July 8, 2013

Stove Top Popcorn {Kid-friendly recipe}


Stove Top Popcorn

My son LOVES popcorn – it’s one of our favorite family snacks. I love making stove top popcorn because we know what’s in it. Microwave popcorn is convenient, but after making the switch to stove top popcorn, we can’t imagine going back – it just tastes so much better than the stuff you microwave. And I won’t get on any soapbox but the microwave stuff is filled with chemicals.

Popcorn choking hazard – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids should be at least 4-years old before eating popcorn due it’s choking hazards – did you know it’s one of the top choking foods? Please use your best judgement when feeding your kids popcorn. Even my son who is nearly 6 is always supervised when eating popcorn – just in case!


The ingredients are so simple!


1/2 Cup whole kernels, I like to buy in bulk

2 teaspoon canola oil (or vegetable oil, coconut oil)

1/2 teaspoon salt (or more if you’d like)

Melted butter to taste

You’ll also need a stove top pan with a lid.


1.) Pour your canola oil into a pan, over medium-high heat


2.) Once the oil is hot, pour in your kernels and your salt.


3.) Stir the popcorn kernels around with a wooden spoon to evenly coat them all


4.) Put a lid on the pan. I have a pan with a vented lid – which is nice because you’ll have a lot of steam as the kernels pop.

5.) Shake pan periodically while kernels heat up. When they start popping you shouldn’t need to shake as much – just be careful not to burn the kernels. It might take a few times on the stove to figure out the heat and your particular stove. But it’s worth mastering!

6.) Pour into a bowl and add melted butter.


What’s your favorite seasoning for popcorn? 

This recipe is part of our kid-friendly recipe series. If you send in a recipe and we feature it here on the blog you’ll earn a $10 Amazon gift card. Get the details for sending in your recipe here.

Other kid-friendly recipes we’ve featured:


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  1. Jennifer says

    I LOVE homemade popcorn! I used to make it on my stove until DH bought me a Whirly Pop! He was tired of hearing the pan shake on the glass top. I keep microwave popcorn in the house but if I am gonna make popcorn, I make my own! Tastes way better than microwave!

  2. Deborah Durkee says

    I used coconut oil and it was so good. When making it, I was thinking of your popcorn ball recipe, but didn’t want the temptation of a whole batch. So when I dumped the popcorn out of the pan, I put a small amount of karo syrup and a sprinkle of dry Hawaiian punch sugar free drink mix in the pan, swirled and poured it over the popped corn. So good I ate it all!

  3. I buy popcorn butter/oil to pop it in. Also have a glass top stove but I’m just extra careful. My husband sys it’s the only way to have popcorn now. He was addicted to microwave till I started making mine.

  4. Lisa Johnson says

    The only possible thing i could add to this post is using ORGANIC CORN KERNELS if at all possible.. Corn is a huge GMO food in fact while we are on the subject. I recommend to google the following: the dirty dozen & the clean 15. This will give you the best list(s) of what fruits & veggies you should buy organic and which ones you can safely purchase conventional. This will save u $$$!

    you can go to this to purchase organic kernels… Trader Joes used to have them but now they don’t. Im mad at ’em now!

  5. celia husmann says

    We use coconut oil, and it makes it taste almost sweet, like kettle corn! 🙂 Popcorn is very dangerous though, you are right. My father (who is a family physician) has warned me many times about the dangers. As crazy as that sounds.

  6. Brooke Kingston says

    Oops. Forgot to add…storing popcorn kernels in the freezer really helps them pop up light and fluffy! We are totally obsessed with popcorn in our house…sorry for the multiple geek posts! 😉

  7. Brooke Kingston says

    The best stovetop popcorn in the world starts with coconut oil and finishes with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. My kids can’t get enough. I,love my Whirly Pop popcorn popper! Totally agree with the popcorn choking hazard…and am always shocked at the number of folks who don’t know about the AAP’s recommendation. Thanks for the great recipe and reminder, Heather!

  8. oh i miss stovetop popcorn. we have a glasstop stove now and you aren’t supposed to shake pans on it. I’ve been wanting to try to make some with a small dab of coconut oil.

  9. We live on the East Coast, so Old Bay on popcorn is our favorite!

  10. Kettle Corn is also very easy on the stove. 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup popcorn kernels, put oil in pot once it is hot pure in sugar and, popcorn kernels, cover with lid. Once it starts popping shake the pot, keep shaking when done popping remove from stove, shake more, then pour into bowl let cool and then break up popcorn. Very yummy!

  11. We love popcorn too! I have a stove top popper, and it works really well. It’s on its last leg tho, so I’m glad to have an alternative when it dies.
    I also second the choking hazard thing. I used to work in a day care, and we had our licensor visit us once when we were giving the older kids (3 and up) popcorn for snack. Lets just say we had BIG trouble. Even some parents were upset, too, even tho it was clearly posted what snack for the day was. I’m always in the room when my son, 5 is eating it, and my daughter will not be allowed to have any til she’s at least 3, maybe 4.

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