Old-Fashioned Stovetop Popcorn

by Maria on November 27, 2012

Old Fashioned Stovetop Popcorn that takes about a minute (less than the microwave!) and tastes delicious!

When I was a little girl my best friend’s dad would make old-fashioned popcorn on the stove for his late night snack. Jennifer and I would sometimes find his almost empty bowl by the couch when we were playing the next day. I loved to find that bowl. The salty, crunchy popcorn had the best flavor!

One night I happened to be sleeping over at their house and I saw the magic. He wasn’t using a boring air-popper like we did at our house. He was cooking his popcorn on the stove.  I was in awe. I had to learn how to do that…..catch me after the jump for the rest of the story and the recipe. You can even use healthy coconut oil, and not lose any of the tastiness! Do I have your attention yet?

I went home and told my mom the exciting discovery. “Can I make it, Can I make it? Huh, Huh, PLEASE.” I still hear her answer every time I make it as an adult. “Sorry honey, it’s not safe. You could pop your eye out.” Devastated!

I promise I was not a naughty child, well not usually. But one night when my parents were gone, I decided that, so help me, I was going to make that yummy stove popcorn. It turns out that shaking a pan back and forth on the stove is apparently too much for a young girl to handle and….wait for it…..I did get a hot kernel to the corner of my eye. Dang it, I hate it when my mom is right.

Needless to say I was banned from trying my popcorn making skills again in my mother’s kitchen until I was much older.  Now that I have my own kitchen I make this popcorn all the time, because I LOVE it, and I’m happy to report that I have not had another incidence of harm in over 20 years. Go me!

This recipe has three all natural, simple ingredients. You can feel good about popping up a batch for your next movie night, or anytime you need a little popcorn fix.

 Old Fashioned Popcorn on the Stove

Stove Pop Popcorn

Yeilds 7-8 1 cup servings


1 1/2  tablespoons canola oil, coconut oil*, or olive oil (whatever your preference)

1/3 cup popcorn kernels

salt to taste


Combine oil and popcorn in a two quart sauce pan, place a tight fitting lid on top.  Place on stove and turn burner to high. As you hear the oil start popping begin shaking pan back and forth softly, taking care to securely hold the lid down as well. Continue shaking back and forth until you hear a 2-3 second pause between popping. Remove from heat and keep lid secured until you are positive the popping has stopped. Pour into a heat safe bowl, salt to taste.

If you really want to take it up a notch brown a little butter in a sauce pan and pour over the top….oh dear…it’s so good!

*Coconut oil works perfectly with this recipe. Just think, with all the healthful benefits from the coconut oil, you won’t have to feel bad about eating the whole batch yourself.

Happy eating!


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie November 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

You know how I feel about this. Good memories. And I’m glad your eye survived, you naughty little girl…hahaha!


Stephanie November 28, 2012 at 12:27 am

i’ve done this once before… and now after reading this, i am wondering why i don’t do it more often? what an easy peasy “healthy” snack for my little snackers… thanks!


aubrey November 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I honestly have never thought about making popcorn on the stove. Although, one of my favorite memories when I was a kid was spreading out a blanket on the living room floor and making popcorn on a skillet and letting it pop all over. Why haven’t I done this for my girls yet?? Thanks for the new exciting treat!


Paula November 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Stovetop popcorn is the best! I have been making it for almost 40 years. Next week I will be making it to string for the Christmas tree along with cranberries, it is one of our favorite traditions.


Pat November 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

We make our popcorn this way all the time. . . with the addition of a pat of butter into the oil! Yum! Are you aware, though, that coconut oil is as bad for your arteries as hydrogenated oils are? I wouldn’t quit making it that way unless you have high cholesterol.


Sandi November 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Hubby and I have stovetop popcorn at least once a week. Microwave and air popped popcorn is nothing like stovetop.

Really very simple and easy to do.


Nikki December 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I have had both air-popped, and stove top… (and microwave…) popcorn, and have to say that I MUCH prefer the air popper! I think part of the MAGIC of that leftover popcorn bowl you found was the fact that it was a day old. I find that for some reason the flavor intensifies when it’s a bit old…. Either way, I am very sad to say that whenever I eat popcorn I get a really strange feeling. Almost like I am shaking on the inside, but in actuality am not really shaking at all…. I have no idea why this happens, but it happens also when I have eaten corn thins (like rice cakes, but made with corn). I wish I could figure it out (and FIX it) cause I LOOOOVE popcorn… I usually eat about 10 cups at a time (thank goodness I don’t use any butter or oil, or I might be in trouble!) I just spritz it with water from a spray bottle, then sprinkle it with nutritional yeast, various spices depending on the mood (usually a mix of cayenne pepper, cumin or curry powder, and turmeric) and a bit of fine himilayan sea salt!! I have actually really been craving popcorn lately. I may cave and have some soon and just deal with that yucky feeling…. It should be worth it sometimes!!


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