Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

My favorite quote about popcorn literally ever is from The Office, episode 9, season 6: “Double Date.” Pam is about to slap the shit out of Michael, and Kelly is standing in the crowd as an onlooker, eating popcorn.

“Are you eating popcorn?” Michael asks her, incredulously.

“It’s like zero calories.”

It’s one of the smartest lines from that show maybe ever. Clearly, he isn’t asking with the health factor in mind, and her response is so geniusly defensive. But she’s right — popcorn (when not caked in butter, cheese, caramel, etc.) is, like, zero calories, which makes it a smart snack. And, when you pop it yourself on the stove, it’s even smarter! And this method makes the perfect stovetop popcorn I’ve ever had the pleasure of munching.

PERFECT Stovetop Popcorn by Cookie and Kate

This recipe makes, like, 10 cups of popcorn. So adjust accordingly!


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil — really whatever oil you love most

  • ½ cup popcorn kernels, divided

  • Salt, pepper, and any other desired seasoning to taste


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the oil and 2 popcorn kernels. Cover the pot and wait for the kernels to pop, which might take a few minutes. In the meantime, place a large serving bowl near the stove so it’s ready when you need it.

  2. Once the kernels pop, turn off the burner, remove the pot from the heat and pour in the remaining popcorn kernels. Cover the pot again, and give the pot a little shimmy to distribute the kernels evenly. Let the pot rest for 60 seconds to make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot before the kernels are ready to pop.

  3. Turn the heat back up to medium, put the pot back onto the burner and continue cooking the popcorn, carefully shimmying the pot occasionally to cook the kernels evenly. Once the kernels start popping, tip the lid just a touch to allow steam to escape.

  4. Continue cooking until the popping sound slows to about one pop per every few seconds. (If the popcorn tries to overflow the pot, just tip the upper portion of popcorn into your bowl and return it to the heat.)

  5. Remove the lid and dump the popcorn into your serving bowl. Sprinkle the popcorn with a couple pinches of salt, to taste, and any other topping you would like. Toss the popcorn and serve immediately, for best flavor and texture. The popcorn will taste good for several hours, though.