How to make popcorn on the stove for a quick and easy snack

A hand reaching into a pot on the stove overflowing with popcorn
Use a big enough pot to hold all the popcorn. Mauricio Graiki/Getty Images

“Making popcorn at home is fun and you can get creative with your toppings,” says Charles Coristine, president and CEO of LesserEvil. Popcorn is a whole grain snack that is packed with nutrients and fiber. It’s a fun and affordable snack to share with family and friends, and convenient to make since you only need a few simple ingredients. 

It’s easy to adjust the amount of popcorn you want to make depending on the number of snackers. Plus, you can customize the seasoning to create one-of-a-kind flavors that you wouldn’t find in stores.

“At LesserEvil we believe ingredients mean everything, so when making your popcorn look for clean, healthy, and organic ingredients,” Coristine says.

How to make popcorn on the stove 

A pan with popped and unpopped corn kernels in it
Start with a few test kernels to determine when the oil is hot enough. simonkr/Getty Images

1. Heat the oil. Place the pot on the stove and add in the oil. “Medium heat is optimal to avoid any scorching,” Coristine says.

2. Add the kernels. Start by adding in a few kernels and wait for them to pop. If the kernels don’t pop then the oil is not hot enough.Once they begin to pop, toss the remaining kernels in the warm oil. 

3. Cover the pot. Listen for the popping to begin. Once it begins, shake the pan back and forth over the burner with the lid on. Continue until popping slows down to two to three seconds between each pop. “Make sure to tilt the lid so that steam can escape as the kernels begin to pop,” Coristine says.

4. Remove from heat. Uncover, and take the pan off of the burner. Add the popcorn into a large bowl.

5. Add your favorite toppings. Let the popcorn cool slightly, then add in your favorite toppings like dark chocolate or nutritional yeast. Toss the popcorn to evenly coat each piece. 

Topping ideas 

  • Nutritional yeast – a vegan alternative for a cheesy flavor
  • Ghee
  • Chocolate chunks or melted chocolate for drizzling
  • Pumpkin spice seasoning
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Caramel
  • Matcha
  • Chili flakes

Insider’s takeaway

Making popcorn at home is affordable and doesn’t require much time. You only need a couple of ingredients – popcorn and oil – and a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid. Keep the heat at a medium level to prevent your popcorn from burning. For toppings, you can keep it simple with salt and butter, add sweet chocolate, caramel, or matcha, or toss your kernels in gourmet seasoning blends.