No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Popping Popcorn

Everyday Food, Volume 16 October 2004

It takes just 10 minutes to make a fun and healthy snack. Serve it plain or mix it with other flavors.

Basic Popcorn
1. In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, stir together 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 cup popcorn kernels; cover partially with lid to allow steam to escape.

2. Cook over medium heat until popping slows, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand (covered) until popping stops, 1 minute. Toss hot popcorn with one of the flavorings below, or more oil or butter and salt, as desired. Makes 8 to 10 cups.

Popcorn Flavors

Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons melted butter

Combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Toss hot popcorn with melted butter to coat evenly, then toss with sugar mixture.

Parmesan Popcorn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Toss hot popcorn with oil to coat evenly, then toss with Parmesan mixture.

Spicy Popcorn
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine paprika, salt, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper. Toss hot popcorn with oil to coat evenly, then toss with spice mixture.

Comments (6)

  • PeakToCreek 9 Mar, 2011

    Brilliant tip regarding pre-heating the oil with a few kernals. Another thought - Here in Greece, they won't fry food (ie fish or french fries) in olive oil at a high heat, but prefer sunflower or corn oil since it has a higher 'smoke point' and therefore cooks better. I tried popcorn with sunflower oil and seemed to have all the kernals pop (interestingly from the same pack which left a lot of dead ones in the bottom when popped in olive oil)

  • momcancook 18 Feb, 2009

    Is it possible to make popcorn in an electric multicooker? Mine is one with a removable ceramic liner, and the cooker has a temperature control. It would be terrific to be able to pop corn in it! Please let me know if you have tried this.

  • incync 17 Feb, 2009

    Wow, great hint, I've popped corn often in a pan and always heated the oil first, but would not have thought to just put a few kernels in first. Thanks!

  • seahurst 17 Feb, 2009

    My husband is the popcorn specialist in our family. One evening he presented me with a piping hot bowl of the most delectable popcorn ever. While he was popping it he plopped in 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Oh my goodness? Better than the branded kettle korn! Another time he poured in about 3 tablespoons of honey while it was popping. That was even better. Try it!

  • wmcmorine 17 Feb, 2009

    So this is what I'm doing wrong! My last attempt at popping ended with pretty tough popcorn. I'll preheat next time! Also, I see that at heat higher than 320F the good fatty acids in Olive oil are converted to trans fatty acids. The unsaturated fats then begin to behave like saturated fats and convert to toxic compouds. I think sesame oil or canola oil are a better choice for medium-high heat cooking.

  • sstallryan 17 Feb, 2009

    Great ideas for flavored popcorn but the directions for popping are not qutie right. If you put the popcorn and oil in a cold pan it will make the popcorn tough and chewy. I find that it works better to heat the oild and about 10 kernels in the pan. Then when you hear some of them begin to pop, add the rest of your kernels. This will result in perfect delectable popcorn.