How to Make the Most Amazing Popcorn at Home

Homemade buttery popcorn in a bowl.

This stove-top popcorn recipe is a regular snack in our house. It’s quick to make, healthy-ish and most importantly it’s the tastiest popcorn in the world. For me, the best popcorn consists of only two added ingredients – butter and salt. It’s the technique involved that makes this delicious. Here’s a few key tips on how to make better popcorn than the boring microwave stuff.

Why Should I Make Stovetop Popcorn?

I prefer to make my own popcorn because it tastes better than microwave popcorn, is much healthier and pretty quick to make. I even prefer it to the movie-theater popcorn (although movie theater popcorn has a special place in my heart!).

How to Prevent Chewy Popcorn

The first crucial tip for delicious popped kernels is steam control. When the kernels pop they release steam which ruins the crispiness of the kernels. If you’ve ever tried to make popcorn with a tight fitting lid then you may have noticed that it becomes chewy and unpleasant to eat. This is because the steam gets trapped in the pot and makes the popcorn soggy.

Solving this problem is easy. Use a pot with small holes in the lid (colander lid) which allows the steam to escape but keeps the kernels from bouncing everywhere. This pot we had lying around in our kitchen from Ikea is actually the perfect stovetop popcorn maker. And it’s under €20.

   The perfect pot for making popcorn.

I Can’t Find the Colander Lid!

If you can’t find the exact same pot don’t worry. Try to find a big stockpot with a heavy bottom that has a colander lid. If it’s difficult to find that colander lid then you have two options:

  1. You can slightly tip the normal lid open while cooking to let out some of the steam. (Be careful to not let out exploding popcorn kernels!)
  2. Or you can cover the lid tightly with tin foil and poke little holes to allow the steam to escape.

Essential Tips

Here’s a few essential tips to make sure you have the tastiest homemade popcorn:

  • Add 2 kernels to the pan with oil and heat. Wait for it to pop, then you know exactly when the oil is at the perfect popcorn popping temperature.
  • Swirl the kernels in the pot while they cook to prevent them from burning.
  • Start with high heat and then turn down to medium heat once the kernels start popping – this will also cook them more evenly.
  • Once the popcorn has 2-3 seconds in between pops, turn off the heat and immediately open the lid to let off all that steam.
  • Add the butter and salt right away so the salt sticks.

Is Homemade Popcorn a Healthy Snack

Yes it can be because you can control how much butter and salt to use unlike pre-packaged microwave popcorn. Plain popped corn contains dietary fiber and is low in calories. You can add less salt or less butter depending on what diet is recommended for you.

Is Popcorn Keto?

Yes! It’s relatively low in carbs compared to other snacks. A 3 cup (24g) serving equates to about 18 grams of carbs — or 14 grams of net carbs which can incorporated into a 50g carb Keto diet.

Homemade buttery popcorn in a bowl.

Possible Additions

Although I’m a butter and salt kinda guy you can get pretty wild with the flavours if you want. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Replace the butter with olive oil
  • A dash of truffle oil
  • Fresh chopped thyme added to the butter
  • Black pepper and lime zest
  • Nutritional yeast – Adds a slightly cheesy flavour that’s vegan
  • Smoked paprika and olive oil
  • Chili butter and brown sugar
  • Cinnamon and brown sugar
Homemade buttery popcorn in a bowl.

How to Make the Most Amazing Popcorn at Home

Here's a recipe for how to make the most amazing homemade popcorn with a simple pot on the stove. This popcorn is easy, quick to make and the tastiest popcorn in the world.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course beer snacks, party food, snacks
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 269 kcal


  • Large stock pot with a colander lid


  • 75 g popcorn kernels 80ml
  • 30 g butter (2 tbsp) melted
  • ¼ tsp sea salt start with this, add more if you like
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil or coconut, canola or any high-smoke point oil


  • Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small pan.
  • Get a large pot with a colander lid and add the oil and two kernels. Put the lid on and heat on high and wait for the sound of the kernels to pop.
    The perfect pot for making popcorn.
  • Once the kernels pop, immediately add the rest of the kernels and place the lid on. Turn down to medium heat and swirl the pot in circles to keep the kernels moving and prevent burning.
  • Once you hear about 2 seconds in between pops then turn off the heat. Immediately take off the lid to allow the steam to escape.
  • Add the butter and sprinkle the salt from high above the pot to allow even distribution. Toss in the pot to mix well.
    Popcorn finished in the pot.
  • Enjoy!


Never walk away from the pot on the stove while it's heating or the oil could catch fire. 
Small amounts of oil can splash out of the pot through the holes in the colander lid. Turn the holes away from you while cooking to prevent this.
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