How to Cook Popcorn on a Grill


If “anyone” can make popcorn in the microwave and “hardly anyone” makes popcorn on the stove, then what do you call someone who chooses to make popcorn on a grill? Maybe the Great Popcorn Houdini. To convince the naysayers who say that it cannot be done, bring out your bag of tricks—your popcorn grilling supplies, that is—and dazzle a spellbound crowd. Just be prepared for this tasty, grilled snack to pull its own disappearing act right before your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-by-12-by-3-inch foil pan, often called a lasagna pan
  • Vegetable oil
  • Fresh popcorn
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tongs
  • Melted butter or margarine
  • Salt
  • Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and onion powder (optional)
  • Check the thermometer on your grill, if you have one. It should register between 400 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit to pop corn. Otherwise, warm up your grill for a few minutes on a “medium” flame.

  • Pour 1/3 cup vegetable oil into a 10-by-12-by-3-inch foil pan. Rotate the pan until the oil is spread across the bottom. Cut a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the pan—and then a little more.

  • Place two or three kernels of popcorn in the foil pan. These kernels will serve as your “test kernels,” just as if you were popping corn on the stove. Cover the pan with the foil and set it on your grill. The foil should be loose, not taut.

  • Wait a few minutes for the kernels to pop. Then remove the pan from the grill, and pour 1 cup of kernels into the bottom of the pan. They will start to sizzle right away, so put the aluminum foil on top and set the pan on top of the grill.

  • Jostle the pan around the flame—just as you would do for stovetop popcorn—every few minutes with a pair of tongs. Remove the pan from the grill as soon as the popping stops so that you don’t burn the popcorn in the pan.

  • Drizzle the popcorn with melted butter or margarine and sprinkle with salt. Add some extra zip to your magic act by sprinkling the popcorn with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and onion powder, if you like.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you suspect that your popcorn might be stale because it’s not popping, don’t throw the bag away. The kernels might need moisture, so put them in an airtight container, sprinkle with a few dashes of water and shake the container gently. Let the kernels absorb the water for 24 hours and the popcorn should be rejuvenated and ready to pop with gusto.

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