This old stovetop popcorn is the vintage recipe that I remember my mom making on the stove for my brother and me when we were kids and also a pop corn recipe my grandma made! It’s a fun recipe to make for family movie night treats or Christmas popcorn garland! The best stove popcorn and how to keep popcorn from burning!
How To Make Old Stovetop Popcorn (Best Popcorn Recipe Ever!)
If you’re wondering can you make popcorn on the stove, the answer is YES! (And homemade popcorn on stove is a really good kids snack!)
How to Make Popcorn the Old Fashioned Way
Tips to make popcorn on the stove:
- Use a heavy-bottomed pot or even a heavy frying pan with a lid as the best pot for stovetop popcorn.
- Get ready to shake! shake! shake! Shaking popcorn on the stove while it pops is the key! (Make sure you have the right cover for stove top pan!)
- Use the right ratio of oil to kernels of popcorn (or you risk burning or not popping at all!).
- Use vegetable oil, canola oil, or coconut oil for best results of this yummy popcorn with oil.
- Make sure that your popcorn isn’t old!
KEEP SCROLLING to the the how to popcorn on stove printable recipe card (oil popcorn recipe) — info on making perfect popcorn over the stove burner and some answers to common questions like how long does popped popcorn last, best popcorn for stovetop, and more best cooking with popcorn hacks!
How did they make popcorn in the olden days?
Wondering how do you pop popcorn the old fashioned way? It’s super simple to make a vintage popcorn recipe. All you need is oil, popcorn, and a heavy bottom pot or pan with a lid. It’s how they made popcorn before microwaves and how to pop popcorn on stove top.
I especially love making popcorn this around the holidays for family movie night and for vintage Christmas decorations (like old-fashioned popcorn garland for the Christmas tree).
There’s just something about popping corn on the stove and this style of recipe popcorn that is so nostalgic for me!
Secret To Stovetop Popcorn (Making Popcorn On Stove So It Doesn’t Burn)
Tips For Making The Best Popcorn On The Stove:
- Use the right pot: A heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid (pan stove cover) is the best choice for making stovetop popcorn. The heavy bottom helps distribute heat evenly for popping corn on stove, and the tight-fitting lid helps keep the steam and heat inside the pot, which ensures that most of the kernels will pop and give a more even pop cooking.
- Heat the oil first: Heat the oil in the pot first before adding the popcorn kernels. This helps to ensure that the kernels pop evenly and quickly without burning when you have oil on popcorn.
- Use the right amount of oil: Use just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Too much oil will make the popcorn greasy and maybe soggy. Too little oil will result in unpopped kernels.
- Add salt at the right time: Add salt to the popcorn after it has finished popping, while it is still hot. This will help the salt adhere to the popcorn, making it more flavorful.
- Shake the pot: As the popcorn pops, shake the pot gently but frequently (almost the constantly) to ensure that the kernels pop evenly and don’t burn. You can also lift the pot slightly off the heat for a few seconds and then return it to the heat to help distribute the heat more evenly.
Tips And Tricks To Popping Popcorn On The Stove
These are helpful tips for stovetop popcorn and questions that people have about making popcorn on the stove. Be sure to read through them — BEFORE MAKING THE RECIPE — if you’ve never popped stove popcorn!
Here are stovetop popcorn tricks that will help you make yummy popcorn!
How do you make popcorn without burning it?
When making pop corn on the stove, you need to have really hot oil. Once you’ve heated your oil and added your popcorn, you need to shake the pot back and forth on the burner the entire time. It only takes a few seconds of sitting still on the stovetop for it to burn.
How Much Oil For Stove Popcorn?
A good ratio for stove popcorn is about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels. This will help ensure that the kernels pop evenly and quickly without burning. However, you can adjust the amount of oil to your liking. Using too much oil will make the popcorn greasy, while using too little oil will result in un-popped kernels. You may have to play around with it to get right balance between the amount of oil and the amount of popcorn kernels and use more or less, as needed.
CHECK THIS POPCORN RECIPE OUT NEXT: How To Make Sweet Popcorn On The Stove (old fashioned sugar popcorn like the sweet and savory popped corn recipe at fairs and festivals)
Can you make stovetop popcorn with olive oil?
While it is possible to make stovetop popcorn with olive oil, it is not the best option. Olive oil has a low smoke point and can burn easily at high temperatures. Also, olive oil has a rich, flavorful taste and can change the taste of the popcorn. Personally, I don’t care for the taste of popcorn make with olive oil because it changes the taste of the popcorn.
When making stovetop popcorn, it’s important to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as coconut oil or vegetable oil, to prevent the oil from burning and giving the popcorn a bitter taste.
You may be wondering how to make popcorn with butter on the stove…
Can you make stovetop popcorn with butter?
Yes, you can make stovetop popcorn with butter. However, you need to be careful when using butter because it has a low smoke point and can burn quickly. I don’t use butter to make popcorn on the stove because of this. I pop the popcorn and then add the butter to it after, melting the butter in a separate saucepan and then add it to the popped popcorn.
Can you make stovetop popcorn without oil?
It is possible to make stovetop popcorn without oil, but it’s not recommended. Oil is typically used when making stovetop popcorn to help heat the kernels evenly and prevent them from burning. Without oil, the kernels may burn or pop unevenly, or may even be dry and lack flavor without the added oil.
If you are trying to reduce your oil intake or looking for a healthier option, you can try using an oil spray or a small amount of oil. Oil spray can help distribute the oil evenly and give the popcorn a nice texture without using too much oil.
Can you pop popcorn with just water?
You can make popped corn with water instead of oil. Pour the unpopped kernels into the bottom of the pan and spread them evenly. Then, pour a small amount of water into the pan — just enough to cover the bottom. (The popcorn should not float!) Continue making the popcorn as normal. Remember, it won’t be as flavorful without the oil, but is a healthy popcorn option.
Is stove top popcorn healthy?
Stovetop popcorn can be a healthy snack option if it is prepared without added sugar, salt, or excessive amounts of butter or oil. Popcorn itself is a whole grain and is naturally low in calories, fat, and sugar. It’s also a good source of fiber and antioxidants. However, because of the oil and butter, it can quickly become an unhealthy option. You may want to try water or cooking spray for a healthier option.
Why is my stovetop popcorn not popping?
There are several reasons why popcorn isn’t popping on stove:
- Old popcorn kernels: Popcorn kernels last a very long time, but they do have a shelf life of around 8-12 months before they start deteriorating. After that, old kernels may not pop as well as fresh ones. If your popcorn is not popping, check the expiration date on the popcorn package, or try using a new batch of kernels.
- Oil is not hot enough: If you haven’t heated your oil hot enough, the kernels will not pop (or will take a very long time to pop). Be sure to heat your oil to hot before adding the popcorn. PRO TIP: Add three popcorn kernals to your oil. Once it’s hot enough, the kernels will all pop and you know the oil is ready!
- Wrong heat level: If the heat is too low, the popcorn may not pop, or it may pop too slowly. If the heat is too high, the kernels may burn easily. Adjust the heat to a medium-high setting to allow the kernels to pop evenly and quickly without burning.
- Not enough oil: If there’s not enough oil in the pot, the kernels may not pop evenly or may not pop at all. Use about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels.
- Lid not fitting properly: If the lid on your pot is not fitting properly, steam may escape, and the popcorn may not pop as well. Make sure the lid is tight-fitting, and if it’s not, try using a different pot or lid.
Why does my stovetop popcorn taste stale?
Popcorn can get old after around 12 months, which can make the popped popcorn taste stale. Also, if the oil used to pop popcorn is old or expired, it can make make your popcorn taste stale. Make sure everything is fresh!
Why is my stovetop popcorn chewy?
One of the main reasons that stovetop popcorn is chewy is because there’s too much oil. Using too much oil can make the popcorn chewy and greasy. Use only enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot and the kernels.
Also, if you pour hot butter on the popcorn right after popping, it will shrink your popped corn and make it chewier. Let your melted butter cool slightly before pouring it over popcorn.
You can also use theater popcorn butter like this that doesn’t need to be melted.
How long does stovetop popcorn last?
Enjoy stovetop popcorn as soon as it’s popped for the best flavor and texture. If you need to store it, stovetop popcorn can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. After a few days, the popcorn can start to lose its crispness and become stale.
What is the best stove top popcorn brand?
The best stovetop popcorn brand is whatever is your favorite popcorn. Personally, I like white popcorn and swear by Jolly Time White Pop Corn for the best popcorn for any reason (popping, kettle corn / sweet pop corn, popcorn balls, etc.). However, you can use any brand popcorn your family loves!
Let’s get to how to make popcorn on a stove! This is one of the best best stovetop popcorn recipes that I remember from childhood! (And, it’s such a simple recipe!)
Vintage Stove Top Popcorn Recipe: How do you make popcorn the old fashioned way?
How To Cook Popcorn On The Stove
How much popcorn stovetop recipe will depend on how much popcorn you need popped. This recipe is easy to increase or decrease using this popcorn on stove top guide. You may have to play around with the oil to popcorn ratio a little, but this is a good guide.
How to make popcorn on the stove:
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels + 1 Tablespoons oil = around 7 cups popped popcorn
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels + 1-2 Tablespoons oil = around 10 cups popped popcorn
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels + 2-3 Tablespoons oil = around 12-15 cups popped popcorn
Keep the popcorn oil ratio to 1/4 cup popcorn to 1 tablespoon oil.
This pop corn is cooked in oil, so it may not be the most healthy popcorn, but it’s still a nice treat. Although I like air popping popcorn, I think this oil cooked pop corn is so much better!
POPCORN RECIPE STOVE TIP: Popping corn kernels is easy, but popcorn kernels on stove burn easily. Make sure you are shaking the pan almost constantly once it starts popping! You definitely need to keep a close eye when making popcorn in a pan, skillet, or popcorn in a pot on stoves. You’ll start to hear the pop corn kernel popping slow down and that’s when you want to take it off the heat to prevent burning.
Here’s how to make popcorn on your stove (including how much oil for stovetop popcorn). It makes the best homemade popcorn!
(After learning make popcorn on stove, keep scrolling past the popcorn in pan recipe! There are some fun things and more popcorn recipe ideas after the printable recipe card to use with popcorn recipes stove top.)
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 Cup unpopped popcorn kernels (brand, type of choice)
- Melted butter for topping (optional)
- Salt for topping (optional)
- Add oil: Start by adding 1 Tablespoon of oil (such as vegetable or coconut oil) to the bottom of the stove popper. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the oil heat up. Add 2-3 kernels of popcorn. When they pop, your oil is hot enough!
- Add remaining popcorn kernels: Once the oil is hot, add 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels to the pot. Make sure the kernels are spread evenly across the bottom of the pot.
- Cover and shake: Cover the pot with a lid and, holding the lid on, gently shake it back and forth over the heat to keep the kernels moving. This will help ensure that all the kernels pop evenly and keep from burning. Continue to shake as the popcorn pops.
- Listen for popping: Listen for the popping to slow down, and once it gets to about 2-3 seconds between pops, remove the pot from the heat.
- Serve: Pour the popcorn into a bowl. Let it cool slightly. Add melted butter and salt or any other seasonings you desire. Enjoy!
PRO TIP: Melt butter and let it sit to cool slightly while popcorn is popping. If you pour hot melted butter directly onto hot popcorn it will make the popcorn shrivel and will be chewy and not crispy and crunchy popcorn.
IMPORTANT: The best pan for popcorn is a heavy bottomed pan or skillet with a tight fitting lid.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 33Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
Different Ways To Pop Popcorn (How To Make Popping Corn)
Stovetop Popcorn vs Air Pop Popcorn
Stovetop popcorn and air pop popcorn are two popular methods of making popcorn. While both methods make delicious popcorn, there are some differences between the two.
Stovetop popcorn is made by heating oil in a pan, adding popcorn kernels, and shaking the pan until the popcorn pops. Stovetop popcorn tends to have a richer flavor because it is cooked in oil which enhances the taste.
However, stovetop popcorn can also be high in calories and fat due to the oil used.
Air pop popcorn, on the other hand, is made using an air popper like this, which heats and pops the kernels using hot air. This method is often considered a healthier option since it doesn’t require any oil, which means it has fewer calories and less fat.
However, air-popped popcorn can be less flavorful since it’s not cooked in oil, and some people may find it dry or lacking in taste.
So, stovetop popcorn tends to have a richer flavor but can be high in calories and fat, while air pop popcorn is a healthier option with fewer calories and less fat but may be less flavorful.
The choice between how to pop popcorn on the stove and air popped comes down to personal preference and dietary considerations, but both are good snacks!
Is stove top popcorn better than microwave?
Whether stovetop popcorn is better than microwave popcorn is a matter of personal preference and can depend on a variety of factors.
Stovetop popcorn can offer a richer and more authentic popcorn flavor compared to microwave popcorn because it is typically cooked in oil, and you have more control over the cooking process. With stovetop popcorn, you can adjust the heat and timing to achieve the desired level of popping and flavor.
On the other hand, microwave popcorn is a convenient option that requires minimal preparation and clean-up. Microwave popcorn is often pre-flavored with different seasonings, which can add variety to the taste. However, microwave popcorn can also be high in calories, sodium, and unhealthy additives. Be sure to read the ingredients and packaging before purchasing microwave popcorn.
Both stovetop popcorn and microwave popcorn have their pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which option is best for your needs.
If you prioritize flavor and don’t mind the extra effort, stovetop popcorn may be the better choice.
If convenience and ease of preparation are more important, then microwave popcorn may be the way to go.
How To Use Old Fashioned Stovetop Popcorn Popper
How do you make popcorn with an old fashioned stove popper?
If you don’t want to use a pan or pot for making popcorn, you can still buy an old fashioned popcorn popper with a crank handle machine for popcorn.
Making popcorn with an old-fashioned stove popper can be a fun and satisfying way to enjoy this classic snack.
Here are the steps to follow for using a vintage popcorn popper:
- Add oil: Start by adding 1 tablespoon of oil (such as vegetable or coconut oil) to the bottom of the stove popper. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the oil heat up.
- Add popcorn kernels: Once the oil is hot, add 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels to the pot. Make sure the kernels are spread evenly across the bottom of the pot.
- Cover with lid and crank the handle: Slowly crank the popcorn maker handle to coat the kernels in oil.
- Listen for popping: As the kernels heat up, they will start to pop. Listen for the first kernels to pop and continue cranking the handle while the popcorn is popping. This will help ensure that all the kernels pop evenly and keep them from burning.
- Wait for popping to slow down: Once popping gets to about 2-3 seconds between pops, crank one last time (if you can and the pot isn’t too full!) and remove the pot from the heat.
- Let it sit: Once the popping has stopped, let the popcorn sit for a minute or two to cool down slightly.
- Serve: Pour the popcorn into a bowl and add salt, butter, or even flavored seasonings.
Note: Be careful when handling the pot, as it can get hot during the popping process. Also, be sure to clean the pot thoroughly after each use.
Check out the Whirley Pop vintage stovetop popcorn maker with hand crank that you can make popcorn with!
Stovetop Popcorn Ideas
You can also add a lot of great flavorings to on stove popcorn, which makes it fun for a popcorn bar or family movie night popcorn ideas and party pop corns snacks!
Making Flavored Popcorn:
- Classic butter and salt: This is a classic way to enjoy popcorn. Melt some butter, let it cool slightly, and then pour it over the popcorn. Add some salt to taste and toss well to coat the popcorn evenly.
- Parmesan and garlic: Mix grated parmesan cheese with garlic powder. Sprinkle the mixture over the popcorn and toss well.
- Cinnamon sugar: Mix some sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the popcorn and toss well.
- Chocolate drizzle: Melt chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzle it over the popcorn. Sprinkle sea salt on top to balance the sweetness.
- Spicy and smoky: Mix chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin in a bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the popcorn and toss well.
- Old Bay: Add Old Bay seasoning and toss popcorn.
Recipe and Read for Kids: Popcorn Children’s Books and Popcorn Recipe
Since kids love popcorn making, make this a reading and eating project for children! These are fun recipe & read books to go along with the home made popcorn activity!
Popcorn Books For Kids
Popcorn themed books for preschoolers / toddlers and up:
- Tomie dePaola’s The Popcorn Book
- Popcorn (A Frank Asch Bear Book)
- Pop!: Otto, the Kernel Who Didn’t Pop
- Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn!
Here are some popcorn fun facts to share with kids while making this recipe:
How was the earliest recipe for popcorn was prepared?
The earliest known recipe for popcorn is believed to have been used by the indigenous people, specifically the Aztecs and the Incas. These recipes would have been very different from the modern methods used today.
One of the earliest methods for popping popcorn was to heat sand in a fire and then put the corn s in the hot sand until they popped. The popped kernels were then sifted out of the sand and enjoyed as a snack.
Another method involved cooking the kernels in a pot filled with hot ashes until they popped. The kernels were then shaken out of the pot and the unpopped kernels were put back into the ashes to cook further.
The use of oil to pop popcorn is believed to have originated in the 19th century. Popcorn was cooked in a cast-iron pot with oil or fat, and sugar or salt was added to make it more flavorful.
The first commercial popcorn machine was invented by Charles Cretors in the late 1800s. This machine used steam to pop the kernels and was a significant improvement over previous methods. The popularity of popcorn as a snack food exploded in the early 1900s and continues to be a favorite treat around the world today!
TRY THESE EASY POPCORN RECIPES FOR COOKED POPCORN AFTER LEARNING HOW TO MAKE STOVE POPCORN: