How to Make Stovetop & Microwave Popcorn

Humans have probably eaten some sort of pop corn for hundreds, if not thousands of years. however, for a long time, I thought making your own popcorn would require all sorts of especial equipment and advance skills .
The opposite is true though. even though those popcorn machines at cinema may look high technical school, how they work is pretty simple. At home, actually all you need to make popcorn are either a pot + stave or a microwave + microwave-proof bowl ( and lid ! ) .

Popcorn corn

Making popcorn starts with gathering the right corn. You can not make popcorn from fresh sugared corn. In order for popcorn to pop it needs a very strong hull, that allows coerce to be built up within. The hull of fresh sweetness corn is not hard adequate for that.

besides, you ’ ll need the correct amount of moisture in your corn, besides a lot or besides small will prevent your corn from popping. It ’ mho why the popcorn corn you buy is quite heavily and dry, perfect for popping !
Whether you ’ ll be making popcorn on the stovetop, or in the microwave ( see detailed recipes at the end of this position ), there ’ s no deviation in the type of popcorn you ’ ll be needing .

Deciding on quantities

You can make pretty much any quantity of popcorn on the stave or microwave, a long as your pans/vessels are bad enough. Keep in mind that popcorn can expand by a factor 40. What may look like a minor come of popcorn at the start, can fill up a big bowl at the end !

Storing popcorn corn

You ’ re probably not going to use all the corn you bought at once. Luckily, popcorn corn whiskey is designed for long-run storage so to say. a long as you don ’ metric ton dry it out further, or shop it in a humid position, it will be effective for months, if not years. Store the popcorn in a conclude credit card cup of tea or an air mean container and it will stopping point you a long time .
getting ready to make stovetop popcorn

How to make popcorn

You make popcorn by promptly and intensely heating the popcorn corn. Once the kernels are hot adequate, the pressure inside will have built up then much that they pop ! When you ’ re making popcorn your main challenge is to find a room to make the popcorn very hot, while not burning it. It ’ s a symmetry .
commercial popcorn poppers use stirrers to prevent the popcorn from burning to the penetrate. If you ’ ra making it yourself, you might have to shake it .
Most popcorn making methods add a little bite of oil or other fatten run. The independent reason for doing thus is that oil can serve as a heat transfer method. It has a larger heat capacity than air indeed can help those kernels to get actually hot .

Stovetop Popcorn

Making popcorn is all about heating the corn and when you ’ rhenium making it on a stovetop, all that inflame will come from the bottom. The boast burners or electric coils will heat the bottom of the pan. Once the kernels are hot enough, they ’ ll pop, jumping up, letting other kernels go down. Towards the end though, kernels don ’ t have arsenic much distance to ‘ jump ’ anymore, risking them to stay at the hot bottomland for a little excessively long .
The chief challenge of making popcorn on the stovetop is that the heat comes from the bottom. It ’ south why you want to shake it regularly, to ensure that no corn sticks on the bottomland or stays stuck there for besides retentive .
The second base challenge is temperature control. If the heat on your stove is besides low, it will take besides retentive for the corn whiskey to popular or it won ’ thyroxine dad at all. however, excessively high, and the petroleum and corn will burn before it has a probability to pop. Once you ’ ve got the hang of it and know how your stovetop works best, it ’ mho easy to control !

Microwave Popcorn

In a microwave, the heat doesn ’ t come from the bottom. rather, a microwave uses waves that go through the popcorn and oil to heat food. These waves are specially good at heating up water. Because these waves travel through food, and because most microwaves have the food turn around while microwaving, the heat is a act more homogeneous than on a stovetop. As such, it is slightly harder to burn the popcorn .

Microwave vs Stovetop popcorn

Both methods for making popcorn make a absolutely ticket popcorn and it will depend on your personal preference and tools at hand which one you prefer. That said, scientists have looked at the dispute between the two types more extensively. They found that, under ideal circumstances, microwave popcorn would turn out slenderly smaller than its stovetop counterpart. It ’ s a dispute of some 10 %, very relevant if you ’ rhenium sell popcorn by book, less thus, if you ’ re just making it for your own enjoyment .

Flavoring popcorn

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You can make popcorn with just corn and a little bit of adipose tissue ( to help distribute that heat ! ). however, if you ’ re up for a spot of an gamble and need some more punch in your popcorn, the options are dateless .


The most common flavorer is probably salt. Salt broadly helps to highlight flavors in food and it does sol in popcorn deoxyadenosine monophosphate well. Just sprinkling some strategic arms limitation talks throughout the popcorn will do the job, although you can besides add it before popping, by adding it into the oil .

Fat, butter

next up is using a flavorful fat, such as butter. It ’ south simple, since you ’ re not adding an extra ingredient, but very effective. One watch out if using butter : its fume orient is a bunch lower than that of most liquid oils. As such, it ’ randomness more prone to burning. Use ghee, or any type of clarify butter, to overcome that while still giving off a batch of spirit .

Go wild, but not moist

then there ’ s the dateless list of flavorings you can mix through your newly baked popcorn. What about some chocolate, chili powder, or even caramel ? When choosing which one to use, keep in take care that the popcorn should remain crunchy !
Popcorn is a dry product with a very low moisture content. If you ’ ra planning on adding a wet, damp covering, that will most decidedly ruin the crunchy texture of the popcorn. The water from the top will seep into the popcorn ( read why here ), making it soft and boggy. It ’ second why a fat-based top ( such as cocoa ) works great, or a very sugary one such as caramel ( the high sugar content lowers the water activeness ). If you do decide on using something that has quite a bit of body of water, ensure to dry it after applying to the popcorn .
quick to start making some popcorn ? Below, you can find both a stovetop a well as a microwave version !
popcorn and ghee

Stovetop Popcorn

yield :

1 large bowl

cook time :

15 minutes

sum clock :

15 minutes

This recipe makes enough popcorn for a big bowl for 2-3 people to enjoy .


  • 1/4 cup of popcorn corn
  • 1 tbsp of clarified butter or oil
  • salt (to taste, we use none, start at 1/8 tsp if you prefer slighlty salty popcorn)


Use a hardy pot that you know heats evenly. We use a wok, but you can besides use a thick bottomed pan. The advantage of using a lighter pan is that it will be a lot easier to shake !

  1. Add the clarified butter and salt to your pot on a medium heat and add 2 or 3 popcorn corn kernels.
  2. Cover the pan and continue to heat, shaking regularly. Within a few minutes you should start to hear your corn popping away!
  3. Add the rest of the corn to the pot and place back the lid. The corn will jump when it pops and if you have no lid they will literally jump out of the pot!
  4. Within another minute or so the freshly added corn should start popping. If it doesn’t start popping after a few minutes, increase the heat on the pan. Continue to shake regularly to prevent some kernels from burning at the bottom!
  5. The popping sounds should initially increase and more and more kernels pop. After that, the number of pops should slow down. When you hear no more popping or only a few pops every few seconds it is time to take the pan from the fire.
  6. Take off the lid to let the moisture escape and pour in a bowl to cool. Add more salt if desired.
  7. If there are still unpopped kernels left you can place these back in the pan to pop but watch the heat if there are only a few kernels in the pan. It’s easy to burn them.
  8. Enjoy!

microwaved popcorn

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

yield :

2 portions

homework clock time :

1 minute

cook clock time :

3 minutes

total clock time :

4 minutes

This method does depend on you having a microwaveable bowl with a lid, but is otherwise tied easier than stovetop popcorn !


  • 50g (1/4 cup) popcorn corn
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • salt (optional, to taste)


To make popcorn in the microwave we use a rice cooker for the microwave ( see below ). It has a hardy eyelid and enough holes for moisture to escape from the bowl. abstain from making besides much or your bowl will overflow. Remember the popcorn increases a lot in size !

  1. Place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of your bowl. It doesn’t have to fit tight, it’s better if it’s a little loose, see notes.
  2. Add the oil and popcorn corn to your microwave proof bowl with a lid. Place in the microwave at regular power. Once you start corn popping take the bowl out of the microwave every 30-45s to shake it, to prevent burning of kernels.
  3. Every microwave will operate differently so follow your own instructions where relevant. Our microwave popped all the corn in approx. 2,5 minutes. Take the bowl out of the microwave once the popping has died down significantly.


The oil in the pan will get identical hot. As such, make sure your device is truly immune to high temperatures ! If you ‘re in doubt, a layer of not tightly fit parchment wallpaper will prevent the heat from reaching the penetrate and protect the bowl .

Recommended Products

  • Microwave Rice Cooker
    Microwave Rice Cooker


Mark Peplow, Popping perfect popcorn, Nature, 25-Feb, 2004, link