There’s been an alarming trend when it comes to popcorn. It seems as if fewer people are making their own popcorn at home and more people are buying pre-popped and pre-flavored popcorn at their local grocery store. And we have to admit that we find that to be a complete shame. Although there is nothing wrong with grocery store popcorn, it just doesn’t taste as good as the popcorn that people can make at home. Popcorn made at home blows away store-bought pre-popped popcorn every single time.

So why are more people just grabbing a bag of popcorn instead of popping up their own? Well, we think that it’s because a lot of people think making popcorn at home is difficult, or maybe they’ve tried making popcorn and didn’t have satisfactory results. We can understand these points, so we’re not going to dismiss them outright. However, we will urge our readers to try to make popcorn at home and we’re going to give them the tools to do it.

We believe that everyone can make perfect popcorn at home if they know the steps to make it. To help our readers create perfect popcorn, we’ve decided to list some of the steps they will need to get the job done. So without further ado, we’re going to show all of our readers just how easy it is to create delicious popcorn that can’t be purchased in any grocery store.

Step One: Gather Your Supplies

Before thinking about popping your own popcorn, you’re going to need to gather some supplies together. And we do mean the proper supplies and not trying to improvise on the fly because you didn’t purchase what you needed in the first place. What do you need to make perfect popcorn? Well, below are some of the things that you’re going to need to make it.

  • The Best Popcorn Kernels
  • High-Quality Oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Peanut or Canola)
  • Kosher Salt
  • A Large Dutch Oven Or Similar Lidded Pan
  • A Wooden Spoon
  • Melted Butter

Step Two: Let’s Get Popping!

The next step is to actually start popping the popcorn. Place the Dutch oven on the stove and add 3-tablespoons of oil for every 1/2-cup of popcorn kernels that you’re intending on popping. Yes, that does seem like a lot of oil, but trust us when we say it isn’t. The process is going to need that much oil in order to build up the steam in the pot. And it’s the steam that’s going to create perfectly popped popcorn.

Place the pan with the oil in it over medium heat and then pour in the popcorn kernels. No, there’s no need to wait for the oil to come to temperature—just pour it right into the pot. Now, give the kernels a stir with a wooden spoon to coat them all with oil. Keep stirring the kernels until they begin to sizzle. Once they begin to sizzle, it’s time to put the lid on the pot and move the dial on the stove between medium and medium-high heat.

During this step, it’s important to never leave your popcorn, not even for a second. Listen to the kernels and wait for them to begin popping. Once they’ve begun popping, wait a minute and then pick up the pot and shake it with the lid closed. This will prevent kernels from becoming duds and not properly popping.

Place the pot back on the stove and let the popping continue. If you begin to see any smoke, immediately lower the heat to medium, otherwise leave it where it is. Keep listening to the popcorn and once they have begun to pop only every couple of seconds then turn off the heat. Now, move the corner of the lid so that some of the steam is released but the popcorn is still mainly covered.

About a minute after moving the lid, dump the popcorn into the widest mixing bowl you have available, or onto a baking sheet. Now take about a 1/4-cup of butter and pour it immediately over the popcorn—preferably while it’s still hot. Then immediately add kosher salt over the popcorn. Congratulations! You’ve just made the perfect popcorn.

Step Three: Personalize Your Popcorn

Before we conclude this article, we would like to give our readers a few other pieces of advice that will help them create the best popcorn they can at home. Although we believe that all a person really needs to create great popcorn is to use butter and salt, some people like to personalize their popcorn with other things. Some people like their popcorn to be savory, so they will add seasonings and spices to their popcorn, and some people like their popcorn to be sweet, so they use sugary toppings. Below are topping in both categories that consumers might want to use on their popcorn to take it to the next level of goodness.

Savory Popcorn Toppings

  • Lemon Pepper
  • Garlic Or Onion Powder
  • Old Bay Seasonings
  • Dried Yeast
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • 5 Spice Powder
  • Rosemary Or Thyme

Sweet Popcorn Toppings

  • Maple Syrup
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon Sugar