How To Make Butter Popcorn

Andy Waters
Latest posts by Andy Waters (see all)

Butter popcorn is an amazing snack that can commonly be found in movie theaters, where its seductive smell fills the halls. And while there is no denying that popcorn is delicious, some butter popcorn can prove less than stellar, with greasy kernels and fake butter seasoning. 

How To Make Butter Popcorn

Fortunately, you can now make quick and delicious butter popcorn from the comfort of your home, without the need for artificial flavors or burnt corn.

So if you want to know how you can make your own butter popcorn, then you have come to the right place. 

In the following article, we will teach you how to make butter popcorn from scratch, while also explaining the various materials you will need. We have also included different methods and recommendations. 

So if you want to make perfect movie theater popcorn, this article has everything you need to get started… 

What Is Butter Popcorn

As the name implies, butter popcorn is popcorn that has been covered in melted butter, which results in a rich and savory snack. Butter popcorn has become a staple food at the movie theater and remains one of the most popular popcorn flavors in the world. However, this does not mean that the kernels are cooked in butter. 

In fact, movie theater popcorn does not contain any real butter at all, as the confection uses artificial ingredients to create its iconic taste. Because of this, butter popcorn can be bad for your health and extremely fattening. 

However, if you want to make your own butter popcorn, you can avoid these artificial flavors and sample rich buttery popcorn that is more nutritious. 

Now let’s take a look at how you can make your own butter popcorn and what you will need to get started. 

How To Make Butter Popcorn

As we previously mentioned, movie theaters do not use real butter when making their popcorn – with the salty confection usually featuring butter flavorings and yellow food coloring.

And while this is not the best method to make popcorn, there is one ingredient that should be noted. 

When making homemade popcorn, you will need to cook the kernels in a fat, whether that be vegetable oil or grease.

How To Make Butter Popcorn

However, we would recommend using coconut oil as the base, as most movie theaters use this oil to cook their kernels. Coconut oil is also healthier than other oils and gives the corn a distinctive taste. 

But what about the butter? While movie theaters rely on artificial butter flavorings, our recipe uses clarified butter for the classic cinema taste. In fact, we do not recommend using normal butter, as this contains a lot of water and can result in wet popcorn. 

For the best results, we recommend adding half of the clarified butter to the kernels as they pop and then adding the rest to the finished batch.

Clarified butter can be purchased from most supermarkets, or you can make your own from scratch, which adds to the popcorn’s flavor. 

Now that you understand what you will need to make your butter popcorn, let’s take a look at the actual cooking process…

Butter Popcorn (On The Stove) 


  • Coconut oil (2 tablespoons) 
  • Kernels (½ cup)
  • Clarified butter (4 tablespoons) 
  • Kosher salt (¼ teaspoon) 


  • Stockpot with lid (7 – 9 quart)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Dry tea towel 


  1. Place the stockpot over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil until it has melted into a fine liquid. 
  2. When the oil has melted, add some kernels to see if they pop. This will tell you if the oil is hot enough. 
  3. Add the remaining kernels to the pot and stir carefully. You will need to make sure that the kernels are evenly distributed. 
  4. Once the kernels start to pop, cover the stockpot with the lid and reduce the heat to medium. 
  5. While the kernels are popping, make sure to shake the pot until the noises subside. It should take about 3 minutes for the popping to end. 
  6. After the popping starts to slow down, turn off the heat and shake the pot for a further 30 seconds. 
  7. Remove the unpopped kernels from the pot and add half of the clarified butter to the popcorn before giving it a shake. 
  8. Pour the remaining butter over the finished popcorn and season with kosher salt before covering and shaking again. 
  9. When the popcorn has been evenly coated, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and serve immediately. 

Butter Popcorn (In The Microwave)

If you don’t feel comfortable using the stove, then you can also make delicious butter popcorn in the microwave, although the recipe and method are a little different. Just check out the instructions below and see what you can do. 


  • Kernels (½ cup)
  • Salted butter (1 ½ cups)
  • Kosher salt  


  • Paper lunch bag 
  • Wax paper 
  • Dinner plate 


  1. Take a paper lunch bag and lay it on its side. Then take a piece of wax paper and place it inside the bag until it covers the interior. 
  2. With the lunch bag on its side, pour the kernels into a pile in the middle of the bag and then add the butter (unmelted) on top. 
  3. Keep the bag on its side and fold the top to close it. 
  4. Take a dinner plate and place it inside the microwave before setting the lunch bag on top and on its side. 
  5. Place the microwave on high and cook the popcorn for 2 ½ – 3 ½ minutes. The amount of time is important and will depend on your microwave. 
  6. When the kernels have popped, remove the bag from the microwave and transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.
  7. If you want to add more melted butter you can, otherwise, season the popcorn with salt until you are satisfied. 

How To Store Butter Popcorn

In both cases, it is best to serve butter popcorn immediately after it has been cooked, as the kernels will still be warm and bursting with flavor.

However, the popcorn can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Just remember that the kernels can go stale the longer they are left uneaten. 

Final Thoughts 

Butter popcorn is known for its classic taste and timeless nature, with the confection still being available in movie theaters around the world.

And while this popcorn can taste artificial, it is always possible to make your own batch from home, which can prove healthier and more delicious than any commercial brand.

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