3 Ingredient Stovetop Popcorn

Make perfectly popped stovetop popcorn in just minutes and without any burnt kernels with my simple step-by-step method using just 3 ingredients.

A bowl of popcorn sitting on a blue and white tea towel

Homemade popcorn is one of the healthiest, easiest and tastiest snacks going round!

Whether you’re snuggling up to watch a movie, filling lunchboxes or making party food, everyone needs a great homemade popcorn recipe in their life!

Why You’re Going To Love Homemade Popcorn

Once you’ve made your own popcorn on the stovetop, you’ll NEVER go back to microwave popcorn or packaged popcorn again.

This is the freshest, tastiest, crunchiest, BEST way to make popcorn!

Here’s why you’re going to fall head over heels with stovetop popcorn:

  • Budget-friendly – an entire batch of popcorn will cost you less than $1 to make! Forget about paying $3-$4 for a bag of pre-made popcorn – this is the cheapest way to make popcorn.
  • Quick – from start to finish, you’ll be sitting down with a big bowl of freshly popped popcorn in just 10 minutes
  • Easy – follow my simple tips below and you’ll be making perfect popcorn every single time
  • Healthy – homemade popcorn (without all the additives and flavourings of some store-bought options) is a great healthy snack option
  • 3 ingredients – popcorn kernels, oil and salt… that’s it!
  • Versatile – keep it plain and simple or add your favourite flavourings (scroll down for some of my favourite options)
A white bowl of popcorn on a blue and white tea towel

What You Need

If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients list on some packaged pre-popped popcorn, you might have been shocked at all of the additives and flavourings.

Homemade stovetop popcorn is the absolute opposite… it’s made from just 3 basic ingredients making it a healthy snack.

  • Popcorn kernels – these can be bought from the supermarket or health food stores. It costs around $1-2 to buy a 400g bag (which makes a LOT of popcorn). Popcorn kernels are generally sold in the section of the supermarket with the pre-packaged popcorn.
A blue, white and red bag of popcorn kernals.
  • Oil – I generally use olive oil when making my stovetop popcorn as it’s a healthy option. If you prefer, you can use coconut oil which gives the popcorn a really delicious flavour.
  • Salt – this gives the popcorn a slightly salty and savoury flavour. Just like movie theatre popcorn but SO much healthier. I like to use sea salt for my popcorn.
Bowls of oil, popcorn kernels and salt.

How To Make Popcorn On The Stovetop

You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make stovetop popcorn.

Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the full detailed method.

Step 1 – Heat The Oil And Two Popcorn Kernels

Place the oil, salt and two popcorn kernels into a deep heavy-bottomed saucepan or frying pan. Place on the stovetop over medium heat, cover with a lid and cook until the kernels pop.

Step 2 – Add The Popcorn Kernels

Remove the pot from the stovetop, discard the two popped kernels. Add the remaining popcorn kernels, cover with a lid and give it a good shake. Leave the pot off the heat for 1 minute to allow the oil to cool slightly.

A collage of three steps showing the steps of heating oil and popcorn on a stovetop.

Step 3 – Cook The Popcorn

Place the pot with the lid on back over the medium heat. Shake occasionally so that the kernels heat evenly.

Continue to cook until the popping has slowed to just 1-2 pops every 10 seconds.

A collage showing the process of cooking popcorn on the stovetop.

Tips For Making Stovetop Popcorn

Follow my simple tips for foolproof and perfect popcorn every single time!

  • Equipment – it’s important to use a heavy-bottomed large saucepan or frying pan that has a lid when making popcorn.
  • Test the oil – heat the oil with 2 corn kernels to test when it’s at the right temperature.
  • Allow resting time – after adding the remaining popcorn kernels, allow the saucepan to sit for 1 minute off the heat. This will allow the oil to cool slightly and heat the kernels evenly before returning to the heat.
  • Make sure the temperature isn’t too hot – don’t be tempted to turn the heat up any higher than medium or your popcorn kernels will cook unevenly and some may burn.
  • Shake occasionally – while the popcorn is cooking, shake the saucepan around gently. This allows the popcorn to cook evenly.
  • Overflow – if you find that your popcorn is overflowing as it cooks, simply tip the popped popcorn into a bowl and continue cooking the uncooked kernels.
An overhead shot of a white bowl of popcorn on a white and blue tea towel.

Popcorn Flavourings

Personally I LOVE my popcorn plain and simple with just a little salt, but there’s times when I like to go all out and add lots of yummy flavours.

Here’s a few of my favourites popcorn flavours:

A child's hand reaching into a bowl of popcorn.

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Popped corn kernels on a bowl on a white and blue tea towel.

How To Make Stovetop Popcorn

Make perfectly popped stovetop popcorn in just minutes and without any burnt kernels with my simple step-by-step method.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snacks
Cuisine: American, western
Keyword: popcorn
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 serves
Calories: 139kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbs oil see notes
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Place the oil, salt and two popcorn kernels into a deep heavy-bottomed saucepan or frying pan. Place onto the stovetop over medium heat, cover with a lid and cook until the two kernels pop.
  • Remove the pot from the stovetop, discard the two popped kernels. Add the remaining popcorn kernels, cover with a lid and give it a good shake. Leave the pot off the heat for 1 minute to allow the oil to cool slightly.
  • Place the pot with the lid on back over the medium heat. Shake occasionally so that the kernels heat evenly.
  • Continue to cook until the popping has slowed to just 1-2 pops every 10 seconds.
  • Pour into a bowl and serve immediately.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
Ingredients Info:
  • Popcorn kernels – these can be bought from the supermarket or health food stores. It costs around $1-2 to buy a 400g bag (which makes a LOT of popcorn). Popcorn kernels are generally sold in the section of the supermarket with the pre-packaged popcorn.
  • Oil – I generally use olive oil when making my stovetop popcorn as it’s a healthy option. If you prefer, you can use coconut oil which gives the popcorn a really delicious flavour.
  • Salt – this gives the popcorn a slightly salty and savoury flavour. I prefer to use sea salt for my popcorn but you can use regular table salt.
More Recipe Tips:
  • Equipment – it’s important to use a heavy-bottomed large saucepan or frying pan that has a lid when making popcorn.
  • Test the oil – heat the oil with 2 corn kernels to test when it’s at the right temperature.
  • Allow resting time – after adding the remaining popcorn kernels, allow the saucepan to sit for 1 minute off the heat. This will allow the oil to cool slightly and heat the kernels evenly before returning to the heat.
  • Make sure the temperature isn’t too hot – don’t be tempted to turn the heat up any higher than medium or your popcorn kernels will cook unevenly and some may burn.
  • Shake occasionally – while the popcorn is cooking, shake the saucepan around gently. This allows the popcorn to cook evenly.
  • Overflow – if you find that your popcorn is overflowing as it cooks, simply tip the popped popcorn into a bowl and continue cooking the uncooked kernels.

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 1mg
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