Article featured image
Microwave popcorn is gross. Pop the actual stuff on the stovetop.

Just in case your microwaves craps out or you run out of the greasy bagged stuff, it’s important to know how to pop popcorn on the stove. Otherwise you can’t watch movies properly, and you’ll just be sitting there on the couch staring down at your lap with absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Let’s minimize that very real risk and get you a crunchy, salty treat before something else disastrous happens. There’s a reason we penned an ode to popcorn addiction. Also, the stovetop method takes the same amount of time, so no excuse there.

Here’s what you’ll need: a large pot (less heavy than cast-iron), a couple of tablespoons of oil with a high-smoke point (peanut, canola, grapeseed and sunflower all work), and about half a cup of popcorn kernels. (They’re where the microwave popcorn is found, you can’t miss ’em.) Heat the oil on medium high, then add the kernels, cover with a tight-fitting lid and remove from the heat for 30 seconds. This brings all the kernels to the same temperature so they pop more or less at the same time, which will reduce the risk of burning. Return the pot to medium-high heat and wait for the first pop.

Did you hear the first pop? Start gently shaking the pot side-to-side every 10 seconds or so until, just like in the microwave, the pops start happening 2-3 seconds apart. Remove from heat but don’t take off the lid while the pops are still happening or you WILL get hit in the face with piping-hot popcorn. You now have popcorn, ready to butter and/or salt. Here’s our favorite way to season it.

More Whatchamacallit on Food Republic: