Can You Cook Microwave Popcorn in the Oven? Myth or Reality?

Categorized as Microwave Cooking
Can You Cook Microwave Popcorn in the Oven

What’s everyone’s favorite snack? If you guessed popcorn, you’d be right! Popcorn is a classic snack that’s loved by both kids and adults alike. But what if you don’t have a microwave to make your popcorn? Is it possible to make popcorn in the oven? I’ll explore this interesting topic and provide some useful tips for how to successfully cook popcorn.

Can You Cook Microwave Popcorn in the Oven?

Believe it or not, you can cook microwave popcorn in an oven. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t the best option when making popcorn. When heated in an oven, you’ll risk drying out or even burning your popcorn. Therefore, I don’t recommend cooking pre-made microwave popcorn in an oven.

The reason why cooking microwave popcorn in an oven is a bad idea is that it doesn’t heat up the kernels quickly enough. Unlike the microwave or stovetop, which uses intense heat to quickly pop the kernels, the oven heats up more slowly.

While for some foods, this slow and steady approach is favorable, it’s not the case when it comes to making popcorn. By the time the oven has heated up enough to pop the kernels, they will have already been dried out or even burned.

For best results when cooking popcorn, it’s always better to stick with the traditional methods like using a stovetop or microwave (read more: The Ultimate Guide to Microwave Popcorn).

How To Cook Popcorn in the Oven

Although this method is the least favorable when it comes to making popcorn, if you’re still intent on using the oven, there’s still a way to do it. Here’re the steps for how to make popcorn in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Place popcorn kernels in an oven-safe dish.
  3. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and poke several holes in it so the steam can escape.
  4. Place the dish in the oven and let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the kernels have all popped.
  5. Carefully remove the dish from the oven and season your popcorn as desired. Enjoy!

Tips For Making Popcorn in the Oven

When it comes to making popcorn in the oven, there are a few key tips that you should keep in mind. Here are my top tips for successfully making microwave popcorn in the oven:

1. Use a shallow oven dish with high sides to prevent kernels from spilling out

The first tip is to use an oven-safe dish with high sides. This will help keep the kernels contained and prevent them from spilling out as they pop. Avoid using a baking sheet or shallow dish, as the kernels will be more likely to escape and pop around inside your oven, making a big mess.

2. Hear out for the popping sound to determine when your popcorn is done

You will know your popcorn is done when you start to hear fewer popping sounds coming from your oven. Don’t let the popcorn stay in the oven for too long. Be sure to take out any unpopped kernels before they burn.

3. Consider adding some oil or butter to your popcorn

Normally, you don’t need to add oil to microwave popcorn as the popcorn itself already contains some oil. However, when using the oven, you may want to consider adding a bit of oil to help keep it from drying

4. Remove all the popped popcorn from the oven before trying to pop the uncooked kernels

It’s more than likely that some of the kernels won’t pop in the oven. To avoid burning them, make sure to remove all the popped popcorn first before trying to pop any uncooked kernels.

5. Don’t try to cook the unpopped kernels for too long or they will burn

Still related to the last tip, when trying to pop any unpopped kernels, don’t let them stay in the oven for too long. Keep an eye on them and remove them as soon as they start to pop. If you let them stay in the oven for too long, they will burn and become inedible.

The Traditional Way Is Still The Best Way To Make Popcorn

At the end of the day, cooking pre-made microwave popcorn in an oven isn’t really an ideal solution. While cooking popcorn in the oven is possible, it’s not always going to yield the best results. For best results, stick with the traditional methods like using a stovetop or microwave.

Here’s a quick guide for how to make popcorn on the stovetop and in the microwave:

Cooking Popcorn on the Stovetop 

This is likely the most well-known method for making popcorn—and it’s still an incredibly popular way to enjoy a batch of fresh-popped kernels. To begin, add a few tablespoons of oil (vegetable or canola oil works best) to a large pot and turn your stove to medium-high heat.

Place two or three kernels into the pot and cover it with a lid. Shake the pot occasionally as you wait for all of the kernels to pop—this will help ensure that all of your popcorn pops evenly. Once the popping has slowed down, remove it from the heat and transfer your freshly popped popcorn into a bowl! 

Making Popcorn in the Microwave 

This is probably one of the quickest ways to make popcorn. First, place a bag of pre-made microwave popcorn in the microwave and set the timer for two to three minutes. Hear out for the popping sound and be sure to keep an eye on your microwave.

When the popping starts to slow down, remove the bag from the microwave but don’t open it yet! Allow the bag to cool for one minute before opening it and pouring your popcorn into a bowl.

Seasoning Your Popcorn 

If you’re like me, you’re probably getting tired of the same old, boring popcorn seasoning options. If so, then don’t worry! I’ve got some amazing ideas to help you spice up your microwave popcorn game. 

Nacho Popcorn

Who says nachos are just for dinner? For this delicious option, mix 1/4 cup melted butter with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder and 2 tablespoons taco seasoning together in a bowl. Drizzle the mixture over your already popped popcorn.

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

Craving something sweet? Well, this one is for you! Mix together 3 tablespoons melted butter with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a bowl. Drizzle the mixture over your already popped popcorn and enjoy! This one is perfect for an after-dinner treat. 

Italian Herb Popcorn

Love Italian food but don’t have time to make dinner? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Mix together 1/4 cup melted butter with 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon basil and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary in a bowl. Drizzle the mixture over your already popped popcorn.


Whether you’re making microwaved popcorn or fresh homemade popcorn on your stove or in an oven, it’s always fun to enjoy this delicious snack! While it is possible to cook pre-made microwave popcorn in an oven, it’s not recommended as they tend to dry out or burn quickly.

A better option is to use the stovetop or microwave method described above for creating fresh, homemade popcorn that tastes delicious. Enjoy!

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!