This is going to shock a whole bunch of people, but I don’t have a microwave.
I just don’t get it. What can a microwave do that I can’t do with a toaster oven and a stove except take up counter space? If any of you have lived in city apartments, you know counter space is a premium. When I did have a microwave I mostly used it for reheating coffee, so when I later had to economize, I chose the toaster oven. Reheating leftovers, making toast, and baking are actual functions that a toaster oven does better than a microwave. That being said, there are a couple of things I needed to figure out, and one of those was popcorn.
Fortunately for all of us, homemade stovetop popcorn is cheaper, more natural, and better tasting than any bag off the shelves. All you need is a pot, some oil, the kernels, salt, and about 15 minutes to have one of the best snacks on the planet.
Avoiding Chewiness in Homemade Popcorn
The main issue for homemade popcorn chefs is chewiness. When steam is trapped in the pot as the kernels pop, the moisture can lead to a really chewy and unpleasant mouthfeel. It’s super easy to avoid, though.
- Use a well ventilated lid or one with a steam escape vent.
- Prop the lid open slightly while the kernals pop.
- As soon as the kernals are done popping, remove the lid completely.
- Serve and/or store in paper bags that will absorb moisture.
Tips for the Best Homemade Stovetop Popcorn Every Time
Aside from keeping the moisture out of your popcorn, there are a few other general tips about storing and cooking your snacky snack that will give you that crunch you’re craving every single time.
Store your kernels correctly. We already know moisture is a problem for popcorn, right? Store the kernels in an airtight container away from damp areas. If you store them correctly, they will keep indefinitely.
Use the right kind of pot. A lighter-weight pan or pot that has a lid and can accommodate the amount of popcorn you want when it’s fully popped is key. If you use a heavier-weight pot, it’s going to be hard to handle and can lead to more unpoppable kernels.
Use the right kind of oil. For this snack, you want to use a neutral oil with a higher smoke point. Some common and great options are coconut, avocado, and vegetable oil. I have also honestly used olive oil in a pinch, and it works, just has a more discernible flavor.
Best Seasoning Blends for Homemade Popcorn
For your baseline homemade stovetop popcorn, you really just need salt. However, there are a million ways you can make this your own, and y’all KNOW I love it when you personalize! Here are a few of my favorite, crowd-pleasing seasoning blends to add after you salt your freshly popped popcorn.
- Churro: blend equal parts cinnamon and sugar, then toss to coat
- Garlice Parmesan: blend 1/3 cup grated parmesan with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, then toss to coat
- The Bad Wife Favorite: sprinkle your popcorn with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Why don’t you round out the snack buffet and make these other tasty Bad Wife favorites?
For more photos of this recipe and all the other homemaking projects I’m doing, including recipes, knitting patterns, and other fun stuff, find me on Instagram!
Homemade Stovetop Popcorn
- Pan or pot with lid
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernals
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat your pot uncovered over medium-high heat. Allow your pot to get hot, but not scorch or burn.
- Once the pan is warmed up, add the oil. Allow the oil to warm for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the popcorn kernals and close the lid. Leave the lid slightly ajar on the pot if it does not have a ventilation hole.
- Wait for the popcorn to pop. When there is about 3-4 seconds between pops, remove the pot from the heat.
- With the lid on, give the pot a good, final shake, then remove the lid.
- Salt the popcorn and add any extra seasonings, melted butter, or other flavors, and toss to coat.