Making Popcorn Tips and Tricks

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


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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.

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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.

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After you're done popping your popcorn in the microwave, and before you open the bag, put it over the garbage can and shake the bag really hard. Make sure the opening of the bag is down. All your unpopped seeds will go into the garbage, no more seeds.

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Here is a tip to release the aroma of popcorn but protect it from anything entering. Simply use a splatter screen cover. Great for home, picnics, or parties!

Splatter screen on top of popcorn bowl

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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.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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


By Connie H. (Guest Post)
October 8, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I too remember when colored popcorn came in bags. The colors looks so neat we were sure we would be eating green, red and blue kernels but not so. The first lady was right. It all popped up just like regular popcorn. The color must have been a gimmick to push sales.

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July 14, 2005

Tips for popping and flavoring popcorn. Post your ideas.


October 1, 20040 found this helpful

also try a few drops of Worchestershire sauce in the popper for a unique flavor.

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June 11, 20050 found this helpful

If you want popcorn to pop like mad, pour the kernels into a strainer, wash in cold water & strain well, then pour the kernels into the popper.


You can add an interesting flavor to popcorn if you add 1/2 peeled clove of garlic to the melted salted butter you serve on popcorn.

By joesgirl

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June 11, 20050 found this helpful

Use your butter flavored no stick cooking oil spray on popcorn. It is better than that stuff they say is for spraying the butter flavor on popcorn.


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June 11, 20050 found this helpful

I admit I need "buttered" popcorn. However, I know that the butter isn't that good for us. So, I now do a little butter and a little olive oil together to pour over the popcorn and I can't tell the difference.

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June 11, 20050 found this helpful

I make air popped popcorn in the microwave by putting 1/3 cup of popcorn in a lunch size paper bag, taping the top closed and nuking in the microwave like normal microwave popcorn.



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By Claudia (Guest Post)
June 13, 20050 found this helpful

This one's a bit messy, but delish. Using air popped popcorn, I pour on a few tablespoons of Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch/Carmel Ice Cream Topping and put it in the microwave for about 15 secs., then toss to coat all the kernals. It's my favorite dessert. However, you gotta eat it with a spoon; I think it's probably the wrong consistency to make into balls or bars.

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June 18, 20050 found this helpful

If you use olive oil when popping your popcorn, it tastes great, you won't miss not slathering it in hot butter. You might also want to sprinkle on such toppings as parmesan cheese, a dab of taco seasoning, or ranch dressing mix. These are just a few of our favorites. So when 'Movie Night' rolls around, try something different.... snackwise.


By Terri

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By Anna from Maine (Guest Post)
June 19, 20050 found this helpful

I like to pop my pop corn using cold pressed coconut oil. This oil is good for you. It also gives the corn a nice flavor and you may not need any seasoning. I do like to take herbs and mix them with grated cheese then sprinkle sparingly. Can use thyme, garlic powder, italian seasoning, ect.

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By Cathy (Guest Post)
June 26, 20050 found this helpful

You can also flavour popcorn by sprinkling it with chicken flavour spices designed for chips (fries), or my favourite way is to melt butter, sugar and honey together (however you prefer it to taste) and pour it over to freshly popped corn. Keep a towel with you though, as your hands become very sticky and messy.

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July 14, 20050 found this helpful

Love to make and eat popcorn? Tired of having a big bowl to wash? Instead of a bowl, I use a brown kraft grocery bag. Put the popped corn into a bag (will hold more than one batch), add salt, butter if you use it and shake. No big bowl to clean, keeps the corn warmer longer, and you can save leftovers and dispose of the bag when empty.

By Jack

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July 14, 20050 found this helpful

I sprinkle the powdered cheese from a box of macaroni and cheese on our popcorn. It's so good. I just use the macaroni for something else like macaroni salad.

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August 31, 2010

Is there a way to refresh stale popcorn?

By Ray from Chicago, IL

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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

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June 21, 2009

What kind of oil is 'healthy" for popping popcorn on the stove top?

By Mary Boerger

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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 Delcamp from Brighton, MI

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April 25, 2019

Skip the microwave and hot air poppers, cook delicious popcorn right on your stove. This is a page about making the best stovetop popcorn.

popped popcorn

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June 20, 2016

This is a page about making colored popcorn. Making popcorn in an array of fun colors can be done at home.

Red, white and blue colored popcorn spilled out onto white surface

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 29, 2010

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


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

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)


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

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 Debbie

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.

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

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

By Diana

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.

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

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)

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

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