Never microwave popcorn again

Popcorn is great.

As a snack, its savory, buttery goodness is unparalleled.  It provides a low-calorie crunch, comes in a variety of flavors (chocolate caramel, I’m looking at you), and it’s the official snack of the entertainment industry (unofficially).  You can form it into balls, turn it into bird feeders, or string it up during the holidays.  I’d like to see you do that with Doritos.  (Seriously, I’d like to see you do that.  Send me a picture.)

But with all the versatility that comes with the white and fluffy snack, it’s a shame that the vast majority of people only know one way to cook it: the microwave.

Now I get it, microwave popcorn is SO easy to make.  Most microwaves have a “Popcorn” button.  But, I’m here to advocate a tastier, more traditional way of making those kernels pop: stovetop cook’n.

In fairness, the time it typically takes to microwave popcorn is right around 3 minutes, and making it on the stovetop takes me 5.  But the end result is SO much tastier, to the point that I will never buy another bag of microwave popcorn again.

You too can have amazing popcorn at home in 5 minutes.  Here’s how:


Colonel Delicious (see what I did there?)

Items needed

Popcorn Kernels – You can get these from pretty much anywhere, but local tastes the best

Vegetable Oil

A pot with a lid

A stove

Toppings (Salt, Butter, etc)

Make’m Pop

To get started, add just enough vegetable oil to the pot so that it barely covers the bottom.  Then add a single kernel and put the lid on it.

Single Kernel

One is the loneliest number

Move the pot to the stove, and set the heat to Medium.


Now we’re cooking

Then you just sit and wait.  What are we waiting for?  For that lonely little kernel to…



As soon as the kernel pops, add more kernels.  You’ll want to add enough to cover the bottom of the pot.

More kernels

Party people!

After that, just put the lid back on and stand back.  Very soon it’ll sound like a pop-gun battle in your kitchen.

Popcorn 1


Popcorn 2

Bang Bang!

If you’re lucky, and your pot is the right size, you’ll get to the point where the popping is so powerful that it starts to lift the lid off your pot.

Lifted Lid

Raise the roof… err, lid

Once the popping slows to about 2 seconds between pops, turn the heat off and dump the popcorn into a large bowl.

Cover with your favorite toppings, and you’re done!

Once you’ve had it from the stove you’ll never want it any other way.

Lessons Learned

  • Don’t add too many kernels to the pot, otherwise you’ll end up with un-popped kernels in your bowl.  It took me a few tries to figure out how many kernels I needed based on the size of the pot I use.  Typically if I add just enough to cover the bottom of the pot, then it works out just right.
  • Once the popping slows to 2 seconds between pops, get that corn into a separate bowl ASAP.  The longer it sits in the pot, the more likely it is to burn.
  • Aside from the tried and true butter-salt combination, I’ll also make it with garlic powder, parmesan cheese, or Mrs. Fox’s favorite: leftover cheddar from macaroni and cheese mixes.

What are your favorite popcorn toppings?  Share them in the comments below



Mr. Fox