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Popping Tips

Do you know how to pop popcorn without a machine? How to save unpopped "old maids?" Here you'll find tips on getting the most out of every kernel of popcorn.

Stove Top PopperStove-Top Popping

To pop popcorn on a range-top, assemble the following:

  • A 3 to 4 quart pan with a loose lid that allows steam to escape
  • At least enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan, one kernel deep
  • 1/3 cup of oil for every cup of kernels (Don't use butter!)

Heat the oil to 400 - 460 degrees Fahrenheit (if the oil smokes, it is too hot). Test the oil on a couple of kernels. When they pop, add the rest of the popcorn, cover the pan and shake to evenly spread the oil. When the popping begins to slow, remove the pan from the stove-top. The heated oil will still pop the remaining kernels.


Pre-salting kernels toughens popcorn. So, salt the popcorn after it has been popped -- or skip salt altogether and add salt-free spices.

General Measure Rule

One (1) ounce of un-popped popcorn equals a quart popped.  Click on the next tab "Unpopped to popped" to find out more or click here to see the full infographic.