Can you cook microwave popcorn on the stove?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you cook microwave popcorn on the stove” with an in-depth analysis of the impacts of cooking corn kernels on a stovetop. Moreover, we are going to highlight how popcorns can be prepared by both stove and microwave cooking and what recipe can be followed to cook the popcorns on the stove.

Can you cook microwave popcorn on the stove?

Yes, you can microwave popcorn on the stove. This is because the recipe for cooking popcorn is so simple that you do not have to worry much about its ingredients or the cooking protocol. You can easily cook popcorn on the stovetop by emptying the contents of a popcorn bag in a pot, adding some extra oil, covering the pot with a lid, and cooking it on high heat.

Cooking popcorn:

The cooking method is generally easy and quick in which you just need to cook the popcorn in an airtight container on intense heat. Once the kernels become hot, the pressure, built up inside the container, will cause the kernels to pop out.

You need to manage the time properly as a longer cooking time can cause the burning of the popcorn. To prevent this burning, commercial popcorn poppers come up with in-built stirrers besides controlling the temperature. For cooking in pans at home, you need to shake the container two to three times in between.

For cooking popcorn, you also need to add a bit of oil or other fatty compounds, such as cheese, butter, or ghee. The added oil serves as a medium for the transfer of heat and it has a greater capacity to retain heat as compared to air.

You can also add flavors to your popcorn by adding different oils, particularly oils that are not much processed, such as virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, and so on. Spices and herbs can also be added to enhance the flavor even if you can make chocolate popcorns too.

Cooking on the stovetop:

For cooking the popcorn on the stovetop, the kernels are placed in a pan, added with oil and salt, and the pan is placed on the stove. The heat source is at the bottom that causes the kernels to pop and move up while the kernels settle down. The movement of kernels and popped corn in this way leads to cooking all the kernels in the pan.

While cooking on the stove, you need to shake the container or pan once or more like the continuous heat from the bottom can cause the burning of the kernels at the bottom and alter the overall flavor of the popcorn.

Another important issue is temperature control. If the heat is too low, it will take longer for the kernels to be popped and will not give the popped corn crunchiness as that given by high heat. On the other hand, if the heat is too high, the kernels and oil may burn before popping up.

Cooking in the microwave:

For cooking popcorn in a microwave, the heating comes from the waves that go through the popcorn, and oil serves as a source of retaining heat. These waves also heat the water content of the kernels and uniformly cook or heat all the popcorn while microwaving and this may not pose the risk of any burning.

Recipe for cooking popcorn on the stovetop:

  • Take ½ cup of popcorn kernels, 1 tablespoon of butter or oil, and a pinch or more of salt.
  • Preheat your pot on the stove and add oil, salt, and kernels to the pot.
  • Cover the pot with a lid tightly. You can also place some weight on the lid to close it tightly.
  • Allow it to cook for 3-5 minutes by heating the pot at a high flame.
  • Within a minute or two, the corns may start to pop and you can hear the voice popping inside the pot.
  • You also need to shake the pot while cooking to prevent any burning. Once the corns start popping, continuously shake the pot.
  • Once the popping voice is slowed down or completely stopped, take off the lid to allow the moisture to escape from the pot.
  • Within a few seconds of removing the lid, immediately take out the popcorn in a bowl as a heated pot may have the potential to burn the oil and kernels inside the pot to some extent.
  • If some of the kernels are not popped, you can again heat them after removing the popped ones from the top.

You can also find some other ways of cooking the popcorn here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you cook microwave popcorn on the stove” with an in-depth analysis of the potential effects of microwaving popcorn on a stove. Moreover, we discussed how popcorn can be affected by cooking through both stove and microwave cooking and what is the general recipe for cooking them on the stove.

If you’ve enjoyed ”Can you cook microwave popcorn on the stove?”, take a look at ”Can you cook microwave popcorn in the oven?” too.

Citations:,heat%20 until%20it%20all%20pops.

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.