How to Cook Microwave Popcorn in a Pan

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy lidded 5-qt. or larger saucepan

  • Vegetable oil

  • Salt (optional)

  • Melted butter (optional)

  • Potholders

You do not need a microwave to make microwave popcorn.

The only difference between microwaveable popcorn and whole kernels is the bag. If your microwave does not work, you can still make popcorn in a pan. This will work for both microwave popcorn and plain popcorn kernels.


Step 1

Pour enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan in an even coating.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Open the bag of microwave popcorn and dump the kernels into the saucepan. Only add enough corn to fill the pan in a single layer. If your popcorn bag has more, save it for a second popping.


Step 3

Turn the heat to medium heat and cover the pan.

Step 4

Listen as the pan, oil and popcorn heat. Place one hand on the lid of the pan and the other on the handle when you hear the popcorn begin to pop.


Step 5

Shake the pan across the burner of your stovetop while the popcorn is popping. Do not stop shaking or the kernels will burn. This popping process should take around a minute, depending on your brand of popcorn, according to Iowa State University Extension.

Step 6

Remove the pan from the heat once you no longer hear popcorn kernels pop or the popping slows significantly.


Step 7

Remove the lid from the pan and serve the popcorn. The flavorings and oils from the bag should have already flavored the popcorn in the pan. Optionally add salt and melted butter to taste.


High smoke point oils like peanut or canola can improve popping success.


Use potholders to avoid burns.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...