I’m not a fan of the chemicals, artificial flavors, and preservatives in microwave popcorn (actually, we don’t use a microwave at all… here’s why.) However, we do like popcorn as a crunchy, savory snack on family movie or game nights.
We decided to look up the old-fashioned way to make popcorn and discovered it’s actually not hard at all to make your own stovetop popcorn!
Is Stovetop Popcorn Healthy?
Healthy is a pretty relative term. I’ve learned over the years that what is healthy for one person, may not be so great for another. I avoided all grains for years while I worked to reverse my autoimmune disease, and now that I am in remission I can handle grains occasionally.
The good news is corn is a whole, unprocessed grain, and it’s easy to find organic, non-GMO options. And even when you buy organic varieties, it’s fairly inexpensive.
So far, so good, right? But what about healthy toppings?
Make Amazing Popcorn With Natural Ingredients
I consider popcorn to be a blank canvas just waiting for inspiration. On its own, popcorn has a nice toasty, nutty flavor, but it is a little dry and begs for a bit more. We’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with different ways to season our popcorn.
- The first step is to choose your fat. We’ve used grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and infused olive oil. I like the nutrients and healthy fat profile of those options.
- After drizzling on the butter or oil, I toss it with a combination of herbs, spices, and Himalayan salt. Here are some ideas for inspiration:
- Curry Powder + Shredded Coconut
- Italian Seasoning + Parmesan Cheese
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Ranch Dressing Mix
- Seasoned Salt
- Taco Seasoning
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
There are several ways to pop popcorn, all of which are, in my opinion, better alternatives to pre-packaged microwave popcorn.
- You can still use a microwave and pop popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag. But like I said, we don’t have a microwave.
- Try a hand-powered stovetop popcorn maker like this one. (But I prefer using a pot I already have.)
- You can also use an air popper. This method is probably the fastest and easiest in terms of cleanup. It’s a simple countertop appliance that circulates hot air around the kernels until they pop.
- If like me you like to minimize the number of small one-use appliances in my kitchen, then stovetop popcorn is for you!
Tip: To make stovetop popcorn you need a large pot with a lid, coconut oil (or another healthy oil with a high smoke point), and the popcorn. Pour a little oil and just a couple of popcorn kernels into the pot and let it heat up. When the test kernels pop, you’ll know your oil is ready! Turn off the heat, add the remaining kernels, put on the lid, give the pan a good shake to coat them, and let it sit for a minute. Then turn the heat back on and wait for the popping!
Note: Keep in mind that when popcorn pops, it expands about 40 times its pre-popped size, so don’t overfill your pot! Half a cup of kernels will make about 14 cups of popped corn.
Stovetop Popcorn Recipe
- Large pot with a lid
- In a large pot on the stove, heat the oil and three popcorn kernels, covered, over medium-high heat.
- When the three kernels have popped, remove the pot from the heat and add the remaining popcorn kernels.
- Give the pot a little shake to evenly distribute the kernels across the bottom.
- Cover the pot and let sit for one minute.
- Return the pot to the heat and cook, cocking the lid slightly to allow steam to escape, and shaking the pot occasionally.
- When the popping slows considerably, remove the pot from the heat, wait a moment for the popping to stop completely,, and pour the finished popcorn into a large bowl.
- Top with desired toppings and enjoy!
Do you make stovetop popcorn? What are your favorite toppings?