Stovetop Popcorn Recipe

This is another ridiculously easy recipe, but I had to ask Chief how to do it awhile back when the craving struck.  Ever since I had a chance to try it, I am absolutely addicted to popcorn popped on the stovetop.

For two people, a 3 to 4 quart pot for the stovetop works pretty well.  I guess that is assuming your serving is as large as mine, which is approximately one adult female homosapien’s head’s worth.  I really have a problem with popcorn.  When I eat it, I can’t help but think of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when Raoul Duke is like, “If I were you, I’d leave the Doctor alone until after he’s eaten his breakfast because he’s a very crude man.”  It’s not pretty when I eat it.  I’m okay with that.

For approximately two large servings worth, throw a big nob of butter into the pan.  It’s best to use clarified butter since it has a higher smoke point than regular butter.  If you don’t have clarified butter, use coconut oil so that the butter or oil won’t burn or oxidize.  If you don’t have clarified butter or coconut oil, you can use a mixture of regular butter and olive oil but neither of those does very well at high temperatures.  Approximate amounts that I use are as follows:

  • 1 large nob clarified butter (about 2 tablespoons)
  • ¾ cup popcorn
  • ½ teaspoon salt + pepper

One popcorn I have found that I really like is Arrowhead Mills organic popcorn .  But you can also just buy in bulk.  Put the heat on high and add the butter to the pot, and allow it to melt.  Then pour in the popcorn kernels.  I like to pass them over with the salt and pepper grinders at this time and then again at the end.  Once you have salted and peppered to your taste, put the lid on to contain the popcorn, leaving a small vent.  The key to cooking the popcorn is to keep the pan moving, maybe as you remember to Jiffy Pop back in the day.   Keep it on high heat but pick it up and shake it back and forth frequently.  Then wait for the popcorn to start filling the pot and making that crescendo of a muffled noise which indicates that you have almost arrived at a bowl of deliciousness.   You will want to dump the popcorn into a bowl once it has finished popping but be careful as you do so, as there may be some stray kernels finishing popping and whizzing off.  I feel like all my life there has been a parade of official household popcorn bowls.  I think you’ll know when you find yours.

What happens next is a question of personal preference.  To Chief, the Popcorn Purist, the popped kernels shall be salted and peppered and consumed.  For me, the Popcorn Polluter, I like to melt some butter in the microwave and pour it over the top of the popcorn and/or drizzle some truffle oil on it.  And then, in a final act of defiling, I shred Parmesan cheese all over the top.  And then add the salt and pepper.  I then retreat to my lair and greedily stuff my piehole with the gloriousness that is popcorn.  I tend to take a very defensive stance toward anyone in my vicinity to protect my batch.

Popcorn is high in fiber, polyphenols, and manganese.  I am of the opinion that moderate amounts of high quality butter are an important part of our diet.  Adjust the salt for your own health, but I struggle with low blood pressure, so for me the salt is good.  The nice thing about making this at home is that you can know exactly what went in to it (as opposed to all the creepy chemicals in microwave popcorn) and can have a satisfying snack for movie night!


  1. maureen February 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm · Reply

    Emily, that sounds delicious! Bet it is better when you make it, but I am going to give it a try.

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