Get your popcorn fix with this easy-to-follow, homemade popcorn recipe. Learn how to make popcorn on the stove, in an instant pot, or in the microwave. I’ll teach you how to make movie theater popcorn at home with two “secret” ingredients and it’ll be ready in less than 10 minutes!
Why This Recipe Works
If you can’t get to the movie theater or you want to bring that movie theater experience home to you, this is a quick and easy way to make popcorn at home.
Super crisp popcorn. Using ghee guarantees that the popcorn doesn’t get soggy or stale-tasting.
Movie theater-quality! If you have a huge soft spot for that big tub of popcorn, you are going to be in disbelief that you can make it at home. The combination of a couple of special ingredients helps make this happen (read below!).
Quick! Grab your ingredients and in less than 10 minutes you’ll be on the couch with your bowl of popcorn.
Ingredients You’ll Need
CoconutOil: This is the secret ingredient in movie theater popcorn – they pop their kernels in coconut oil! It has a high smoking point, which helps deliver that crisp popcorn and signature flavor. If you need a substitute, reach for vegetable, canola, or peanut oil.
Popcorn Salt: This specialty ingredient is superfine, which enables it to be infused into each kernel. I use Morton’s Popcorn Salt in this recipe, but you can also make your own. Process kosher salt in your food processor until ultra-fine, then store it and label it as “popcorn salt”!
Popcorn Kernels: There are so many options here – yellow, white, Amish; use your favorite!
Ghee: Also known as clarified butter, water and milk solids have been removed, which is the key to keeping the popcorn from getting soggy! You can buy ghee at most stores now, but you can also make your own clarified butter at home! See below for instructions.
How to Make Clarified Butter
The process is super simple and doesn’t take long at all. Here’s how to do it:
Melt 1 pound of butter in a small saucepan over low heat, allowing it to simmer gently.
Skim off any foam that rises to the surface and discard it.
Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
Line the sieve with cheesecloth, coffee filter, or two layers of paper towels.
Strain the remaining melted butter through the filter into the bowl.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Stovetop Popcorn Directions
Melt oil: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat.
Add popcorn: Once melted, add 3 popcorn kernels. Once those three kernels pop, add the salt and the rest of the popcorn kernels and swirl. Cover and remove from heat for 30 seconds.
Cook popcorn: Return to medium heat. Leave the lid slightly ajar so steam can escape and shake occasionally while the popcorn pops.
Remove the popcorn: Once you hear the popping slow to 2 or 3 seconds between pops, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the popcorn to a large serving bowl.
Heat the ghee: Add the ghee to the hot pot (no need to turn the heat back on), then once it’s melted, drizzle over the popcorn and toss to combine.
Adjust flavor and enjoy: Taste and add more clarified butter or salt, if desired, then serve.
Alternative Cooking Methods to Make Popcorn
If you want to try some way other than the stove for cooking popcorn, here are a few different methods you can try!
Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté, then click adjust once to make it hot.
Heat for 2 to 3 minutes to heat the pot.
Add the coconut oil and melt in the pot.
Once melted add the salt and popcorn kernels and sauté for 1 minute to coat the kernels in the oil.
Cover with a glass lid (you can use one from another pot) and cook for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, cancel the sauté setting to turn off the pot and let sit 5 minutes.
Remove from the pot and flavor with ghee or additional spices and seasonings.
In a small bowl, mix melted coconut oil and the popcorn kernels.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once melted, add 3 popcorn kernels. Once those kernels pop, add the salt and the rest of the popcorn kernels and swirl. Cover and remove from the heat for 30 seconds.
Return to medium heat and, leaving the lid slightly ajar, shake occasionally while the popcorn pops. Once you hear the popping to slow to 2 or 3 seconds between pops, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the popcorn into a large serving bowl.
Add the ghee to the hot pot (no need to turn the heat back on), then once it's melted, drizzle over the popcorn and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, if desired, then serve.
Coconut Oil: This will impart the best taste and texture, but you can substitute vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil.
Ghee: The key to keeping the popcorn crisp and not soggy! You can buy ghee at most stores now, but you can also make your own clarified butter (see post above for instructions).
Alternative Cooking Methods: See the post above for instructions on making popcorn in an InstantPot and the microwave.
Storage: Allow the popcorn to cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.