Perfect Homemade Popcorn — 5 Ways

This post may contain affiliate links.Do you crave popcorn but want to move past the junk in the microwave pouches? Try making your own popcorn at home! It is easy, inexpensive, healthier (none of the processed junk), and you can top it with whatever you like. This popcorn recipe makes the perfect bowl at home, and includes 5 delicious toppings to try! Movie night will never be the same!

Perfect Homemade Popcorn — 5 Ways

There is nothing in the world like the smell of fresh, homemade popcorn.  It is so good and brings back memories of family movie night.

The store-bought microwave popcorn—you know, the ones that are basically hot steam bombs ready to burn your hand as you attempt to open them—don’t come close to making popcorn yourself.

Sure, the microwave stuff comes in a range of “butter” flavor from no butter at all to a movie-theater style butter explosion.  However, some of these microwave popcorn companies don’t even use butter.  They use butter flavor derived from partially hydrogenated oil and artificial flavoring.  Um…yuck.

You have to really read labels to find popcorn that actually uses real ingredients, like this one.

But you could make it yourself anytime, and enjoy a flavor and texture that far surpasses even the best microwave brands.  Plus, you can top it with a little (or a lot) of real butter to suit your tastes.  I like to make popcorn with coconut oil because it is heart-healthy, stands up well to high heat, and is delicious.

It is time to ditch the microwave mystery bags and start making your own popcorn!  I promise you will love it, especially if you take the plunge to try some of the more popular popcorn toppings that we love at our house.

Let’s get started!

This recipe makes a good size bowl of popcorn that my husband and I can easily devour during movie night, however, it is officially 4 servings.  If you are making popcorn for a bigger crowd, be sure to use a pan big enough to hold all the popcorn, and simply double the recipe.

Simple, perfect popcorn.

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Ingredients

1 tsp coconut oil

1/4 cup popcorn kernels — these are the best kind, trust me

2 tbsp melted butter (or more or less if that’s what you like…however, this is the sweet spot for me)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Melt the coconut oil in a medium sized sauce pan on medium-high heat (my stove top is labeled 1-10, and I always make popcorn on level 8).   Once the oil is melted, add the popcorn and cover.

Let the pot sit on the heating element until the popping starts.

Action shot! Keep that popcorn moving!

Action shot! Keep that popcorn moving!

Once you hear the first few pops, pick up the pot handle and toss the popcorn in the oil (it’s the same motion as flipping a pancake).  The idea is that you don’t want a popped kernel to sit in the hot oil and burn, so you have to keep the popcorn moving.  Yes, this is kind of a workout, but it is worth it—keep that pot moving!  Work over the heat, setting the pot down occasionally (if you have an electric stove) to keep the temperature up.   If you have gas, just keep the bottom of the pot in the flames!

Take the pot immediately off the heat as soon as there is two seconds between pops and/or you don’t hear any more kernels swirling around at the bottom of the pot.

Don’t burn the popcorn!  When in doubt, take it off the heat!

Top the popcorn with melted butter before adding salt and pepper (it will stick to the butter). 

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Serve and enjoy!

Alternate toppings!

Buttery Salted Caramel

2 tbsp butter, melted in the microwave

3  tbsp caramel topping, like this stuff

salt to taste

Mix the caramel syrup into the hot butter until homogenous.  Make the popcorn as directed, then top with the butter caramel sauce and salt to taste.  Enjoy!

Rosemary and Parmesan

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1 tsp rosemary

2 tbsp butter

After preparing popcorn, top with butter.  Then sprinkle with a mixture of the grated parmesan and rosemary so the cheese sticks to the butter.  Mmmmmm!

Old Bay

2 tbsp butter

old bay to taste

Prepare popcorn as directed, then top with butter and sprinkle with old bay.  Enjoy on a movie night in the summertime!

Sweet & Salty Chocolate

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Prepare popcorn as directed, top with butter and salt to taste, then throw in a handful of chocolate chips or chocolate candies (like m&ms).  Enjoy this movie theater classic!

one large bowl

Perfect Homemade Popcorn — 5 Ways

Alternate toppings!

Salted Caramel butter

2 tbsp butter, melted in the microwave 3 3 tbsp caramel topping, like this stuff salt to taste

Mix the caramel syrup into the hot butter until homogenous. Make the popcorn as directed, then top with the butter caramel sauce and salt to taste. Enjoy!

Rosemary and parmesan

1/4 cup grated parmesan 1 tsp rosemary 2 tbsp butter After preparing popcorn, top with butter. Then sprinkle with a mixture of the grated parmesan and rosemary so the cheese sticks to the butter. Mmmmmm!

Old Bay 2 tbsp butter old bay to taste Prepare popcorn as directed, then top with butter and sprinkle with old bay. Enjoy on a movie night in the summertime!

Sweet & Salty Chocolate

1/4 cup chocolate chips Prepare popcorn as directed, top with butter and salt to taste, then throw in a handful of chocolate chips or chocolate candies (like m&ms). Enjoy this movie theater cult classic!

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp melted butter, or more or less to taste
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a medium sized sauce pan on medium-high heat (my stove top is labelled 1-10, and I always make popcorn on level 8). Once the oil is melted, add the popcorn and cover.
  2. Let the pot sit on the heating element until the popping starts.
  3. Once you hear the first few pops, pick up the pot handle and toss the popcorn in the oil (it’s the same motion as flipping a pancake). The idea is that you don’t want a popped kernel to sit in the hot oil and burn, so you have to keep the popcorn moving. Yes, this is kind of a workout, but it is worth it—keep that pot moving! Work over the heat, setting the pot down occasionally (if you have an electric stove) to keep the temperature up. If you have gas, just keep the bottom of the pot in the flames!
  4. Take the pot immediately off the heat as soon as there is two seconds between pops and/or you don’t hear any more kernels swirling around at the bottom of the pot.
  5. Don’t burn the popcorn! When in doubt, take it off the heat!
  6. Top the popcorn with melted butter before adding salt and pepper (the salt will stick to the butter).
  7. Serve and enjoy!
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