Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Popping Your Own Popcorn

Yesterday evening the girls and I took a simple picnic of hot dogs and popcorn to Michael's softball game. He plays softball with our church, and it has been a fun family activity to go to the games with him this spring.

As I popped the popcorn in a pot, buttered it, and set it out to cool before scooping it into a Ziploc bag, I wondered how much money I was saving by not buying microwave popcorn. After all, although microwave popcorn is expensive, fresh butter is expensive too!

Here's what I used to make approximately 4 or 5 cups of popped corn; it seemed about the same amount as a bag of microwave popcorn:

2 T. canola oil = $.10
2/3 cup popcorn kernels (about 1/8 of a bag I bought on the discount rack for $.75) = $.09
2 T. butter = (at $.50/stick) = $.13
1 t. salt = $.01
Total: $.33

Compare that with $6.79 for a bag of 10 Orville Redenbacher's microwave popcorn bags or $.68/bag.

So the homemade popcorn is roughly half the price, and so much tastier!

If you've never popped your own corn before, it's simple. You don't need any special tools. Just heat the oil in a large pot on medium high and after a couple of minutes add the popcorn. Cover the pan.

When you hear the first pops, start vigorously shaking the pan every minute or so, to prevent sticking and burning. Take it immediately off the heat when the popping slows to a second or two between pops, just like with microwave popcorn. Be careful when taking off the lid. Season to taste!Fresh-popped popcorn has a more distinct, nuttier taste than microwave popcorn. And even if you use butter and salt it is sure to have less fat than the packaged kind, not to mention no harmful chemicals!

Popping my own popcorn Works for Me!

Photos by o0o0o0 and neyl.


  1. I've totally gone back to popping my own corn. We love the taste. The effort is minimal. The cost is acceptable. And my boys think it's great entertainment!! Thanks!!

  2. When we moved a year ago I lost my air popcorn popper, I forgot you could do it in a pan. I might have to try that!!! Thanks for the tip!

  3. Reminds me of how we used to make popcorn when we were kids with the popcorn popper "appliance", you added oil and popcorn kernels to it.


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