How to Make Popcorn Without a Popcorn Popper

Popcorn poppers and microwaveable bags are convenient, but they’re not necessary. Here’s how to get perfect results when you pop your own kernels (plus recipes for gourmet flavor combos!).

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Poppers and microwaveable bags are convenient, but they’re not necessary. And going without means you can buy high quality kernels in bulk and spice them up with your own homemade toppings and flavorings – no weird artificial butter flavor for you. Here’s how to make popcorn without any special equipment.

How to Make Popcorn on the Stovetop

Use a paper towel to spread 2 tsp. vegetable or olive oil over bottom of a medium or large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 1/4 cup popcorn kernels, cover pan, and cook undisturbed over medium-low heat until popping becomes vigorous. Once popping starts to slow, give the pan a shake, and remove from heat. When popping has slowed to 2- to 3-second intervals between pops, transfer to serving bowl.

How to Make Popcorn in the Microwave 

Place 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a flat-bottomed brown paper lunch bag, and seal the bag by folding the top lip over twice (do not staple). Place bag on its flat side in microwave, and heat 2 to 3 minutes on high power, or until popping slows to 2- to 3-second intervals between pops. Alternatively, place kernels in a medium microwave-safe bowl and set a microwave-safe plate on top to seal.

Our Favorite Gourmet Toppings to Try




Pistachio and Pink Pepper

Sweet Sesame


RELATED: All the Best Veggie Burger Recipes for Your Summer Cookout

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