Two bowls of popcorn on a tale with loose popcorn around.

The Ultimate Guide to Popping Popcorn at Home

Hey popcorn lovers! 🍿 Pop pop pop! The most joyful sound there is, right? Even Bowie, our founder’s pup, can't resist the allure of the first pop (nor the last!). If you ever had questions about how to make the perfect snack at home, you’re in the right place.

We're breaking down two go-to methods for you: Classic Stovetop and Microwave. Plus, we've got some bonus methods tucked in at the end. Remember, there are countless ways to pop popcorn—the key ingredients are just heat and kernels.

Every popping method will need kernels and your choice of seasonings. Need a flavor nudge? Explore Rianna's top picks.

The Classic: Stovetop

For the Popcorn Chef: those who love the traditional, hands-on approach. Dusted’s recommended method.

Step 1: Mise en Place

What You'll Need:
  • Loose Popcorn Kernels: 1/2 cup of your preferred kernels, we love this Calico Mix
  • Large Pot with Lid: Opt for a pot with a loose-fitting lid to let steam escape. Woks are an excellent choice.
  • Popping Oil: 1/4 cup high-smoke point oil such as ghee or refined avocado oil. While Olive Oil won't necessarily have a bad reaction it does get smoky at high heats, so we don't recommend it. Learn more about smoke points at Serious Eats. 

Step 2: Heat It Up

Place your pot on the stove over medium to medium-high heat. Pour in your oil. Drop in 3-4 kernels as "scouts" to see when the oil is hot.

Pro tip: if you are using the Calico or Rainbow kernels, make sure to put in one of each type as a tester. When all of those kernels pop, you're at the optimal temperature.

Step 3: Pop Pop Pop!

Pour a popcorn kernels into the pot and close the lid. Give it a good shake to get each kernel coated with the oil and let the heat work its magic. Keep shaking the pot to make sure all nothing stays still long enough to burn, and the oil coats all of the goodness in the pot. Once the popping slows down to sporadic pops (every 3-4 seconds), you're ready to season!

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Pour your popcorn into our Olive Wood Serving Bowl for a touch of elegance, or divide them into multiple bowls if you're in the mood to experiment with flavors.

If you're a popcorn purist, we salute you; there's beauty in simplicity & we love a plain butter+salt popcorn moment. But here at Dusted, we're all about usual flavors, so to get the best of your seasonings give your popcorn a light misting with one of our spray oils—it's the secret to even flavor distribution. Next, sprinkle on your favorite dusts. Feeling adventurous? Mix and match dusts & oils to create your own signature blend. Toss it all together, and repeat as many times as you want!

 If you're a visual learner, we have a video!



Quick, Easy, Low Calorie: Microwave Method

For those short on time & dishes but still craving that pop pop pop!

Step 1: Mise en Place

What You'll Need:
  • Popping Oil: 1/4 cup avocado oil - or choose an oil with a high smoke point, as things can heat up quickly. Learn more about smoke points at Serious Eats.
  • Seasoning & Finishing Touches: Pick your favorite dust and finishing oils. Or pick up a pack if you want a curated flavor!
  • The Perfect Serving Bowl: Because presentation matters.

Step 2: Microwave Magic

Fill the silicone popper with popcorn kernels up to the fill line. Here you can also add popping oil if you choose to add a little additional flavor, or keep it plain for a lower calorie option. Pop it in the microwave for 2-4 minutes or until the popping slows down to 2-3 pops per second. All microwaves are different, so listen carefully. Remove the popper (careful, it's steamy hot!), and let it cool for a minute. Open the lid, and voila! Perfect plain popcorn.

(Optional) Step 3: Finishing Touches

Who says quick and easy can't be adventurous? If you’re here for flavor, lightly mist your popcorn with one of our spray oils for that perfect, even coat. Sprinkle on your choice of seasonings—or mix and match for a unique blend. Give it a thorough toss, and repeat until you’re ready to serve!



Last Step: Savor the Moment

Regardless of your chosen path, the destination is always the same: a moment of pure enjoyment. Whether it's a movie marathon, a girls-night, or some well-deserved me-time, make it a moment to remember.


Other Ways to Pop a Kernel

Who says there's only one way to pop a kernel? Here are some other methods to get your popcorn popping:

  • Air Poppers & Electric Poppers: Ideal for those seeking a low-calorie treat or a hands-free experience. Just load the kernels and let the machine do its magic!
  • Campfire Popcorn: Who says you can't enjoy gourmet popcorn in the great outdoors? Check out this guide to make sure you don’t go without.
  • Instant Pot Popcorn: Or should we say, InstantPop! Minimal effort, minimal cleanup, maximum flavor.

Flavor Inspiration!

For more popcorn inspiration, check out some of these:

And check out our other guides on The Pantry!

Back to blog