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Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

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Perfect Stovetop Popcorn is crispy, crunchy, a little salty, and very buttery. This tutorial teaches you how to make the perfect batch of popcorn on the stovetop.

popped popcorn in a white bowl

There is really nothing like a great big bowl or buttery salty popcorn. Microwave popcorn is fine sometimes but a nice batch of fresh hot Stovetop Popcorn cannot be beat. The crunch is just addicting. This tutorial will help you to choose the best kernels and steps to take to prevent dreaded chewy popcorn.

Stovetop popcorn ingredients

popcorn ingredients

Popcorn kernels
Canola oil
Butter
Salt
Heavy pot
Mesh splatter screen
Serving bowl

Prevent chewy kernels

mesh splatter screen

Stovetop popcorn can sometimes be too chewy, leaving the center kernel stuck in your teeth. Chewy popcorn happens when the popped kernels are affected by steam. Using a tight lid on a hot pot creates steam. The popped popcorn sits in that steam and loses its crispy texture. To prevent this we either vent the pot by slightly lifting the lid during popping or we use a mesh splatter screen. You don’t need a ton of special equipment but an investment in a splatter screen will make a world of difference when making popcorn. I’m using this 13” KitchenAid Odor Absorb Splatter Screen (affil link)  that you can find on Amazon. This is the safest method for venting while popping that I’ve found. Lifting the lid to vent while the corn is popping can cause burns or worse injury.

Instructions

test kernel

Place a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the oil and one corn kernel.
Cover with the splatter screen or lid. Once it pops, remove it and add the rest of the kernels.

mitts holding the pot to shake the popcorn

Replace the cover and shake the pot using mitts or cloths.

pouring butter and slat to season the popcorn

Remove the pot from the heat when you hear the popping has stopped. Pour the popcorn into a serving bowl (aff link) and season to taste.

Seasoning options

stovetop popcorn overhead

Butter and salt are the cornerstones of perfect popcorn but you can certainly spice things up effortlessly. Old Bay popcorn might be a Maryland crab house things but you can make it with a batch of my Old Bay Butter found here. Or try a sprinkle of Buttermilk Ranch Seasoning or Homemade Chili Seasoning.

Quick tips

crispy popcorn in a bowl
  • Choose fresh white popcorn kernels. White popcorn kernels are lighter and crisper. Yellow kernels will work but for a crisper lighter popcorn, use white kernels.
  • Use a heavy bottom pan. Thinner pans will overheat the oil and kernels very quickly, most likely causing the popcorn to burn.
  • Test the oil. Place a single kernel in the oil to test the temperature. When the kernel pops it’s time to add the rest.
  • Work in small batches. Overcrowding the pot with too many kernels will cause either an abundance of unpopped kernels or major scorching.
  • Vent the pot. The best way to vent the pot is with a heavy mesh splatter screen. However, you can also use a pot with a lid that is self-venting (aff link).

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crispy popcorn in a bowl
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Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Print Recipe
Perfect Stovetop Popcorn is crispy, crunchy, a little salty, and very buttery. This tutorial teaches you how to make the perfect batch of popcorn on the stovetop.
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:10 mins
Total Time:15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c white popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 c canola oil
  • 3 tbsp salted butter melted
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the oil and one corn kernel.
  • Cover with the splatter screen or lid. Once it pops, remove it and add the rest of the kernels. Replace the cover and shake the pot using mitts or cloths.
  • Remove the pot from the heat when you hear the popping has stopped. Pour the popcorn into a serving bowl. Pour over the melted butter and sprinkle with salt to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 659mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 1mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter, popcorn, snacks
Servings: 4
Calories: 277kcal
Author: Ty

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