Can You Pop Microwave Popcorn on the Stove? (Answered)

Categorized as Microwave
Microwave Popcorn on The Stove

You want to satisfy your popcorn craving, but there’s just one problem: your microwave is on the fritz. So, you decide to turn to the trusty old stove for help. But wait, how exactly do you pop popcorn on the stove? Do you need special popping kernels? How much oil should you use? Suddenly, the task seems daunting and time-consuming.

Don’t worry, with a little know-how and some basic kitchen equipment, it’s quite easy to pop your microwave popcorn on the stove. In this article, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about popping popcorn on the stove, including how long it takes and some helpful tips to make your popcorn perfect every time.

Can You Pop Microwave Popcorn on the Stove?

Yes, you can pop microwave popcorn on the stove. Although it takes a bit more effort and time than using a microwave, it’s still incredibly easy to make. In literally three simple steps, you can have the perfect bowl of stovetop popcorn: turn on your stove, add the oil and add the popcorn. That’s it!

There is one advantage to making your popcorn on the stove that you won’t get from a microwave. They taste good in the way that microwave popcorn never will. The oil is what sets stovetop popcorn apart. It lends a satisfying savoriness to every bite and makes a delicious kettle-corn flavour.

Any oil should work for popping your popcorn on the stove, though some are better than others. For example, coconut oil has a high smoke point and adds a delicious flavour to your popcorn. Alternatively, you can use vegetable oil or even olive oil for a healthier option. My favourite is extra virgin oil, which by far gives me the best-tasting popcorn.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Popcorn on the Stove?

It all depends on the size of your batch. If you’re using 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels, it only takes about 4 minutes for them to fully pop. Of course, be sure to keep an eye on them and give the pot a shake every so often to prevent burning.

For larger batches, add 4 more minutes for every additional cup of kernels you use. So, if you’re using 1/2 cup of kernels, expect your popcorn to take 8 minutes in total. Remember this is just a general guideline though.

The best way to know when your popcorn is ready to eat is to listen to the popping kernels. When you hear the popping slow to 2 to 3 seconds apart, remove the pot from the heat immediately. If you let the popcorn continue to cook past this point, you risk burning your kernels and ruining your popcorn

How to Pop Microwave Popcorn on the Stove

Now is the time to get cooking! Here are a few simple steps to follow when trying to pop microwave popcorn on the stove:

  1. Put the oil of your choice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add 2 popcorn kernels to the pot. We will use these kernels as an indicator of when the oil is hot enough.
  3. Cover with a lid and wait for the popcorn kernels to pop.
  4. Once the kernels have popped, turn off the stove burner and remove the pan from heat and pour in the remaining popcorn kernels.
  5. Cover the pan again and give the pot a good shake to distribute the oil and kernels evenly.
  6. Let the pan rest for about 1 minute before placing it back over the heat.
  7. After 1 minute, turn the stove back on to medium heat and place the pan on the burner.
  8. As the kernels start to pop, shake the pan occasionally to ensure that the kernels don’t burn and tip the lid just a bit to let some steam escape.
  9. When you hear the popping slow down to just a few seconds apart, remove the pan from the heat immediately and pour the popcorn into a large bowl.
  10. Season with salt, pepper, or your preferred seasoning and enjoy!

Some Tips for Making Popcorn on the Stove

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you make the perfect bowl of stovetop popcorn every time:

  1. Be sure to use a good, heavy-bottomed saucepan. This will help to distribute the heat evenly and prevent your popcorn from burning.
  2. Don’t crank the heat up too high. Keep your stove burner on medium heat to ensure that the oil doesn’t start to smoke and burn, which will leave your popcorn with a bitter and burnt taste.
  3. Start with two kernels. To gauge how hot your oil is, add two kernels to the pan and wait until they pop before adding in the rest of your popcorn kernels. The most important step is to give the pan a 1 minute rest time before putting it back on the heat. This will prime the kernels while preventing the oil from burning.
  4. Tip your lid just a bit to let some steam escape. This will help prevent soggy popcorn and help the kernels to release any excess moisture they might have.
  5. Tip overflowing kernels out of the pot right away. If the popcorn starts to spill out of the pot, just take the lid off, tip the excess kernels out, close the lid again and continue cooking.

How to Store Leftover Popcorn and Reheat Them

It may seem like popcorn is a pretty low-maintenance snack, but did you know that improper storage can turn it from delicious to downright gross?

That’s because, unlike most other foods, popcorn doesn’t spoil or go rancid – instead, its moisture level changes over time, causing it to become stale and tasteless. So how do you keep your popcorn at the perfect level of crispy goodness?

First, make sure to store it in an airtight container. Allow the popcorn to come at room temperature before sealing it away to prevent moisture from forming inside the container.

Next, choose a cool and dry place to keep it – try avoiding places near heat sources or areas with high humidity. It’s also important to consume your popcorn within two weeks for optimal freshness.

If you want to extend the shelf life of your popcorn even longer, storing it in the freezer can do wonders for prolonging its freshness. To keep it freezer-ready, make sure to store the popcorn in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag to prevent freezer burn.

As a side note, you should never store popcorn in the refrigerator. The cold, humid environment of a refrigerator can make the kernels go stale even faster.

When you want to eat your popcorn, you can eat them right from the freezer, or let them thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Some people like to reheat their popcorn in the oven to bring back that crave-able, crispy texture – just be sure to keep a close eye on them as frozen popcorn is dryer and more prone to burning.

5 Creative Ways to Enjoy Popcorn

Did you know that there are tons of different ways to enjoy popcorn? That’s right, folks! Popcorn is not just a one-dimensional snack. There are countless ways to prepare and enjoy this timeless treat. Here are 5 creative ways to enjoy popcorn.

1. Add a little sweetness. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and salty, try adding a little sugar or chocolate to your popcorn. This simple combination will elevate your popcorn-eating experience to new heights.

2. Melt on the Butter. Butter makes everything better, including popcorn. Simply melt some butter and pour it over your popcorn for an added layer of flavour.

3. Spice it up. If you like your snacks with a little bit of heat, try spicing up your popcorn with chili powder, cayenne pepper, or any other spices you like. This is a great way to jazz up boring old popcorn and make it more exciting.

4. Say cheese. Another great way to dress up your popcorn is by adding cheese. Whether you use grated Parmesan, shredded cheddar, or any other type of cheese, this will take your popcorn to the next level.

5. Toss in Some Mix-Ins. For a truly unique popcorn experience, try adding some mix-ins to your popped corn. Anything from chopped nuts and dried fruit to candy pieces and pretzels will work great here. Get creative and have fun with it!


If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make popcorn without a microwave, popping them on the stove is definitely the way to go. Whether you like your popcorn plain, salted, or flavoured with melted butter and seasonings, there are plenty of delicious recipes to explore.

With a little bit of experimentation, you’re sure to find your perfect stovetop popcorn recipe. So why wait? Go ahead and pop some delicious popcorn on the stove, and enjoy your favourite snack any time you want!

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!