Cooking Microwave Popcorn on the Stove: Tips and Tricks

Cooking Microwave Popcorn on the Stove: Tips and Tricks

Do you wish to get a delicious snack without using your microwave? You’re in luck! This article explains how to make mouth-watering stove-top popcorn with just the right crunchiness. Learn how to elevate your palate with a simple, stove-top cooking technique that will have you munching on popcorn in no time.


Popcorn is a delicious snack beloved by many. It’s not only good as a movie night treat, but also as an anytime snack. Many people opt to cook popcorn in their microwave, but you might be wondering if it’s possible to cook popcorn on the stove. The answer is yes! Stovetop popcorn can be cooked just as easily and comes out with a delicious flavor.

This guide will walk you through the process of how to make stovetop popcorn so that you can enjoy a tasty snack any time you want:

What is Microwave Popcorn?

Microwave popcorn is a convenience food consisting of corn kernels coated with a specialized oil and flavorings developed to be cooked in an ordinary home microwave oven. The heated popcorn is ready to eat in as little as two to three minutes. Microwave popcorn has since become a popular snack around the world, served with varying ingredients or flavorings depending on regional and cultural preferences.

Microwave popcorn is distinguished from other types of popped corn by having pre-mixed additives already included in the packet or bag, such as oil and salt or other seasonings, flavored coatings, artificial colors or flavors. The corn kernels are heat-treated for optimal “popability”, usually with a combination of steam heat and microwave energy; some products use only one source of heat energy or the other. The packets are designed to expand from the heat generated by microwaves, creating steam pockets within the kernel that eventually burst due to pressure created inside.

Can You Cook Microwave Popcorn on the Stove?

Making popcorn on the stove has been a long-time favorite method of making this popular snack. Usually, all it takes is popping kernels in a large pot with lid, some oil or butter, and a little bit of patience for the perfect salty snack.

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However, there have been many questions about whether it’s possible to make microwave popcorn on the stove. The answer is yes, but it’s important to understand that microwave popcorn comes with instructions based on a specific heat source – the oven.

The instructions list the exact temperature and time that are required in order to get properly-popped kernels and without following these strict guidelines you could end up with burned or undercooked popcorn.

To make microwave popcorn on the stove you will need:

  • one tablespoon of oil (or butter) per cup of popcorn
  • a pot with lid that can handle tight seals and at least 3 inches (7 cm) deep for each cup of uncooked kernels.

First put your oil into your pot and let it get hot before adding your kernels – once hot reduce heat to medium or lower so that popping slows down but doesn’t stop completely.

Shake pan occasionally so that all sides are evenly exposed to heat then add ¼ teaspoon salt for flavor if desired – allow about 30 seconds shaking until popping slows down then remove from heat immediately after so as not to burn them as ill-timed ‘poppings’ occur every second until finished cooking.

Allow this procedure 3 minutes approximately before stirring in butter while still warmish – an alternate method may be pre-buttered corn by adding butter before adding kernels directly onto heated butter surface inside warm pan followed by a low setting simmering temperature indicator; wait until most of the ‘popcorning’ finishes then remove from heat immediately when done – good luck!

Advantages of Cooking Microwave Popcorn on the Stove

Cooking microwave popcorn on the stovetop can offer home chefs several advantages. Stovetop popcorn allows for better control over the cooking process, allowing for a more even and consistent finished product. This is especially advantageous if you’re making custom flavored popcorn for large gatherings. Additionally, cooking microwave popcorn on the stovetop eliminates the need for artificial preservatives that are often found in pre-packaged, microwavable popcorn options.

Cooking on the stove also has its own unique flavor – it’s considered to be slightly sweeter to those accustomed to packaged brands of regular microwave popcorn, and retains more of its crunch than microwaved varieties. Finally, with electric stoves becoming more commonplace in many households, there is less wasted energy when using a gas flame to cook your popcorn.

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Regardless of whether you decide to make regular or flavored microwave popcorn on the stovetop, it’s important to remember that it can easily be overcooked if not paid attention to properly. Be sure to monitor your progress closely and stir frequently for optimal results!

Disadvantages of Cooking Microwave Popcorn on the Stove

Cooking microwave popcorn on the stove may seem convenient, but there are several major drawbacks to this approach. Although it is possible to make your own popcorn on the stove using plain kernels or oil, the finished product will not pop as quickly or as consistently as traditional microwave popcorn with pre-measured packets.

In addition, without the pre-measured packets, there’s a greater chance that you’ll add too much oil or seasoning, resulting in an overly salty and greasy snack. Stovetop popcorn also carries a higher risk of scorching or burning; it may take some practice to properly gauge the temperature and cooking time needed for each batch.

Finally, unlike microwaving where you can just push a button and walk away until it’s done cooking, stovetop popcorn requires tending to during the cooking process. The cook must constantly watch and stir the popcorn so it doesn’t burn – over large batches this can become very labor intensive.

How to Cook Microwave Popcorn on the Stove

Popcorn cooked on the stovetop is not only a simple and delicious snack, but it is also an economical way to enjoy popcorn. While microwavable popcorn is convenient, it can be expensive, and most microwave-ready bags are not environmentally friendly. Cooking popcorn on the stove is an easy, healthy and cost-effective alternative.

Cooking microwave popcorn on the stove can be as simple as adding oil or butter to a pot as well as popcorn kernels, covering it with a lid and then heating it over medium heat until you start hearing popping. However, depending on the type of oil used, the stovetop method can take some time to master. For example, when using oil with a high smoking point such as vegetable or peanut oil, you’ll need to turn up the heat slowly in order to prevent burning while still allowing enough time for all of your kernels to pop properly. On the other hand if you’re using tallow or lard which has a very low smoking point you have to turn down the heat after adding your kernels so they don’t burn before they pop.

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Popcorn should be added gradually – about 1 cup at a time – and stirred quickly for about 30 seconds after each addition so that no kernels are stuck together. Once all of your popcorn has been added, shake the pan vigorously immediately before covering it with a lid slightly tilted open (this will allow steam from within the pan to escape). The steam released in this manner helps keep your popped corn light and fluffy without becoming soggy after cooling off. After about 2 minutes most of the kernels should have popped; just remove from heat and add seasonings such as salt or sugar before serving once cooled down sufficiently.

Tips for Cooking Microwave Popcorn on the Stove

Although it may not be as convenient or efficient, you can cook microwave popcorn on the stove. When cooking microwave popcorn on the stove, you need to use caution, since the popcorn kernels can potentially burst and pop during the cooking process. Here are several tips for how to cook microwave popcorn on the stove:

  • Choose a pot that is large enough for all of your popcorn kernels to fit loosely in a single layer with several inches of room at the top.
  • Add a small amount of oil or butter (no more than one tablespoon) to prevent sticking and burning.
  • Pour your popcorn kernels into the pot and place it over medium heat. Shake the pan occasionally to redistribute the kernels and avoid burning.
  • Continue to cook until most of the popping has ceased (about four minutes). At this time, remove it from heat and pour into a bowl before serving.
  • To add flavor, you can add melted butter, salt or other seasoning once popped.


Overall, it is not recommended to cook microwave popcorn on the stove as it can be potentially dangerous. Microwave popcorn is designed in a way that only works in a microwave, and using it on a stove could potentially lead to an unsafe situation with fire or burns.

Instead, when conventional popping on the stove is desired, use kernels and appropriate oil or butter to create popcorn at home safely.

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