How Do I Pop Popcorn without a Stove or Microwave?

The Kernel

One of the greatest things about popcorn is that it’s so easy to make even if you don’t have the standard equipment for it like a stove or a microwave. All the kernel needs is a source of controllable heat to be able to pop, that’s all. Because what makes the popcorn ‘pop’ is the moisture inside of the kernel steaming up and building pressure due to the heat. This is why popping popcorn doesn’t require any specific equipment, because it’s not rocket science!

Campfire Popcorn Maker Open Fire Cooking Camping Accessory

So, even if you don’t have a stove or a microwave, and want to make a bowl of banging popcorn for your friends, you’re in luck! You don’t necessarily need them, you can get away with using a toaster oven, or a grill, an air-popper, or even an open fire! Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But it’s that simple!

Here’s what you need if you want to give one of these methods a try:

Popping Popcorn in a Toaster Oven

“Popping popcorn in a toaster oven? Is this even real?” you might say. Well, it is! It’s very easy too. Why not give it a try?

Ingredients

  • 1⅓ cup of corn kernels
  • Salt to taste
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large heatproof bowl

Instructions

  • Preheat the toaster oven to 450°F
  • Put the kernels into a large heatproof bowl
  • Tent the bowl with the aluminum foil, leaving some room for the popped popcorn
  • Place the bowl into the preheated toaster oven
  • Wait for the popping sound to start and die down
  • Turn the toaster oven off
  • Carefully take the bowl out and remove the aluminum foil
  • Salt to taste while it’s hot
  • Enjoy!

Popping Popcorn over an Open Fire

Campfire popcorn is actually a thing, and it’s delicious! But this method isn’t just limited to campfires, you can use any type of open fire like a fireplace. It’s very very simple and just as delicious! Here’s how:

Ingredients – per serving

  • 2 tbsp corn kernels
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil – make sure it’s heavy duty aluminum foil, otherwise it might burn

Instructions

  • Spread out one half of the heavy duty aluminum foil and put the kernels in the middle
  • Add the oil
  • Sprinkle with salt to taste
  • Fold the aluminum foil over the kernels and oil, leaving some room for the popcorn to expand
  • Crimp the edges a few times so that they are sealed and won’t rip
  • Either place the aluminum foil packet onto indirect heat, don’t put it directly on the flames, or if you prefer, poke the packet with a campfire stick or a long meat fork and hold it over the flames
  • Wait for them to start popping
  • Once the popping sound slows down, take the packet off the heat
  • Carefully open the packet
  • Enjoy!

Popping Popcorn on a Grill

If you’re the backyard-BBQ-with-your-family kinda person, this method is exactly for you! You don’t always need the classic microwave or stovetop methods to pop popcorn. It’s good to mix it up once in a while, isn’t it? If you want to give this method a go for your next backyard BBQ, here’s how:

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp corn kernels
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Aluminum baking pan
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil – make sure it’s heavy duty aluminum foil, otherwise it might burn

Instructions

  • Set the grill to medium heat
  • Toss in the kernels into the aluminum baking pan
  • Add the neutral oil and mix well until all of the kernels are coated
  • Loosely cover the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, just enough to keep the steam in and prevent the popcorn from flying out
  • Cover the lid
  • When you hear popping, occasionally give the aluminum pan a shake using tongs
  • Once the popping sound slows down, take the pan off the grill
  • Carefully remove the aluminum foil to let the steam out
  • Salt to taste while they’re hot
  • Enjoy!

Popping Popcorn in an Air-popper

If you’re the kind of person that makes even the simplest activity an excuse to eat popcorn, you should definitely buy an air popper! When you pop popcorn this way, you don’t need a stove or microwave, and you also don’t need to put in any oil. Talk about two birds with one stone, right? Plus, the air poppers these days are much better than their previous versions. So, if you want to make hassle-free and healthier popcorn with this method, here’s how:

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of corn kernels
  • Salt to taste
  • Large bowl

Instructions

  • Remove the plastic chute from the air popper and plug it in
  • Let the air popper heat up for a minute
  • Dump the kernels into the air popper’s chamber and place the plastic chute back again
  • Put a large bowl in front of the plastic chute to catch the popped popcorn
  • When they’re all popped, unplug the air popper
  • Salt the popcorn to taste while it’s hot
  • Enjoy!

Popping Popcorn on an Electric Hot Plate

Since we’re living in the age of technology, you don’t even need to have a stove or microwave if you live in a small apartment. You can just invest in an electric hot plate and cook everything you want, including popcorn! It’s just like popping popcorn on a stove, and you won’t even miss the microwave popcorn stuff. So, if you want to give this method a try, here’s how:

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of corn kernels
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Large serving bowl

Instructions

  • Turn on the electric hot plate and set it to medium heat
  • Place a pot or pan with a fitting lid on the heat
  • Add the oil and toss in a few kernels
  • When the kernels start popping, it means the oil is hot enough
  • Add the remaining kernels and wait for them to start popping
  • When the popping sound starts to subside, turn the electric hot plate off
  • Dump the popcorn into a large bowl
  • Salt to taste while it’s hot
  • Enjoy!

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