How to Pop Popcorn Without a Microwave

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Popcorn was a favorite snack in America long before it became a standard movie theater treat or came packaged in microwaveable bags. It starts as golden kernels, which pop into fluffy white balls when heated. Some people prefer the taste of "original" popcorn, without the artificial ingredients, cooked the old-fashioned way: right over the stove.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-qt. stainless steel pot with lid
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tbsp. cooking oil
  • Pour the measured oil into the bottom of the pot.

  • Measure out the popcorn kernels and pour them into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and put it on the stove over medium or medium-high heat.

  • Hover around the pot to listen to the popping sounds, which should begin in a few minutes. Take the handle of the pot and shake it occasionally so that the popcorn doesn't stick and burn, and each kernel is heated evenly.

  • Listen for when there are three to five seconds between popcorn pops. If you're making a lot of popcorn, you may also notice the popcorn actually pushing the lid off the pot. Immediately turn off the heat and put the pot on an unused burner to cool off for a minute or two.

  • Take off the lid and add your choice of seasoning. Add salt, pepper or even chili powder to give the popcorn some zesty flavor. Place the lid back on and shake it. Remove the lid and pour the popcorn into a big bowl so you can enjoy it. Drizzle melted butter over the popcorn, if you desire.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you smell the popcorn burning, take it off the heat immediately.

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