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

April 27, 20110 found this helpful

I just use a heavy old pot with a lid. No need for aluminum foil or leaving the lid partially off. Leave the lid on and it pops faster. Steam will escape even with a lid on. When it's done, remove the lid. It is nice and crispy. Also, no need to wait 30 seconds after the 2-3 kernels pop. Just dump in the rest of the corn and let it cook.

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April 27, 20110 found this helpful

Your are absolutely right about the popcorn.I always make stove top if only for myself and then I use a small handful of kernels. My son-in-law raves to everyone what great popcorn I make and he should know he eats plenty when I make for the grandkids and him. I do like butter on mine. But to make it tasty and cut some of calories. I mix some Olive Oil and a little margarine or butter. Melt it in the pot and pour over, ummmm!

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April 27, 20110 found this helpful

I guess it is "old fashioned". We always popped our corn that way. Thanks for the memory.

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April 27, 20110 found this helpful

I love popcorn made on the stove, it does taste so much better. And it's true, you can make it on the stove faster than an air popper & almost faster than microwave. And I make mine the way OliveOyl makes hers - with a lid & no waiting 30 seconds. Never tried the coconut oil though, if it tastes like movie popcorm I'll have to give it a try!

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Anonymous Flag
April 27, 20110 found this helpful

You make me feel ancient. LOL! Yes, stovetop is indeed 'the best'! Thanks for educating the youngins and reminding us old geezers. ;-)

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April 29, 20110 found this helpful

Yes indeed, popping corn on the stove is so much better. And the theaters used to use coconut oil until someone decided it wasn't good for us. (Remember that smell drawing you to the snack bar? )

Honestly people, when are we going to say ENOUGH already? Just stay out of my food choices. How many people eat a ton of popcorn a week? It was 10¢ a SMALL bag at the Saturday afternoon movie and it was plenty for us kids. Now they sell you a washtub full with "butter" that isn't anything near being butter for a small fortune. "Enjoy the good stuff just don't eat so much of it." My mom's advice for decades and I agree.

Just old fashioned COMMON SENSE . GG VI

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April 29, 20110 found this helpful

Maybe it's something I've been doing but I have found microwave popcorn to be much better. I've tried popping it in an iron skillet and in a popcorn popper. I used Redenbacher's gourmet corn and canola oil. It always came out tough and all the kernels weren't popped. I love microwave popcorn. I gave the popcorn popper to my Daughter; hope she has better luck.

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