How to Pop Popcorn on the Stove

Stovetop popcorn
lifewjess / Twenty20
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 12 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
41 Calories
4g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 41
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 0mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 5mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Good old popcorn ... just those words have you envisioning watching a movie and munching on this delectable and all-time favorite snack. The smell wafting in the air, the sound of it popping, there's just nothing like it. With the advent of the microwave, it seems old-fashioned stovetop popcorn popping has become a lost art. Well, old-fashioned popcorn just plain tastes superior. It's easy and lots of fun to make, too. 

Believe it or not, it doesn't take much longer to make popcorn this way than it does the microwave kind. It simply requires popcorn kernels, oil, and a saucepan with a lid. Best of all, popping your own corn means you can experiment with all of the fantastic heirloom popcorn varieties now available. Eat it plain, drizzle with olive oil or butter, or dress it up with spices. There are so many ways to dress this fun treat up, from cheddar popcorn or chocolate popcorn to cinnamon popcorn, and more—the possibilities are endless.

Get the kids involved, and let them decide what flavor they want to have drizzled on their bowl of popcorn. Make it a fun family event to make your own stovetop popcorn, and make it your way. 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola oil

  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the oil and popcorn kernels to a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan with a lid. Shake the pan to coat the kernels with oil. The kernels should cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer. 

  3. Cover the pan and place it over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally until you begin to hear popping.

  4. When the corn begins to pop, lift it slightly from the heat and shake the pan continually, holding the lid in place, until the popping begins to slow, about 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Leave the lid on for 1 minute—some kernels will continue to pop. When the popping stops, pour the popcorn into a large bowl.

  6. Enjoy plain, or season as desired with olive oil, butter, salt, or spices.


The standard old-fashioned way to dress up popcorn is to sprinkle it with some salt and melted butter. Some people like to use black pepper instead of salt. Pick and choose your favorite way to spice it up, or make colored popcorn.