This is one of those recipes people are always asking for. I regularly get calls from friends and neighbors who have had stove-top popcorn at my house and want to try it on their own. I even found myself in the bulk section of the health food store reciting it to a perfect stranger the other day. There I was, filling up my bag with popping corn minding my own business and before I knew it I was telling a woman about the three kernel technique.

ingredients for oil-popped stovetop popcorn

After that I realized that was a sign I should share it here. It is so easy and only takes a few minutes, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, using a heavy-bottomed pot is really important. It is really easy to burn the popcorn if you use a flimsy pot. Second, remember to start by adding the oil and test kernels to an unheated pot.After you put it on the heat, listen for the three pops. You’ll know that the oil is hot enough, but it won’t get too hot to burn the kernels or popcorn. Third, shaking the pot every 30 seconds or so will help the un-popped kernels fall back down to the bottom. Fourth, as soon as it slows down get it out of the pot and add the salt.


stovetop popcorn

Nutrition Bonus: This snack is whole grain, high fiber and only 54 calories per cup.

stove-top popcorn
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Prep Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes

Yield: 16 cups

Serving Size: 2 cups

Calories per serving: 30

Fat per serving: 3 g

Saturated fat per serving: 0 g

Carbs per serving: 1.5 g

Protein per serving: 0.25 g

Fiber per serving: 0 g

Sugar per serving: 0 g

Sodium per serving: 290 mg


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup popping corn kernels, plus 3 kernels, divided
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Pour oil into the bottom of a heavy-bottomed large saucepan or soup pot. Add 3 kernels corn, cover and place over medium-high heat.
  2. When the three kernels pop, add the remaining ½ cup kernels. Cover the pot and swirl to coat the kernels with oil. Return to the heat and cook, shaking the pan occasionally to redistribute the un-popped kernels to the bottom of the pot. Continue cooking until the popping slows to less than one pop in 4 seconds. Immediately pour the popcorn to a bowl and add salt.


0 mg Cholesterol, 0 g Added Sugars