popcorn tips and tricks.


Solutions: Making Popcorn Tips and Tricks

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Stove Top Popcorn

This is the old-fashioned way of making popcorn. It is easy to make and tastes so much better than microwave popcorn. This is the way my family makes popcorn. Nearly every kernel pops and it does not take that long to make. You can control the amount of salt or leave it out completely. You can even add other spices if you wish.


  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable, canola, olive, or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup gourmet type popcorn (like Redenbacher's) or 1/2 cup regular bagged popcorn (like Jolly Time)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, optional


I use an 8 quart pot and use a piece of foil on top as a lid. You must make about six to eight wide openings/slits on the foil. To have crispy popcorn, you should allow the steam to escape. You can use a lid, just be sure to keep it opened a bit to allow the steam to escape.

Add the oil to the pot; we prefer coconut oil, since it tastes like “movie-theater popcorn”. Turn the burner on medium-high and when it heats up a bit, add the salt, if using, and swirl it around to blend.

Add three kernels of popcorn and cover. Wait for all of them to pop. Immediately add all of the popcorn and swirl to coat with the oil.

Remove from stove, leaving the burner on. Please be careful since the burner is still on, especially with young children in the household. Count to exactly 30 seconds. Place back on the stove and wait for it to start popping. Pick the pot up briefly and gently shake.

As the popping slows down, be ready to remove it from the burner. Remove the pot from the stove quickly and carefully remove the foil or lid. Be careful of the hot steam.

Gently keep shaking the pot to keep the popcorn from burning. Carefully dump the popcorn in a large brown paper bag or large bowl. I fold down the top of the paper bag to make a cuff.

At this point you can add more salt, Parmesan cheese, or other type of spices. We like to eat it as is.

Since I use a flat top stove, I lift the pot briefly and gently shake so not to scratch the surface. If you are using a gas or an electric stove you can leave it on the burner and shake.

Making popcorn on the stove top happens very quickly. This may appear to be a lot to do but it is quite easy and very fast.

To make clean-up easier, when the pot cools down a bit and is still warm, wipe out the inside of it with a dry paper towel. This makes washing the pot so much faster since you remove the excess oil while it is still warm.

Stove top popcorn tastes so much better than microwave popcorn, and it is cheaper to make plus it is healthier for you and your family.

A word of caution: Please be careful when children are in the home. Children sometimes get excited and want to get close while popping the corn. Being that making the popcorn happens so quickly, you do not want any little ones to be in the way while removing the hot pot from the stove.

Servings: 4-6
Time:3 Minutes Preparation Time
5 Minutes Cooking Time

By Mike from NE PA / USA

Tip: Getting More POP Out of Your Popcorn

You don't have to buy gourmet popcorn. When making popcorn, I have found it is better not to heat the oil on a high heat at first. I know this may sound stupid, but the kernels get more more heat distribution if you start out slow.

Think: You don't cook prime rib steak on blazing heat from the get go; you'll end up burning parts and other parts will be undercooked. After hearing the first few kernels pop, turn up the heat. Cook as normal.

I think you will find less kernels than before. I have and I buy store brand. My friends wonder why there are so little kernels left. They think I have used gourmet popcorn like ORVILLE REDENBACHER. HA. HA. HA.

It's like my grandma letting the city cousins think they were drinking delivered milk when all she was doing was putting the family cow's milk in a bottle she found!

By the way, I don't ever use a popcorn machine.

By Tim from Science Hil, KY

Tip: Fat Free Popcorn

Get away from the microwave for popcorn. Cook the popcorn from the popcorn in a jar, using a Teflon pot and a cover. This way, you have nothing fattening in your popcorn. Then if you'd like to add something for a little flavor, that's all you have to worry about.

Here's some ideas for topping:

  • Romano or Parmesan Cheese
  • Garlic or Onion Powder

By LRP from LWL, MA

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Here are questions related to Making Popcorn Tips and Tricks.

Question: Stale Popcorn

Is there a way to refresh stale popcorn?

By Ray from Chicago, IL


Most Recent Answer

By Olga H.05/30/2013

Don't throw away your stale it using your oven!

1.Preheat the oven at 200 degrees F.
2.Spread the popcorn evenly on a baking sheet.
3.Put the baking sheet in the oven.
4.Set the timer for 5 minutes.

Check the popcorn to see if it is crisper and more palatable.
Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until the popcorn is to your liking.

Question: Making Popcorn in a Halogen Oven

How do you make popcorn in a halogen oven? I have a halogen oven (like the Nu Wave ovens) and want to try to make popcorn in it. The instructions in the book I have said to preheat the oven. How do you preheat one of these ovens? Then it said to put on high rack for 6 minutes and let it rest for 5 minutes after the timer went off. I did everything the book said and I still had lots of kernels that didn't pop even after letting it rest. Does anyone have one of these ovens and can tell me how to make popcorn in it? Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

By Linda from Brighton, MI

Question: Popping Microwave Popcorn Without a Microwave

I hope that someone can help me. I was given some Microwave popcorn. The only problem is I don't have a microwave to pop it in. Can I pop it on an electric stove and how do I go about doing this? Thank you for any help.

Sandra from Pennsylvania


Most Recent Answer

By Coreen Hart [73]03/04/2009

I do it all the time. Sometimes microwave popcorn is so cheap I can't resist it, or it gets me a nice rebate. It's already seasoned, which is something I don't do myself, but it's nice for something different. Just pop it like regular popcorn, but don't add any oil. Makes your taste buds happy!

Question: Coloring Popcorn

How do you color popcorn? I have seen colored popcorn (unpopped kernels) in catalogs for sale, and it's rather pricey. Apparently when popped the popcorn is multicolor. I'd love to figure out how to do this.

Rose from MO

Most Recent Answer

By linda van houten01/05/2010

Just picked up a small cookbook 'Kool-aid[soft drink mix]Comes OF Age'. Page 37. Popcorn Balls 9 cups popped popcorn 1 cup light corn syrup 1/3cup Kool-aid sugar sweetened soft drink mix, any flavor Place popcorn in a lightly buttered bowl. Combine syrup and soft drink mix in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until mixture will seperate into hard threads when dropped into very cold water[or to a temperature of 270*] .Remove from heat and pour over popcorn, mixing quickly to coat well. Spape into 1-1/2 inch balls. Makes about 3 dozen. You wouldn't have to make this into balls, you could just place on a cookie sheet, cool and break into pieces. Colored and flavored too! Enjoy jimsjunque

Question: Popcorn Tips

Tips for popping and flavoring popcorn. Post your ideas.

Most Recent Answer

By (Guest Post)01/04/2009

What's the best way to flavor popcorn?


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

I just received two large tins of loose popcorn. How do you cook popcorn in the microwave oven? Do you add oil? How much popcorn to oil?

Sandy from Vermont

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

You'll need to purchase a popcorn popper especially for microwave use. They are cheap and can be bought most anywhere; Walmart, Target, or even Menards/Home Depot. You don't use oil when microwaving popcorn. Hope this helps. (02/16/2006)

By Lori

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

It's healthier if you use a plain brown lunch bag, and the kernels, no oil. Pour enough kernels to cover the bottom of a brown lunch bag, then refold bag, and roll down the top a few times to close it, and heat on high for 1-2 minutes (sometimes longer depending on the microwave itself). (02/16/2006)


RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

Just put a handful of popcorn kernels in a brown, paper lunch bag. Fold it over 2 or 3 times, and microwave for several minutes, until you hear it almost stopped popping. Don't need to add a thing to it. (02/16/2006)

By Judy

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

Don't use any oil, and just put enough popcorn to cover the bottom of a lunch style brown bag and set the timer for anywhere from a 2 minutes to 2 1/2. Sit back and enjoy! (02/16/2006)

By teatimelady

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

Yes, you need a Orville Reddenbacker popper made for the microwave. It makes very good popcorn and you can add oil or not as you wish. Have had one for many years. Much better than regular microwave popcorn (02/16/2006)

By Jan.

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

I have always done popcorn this way. I take about 2 handfuls (you will have to see what yours does,, how good it pops) and put in a brown lunch bag. Fold ends down and turn the microwave on. Can't really tell you how long. You can hear about when it stops popping, and also see when the bag is full! I eat mine just out of the bag, no butter, no nothing. Very good! (02/16/2006)

By Shirley

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

Or you could cook it the old fashioned way on the stove in a pan with oil.

Cover the bottom of a 2 quart pan with oil and heat. Add a kernel. When it pops, cover the bottom of the pan with corn. Shake vigorously until popping almost stops.

YUM! Pop-corn (02/17/2006)

By Diana

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

I always use a Microwave Rice cooker to pop my corn in. Its a good size plus it has a lid. So any Microwave cooker with a lid is fine. Or you can just use a paper bag. And there's no real need to use oil when popping corn. Takes about one and half to two minutes to cook. But you can hear when the corn has stopped popping. Happy Popping. (02/17/2006)

By Kiwi Pom.

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

I do the lunch sack method. Quick and easy. Then I put the popped corn in a bowl, drizzle with a good olive oil and a smidgen of garlic salt. Delicious! (02/19/2006)

By Beth

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

I worry about the fumes from the glue in the paper sack. My mother baked turkeys in a brown grocery bag and they came out nice and browned but I worried about the glue that keeps the bag intact. Anyone know the dangers? (03/19/2006)

By June (Guest Post)

RE: Cooking Loose Popcorn in the Microwave

My method is to make a butter icing type mix, then rub the popcorn kernels through it, then microwave with a plate over the top, same principal applies with salt. (08/17/2008)

By Alex