Can you Cook Microwave Popcorn on the Stove?

Many people who don’t own a commercial popcorn machine or microwave ask if you cook microwave popcorn on the stove. The good news is that you can! Popcorn doesn’t know whether it’s in the bag or stove.

It will come out as delicious from a stove if you follow the right recipe.

In this article, I have shared the recipe that you need for making popcorn on the stove. I have also included some tips so you can have the perfect popcorn every time.

Things you will need:

  1. A large saucepan or pot with a heavy lid.
  2. Potholders
  3. Vegetable or olive oil
  4. Salted butter (optional)
  5. Chili pepper oil (optional)
  6. Salt (optional)

Here is the step by step method of cooking popcorn at the stove.

1. Get a large pot for the popcorn. The pot should be at least big enough that you could cook pasta in it. Most people make the mistake of using a smaller pot because there aren’t a lot of popcorn in the bag. However, the kernels need space to pop.

Also, make sure that your pot has handles so that you can shake it easily.

2. Brush the bottom of the pot even with oil. You can use any kind of oil from vegetable oil to corn oil and wok oil. If you want an extra layer of flavor to your popcorn, you can add some chili pepper oil to the mix.

3. Open the microwave bag of popcorn. Pour all the kernels in the pot. Make sure that you don’t add too many kernels. It should cover the bottom of the pot in one layer. You can save the rest of the popcorn for later.

The kernels will be greasy and buttery, so you might want to use a spoon. Also, you can put some of the buttery parts in the pot.

4. Cover the pot with a lid. Most people get worried when they don’t hear the ‘pop’ immediately. However, don’t worry. It will take a minute or two before the kernels start to pop.

5. Once the popping sound gets regular, shake the pot back and forth. This will keep the popcorn from sticking to the bottom surface of the burner. Otherwise, all the popcorn will stick to the bottom and burn. You should shake the pot every 30 seconds.

Note: Use potholders before you touch the pot to shake it.  

6. Once the popping sounds finish, you can take the pot off the stove to check the popcorn. It depends on the brand of your popcorn as to how long it will take to pop. So, I will not state a specific time frame. You can probably smell the delicious aroma wafting around your kitchen.

Tips to Cook Microwave Popcorn on Stove


The timing is important for this one. If you leave your popped kernels on the stove for an extra minute, they will turn brown. Slight burning doesn’t affect food usually. However, when it comes to popcorns, even a slight brown color can leave a horrible burnt taste.

Un-popped Kernels

Also, if you have any un-popped kernels left in the pan, you can put them back on the stove. This is the best thing about cooking microwave popcorn on the stove. When you are cooking the bag in the microwave, some corn is left at the bottom of the bag. If you try to reheat the bag for another few minutes, it won’t pop the kernels. So, cooking on the stove can pop those kernels too.


Another thing that I’d like to add is the temperature. Instead of going into numbers, let’s talk in terms of low, medium and high. When you are cooking microwave popcorn on the stove, you can use any of the temperatures.

Size of Pot

It mostly depends on the size of your pot. When I experimented with a low flame burner, it took a lot of time to start popping. I would keep opening the lid after a few minutes to check, and this would let all the heat escape.

Coming back to low, medium and high heat. If you use medium heat, you will find that the popcorns will start popping very quickly. However, they might turn brown if you don’t keep an eye on them. So, unless you like to eat slightly burnt, brown popcorn, it is a good idea to use medium heat.

On medium heat, the popcorn will cook a little slowly, but it will be better than burning them.

Watch Out for Steam

When you open the lid to check the status of the popcorn, make sure that you don’t open the pot and let all the steam flow to your face. The steam that leaves a stove pot is very hot in temperature.  

It can damage the sensitive skin of the face. So, make sure that you stay away from the steam that comes out of the pot. The steam can be more hazardous than hot, boiling water.

Oil for Faster Popping

Another tip over here is to use canola or peanut oil to brush the bottom of the pot. This will speed up the cooking process.

Add Flavour

In the end, you can season the popcorn with extra flavorings like salt, paprika, pepper, Chinese salt, etc. You can also add a dash of unsalted melted butter to give the popcorn another layer of taste.

If you cook microwave popcorn on the stove, you will be able to add an extra swing of flavor. You can add some flavorings to the oil instead of sprinkling it on the top. If you use different pots, you can have different types of flavors ready at home.

Last Word

The recipe and tips are perfect to cook microwave popcorn on the stove. You can also use the same recipe and tips for cooking simple/stove corn.

So, your microwave popcorns cooked on the stove are ready! You will be able to make them in ten minutes depending on the quantity you have. Enjoy delicious popcorn!

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