Popcorn on the Stovetop

Popcorn has to be one of the greatest nighttime snacks.  We’ve been making ours on the stovetop for a couple of years.  There’s no going back to microwave popcorn once you do.

It’s a fairly simple task that’s

  • cheaper than microwave popcorn,
  • healthier because you’re bypassing all of those chemical flavors in microwave popcorn, and
  • better for the environment both because your popcorn has no chemical additives and you’re not tossing out several pieces of garbage every time you make it.

Now I suppose you could always use an air popper to make popcorn.  But if I were to buy something that large for our kitchen, I can think of about 10 things I’d chose first.  After all, whatever large appliance I would pick would have to stay on our countertop 24/7.  A one-function item just wouldn’t be my choice.

So popcorn from the stovetop it is!

…which is totally okay with absolutely everyone in the house.

Here’s how we do it:

Popcorn on the Stovetop

    3 tbl vegetable or other neutral oil  (in Germany, I use Sonnenblummenöl)
    1/2 c popcorn kernels
    butter and salt to taste


    1.  Turn your burner to high.  Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot with a sturdy lid.  You really want the oil hot, so be patient.  (hear that, Katie?)

    2.  Add the kernels, swirl them in the oil, and wait.

    3. Frequently shake the pot as the popcorn begins popping.

    4.  When the popping has pretty much died down, remove popcorn from the heat.

    5.  Open the lid and add your desired amount of butter – maybe about 2 tbl.  If you stir the butter onto the bottom of the pot, it’ll instantly melt.  Keep stirring as it does.  (Presto – no extra dish for melting butter.)

    6.  Add salt to taste.

    Note: If you have a lot of kernels that did not pop, chances are your oil wasn’t quite hot enough when you added them.

So that’s it!  Making popcorn is ridiculously simple.  You can start getting creative, adding shredded cheese or various spices.  Me?  I just keep it simple.

How about you?  How do you like your popcorn?

Oh – and for those of you in Germany: I find popcorn kernels at the Biomarkts for about 2 euros/half a kilo.  Check next to the dried beans and rice.

Find more of our favorite recipes (from homemade marshmallows to German cookies) on our Recipes Page.  Happy munching!