How to Make Air Popped Popcorn Taste Good

air popped popcorn

Eating a bag of buttery, ultra-greasy, and delicious popcorn is half the fun of watching a blockbuster movie in a movie theatre. If you want to enjoy air-popped popcorn with the same delicious taste that you get in movie theaters, then you’ve come to the right place. The following step-by-step guide will show you to make air-popped popcorn taste good, just like movie theater popcorn.


Table of Contents

What is Air Popped Popcorn?

Air Popper

Although you can use a common microwave to make air-popped popcorn, theaters traditionally use a special appliance for that. It’s known as an air popper, and it pops the kernels by circulating hot air around them.

Back in the day, these air poppers used to be very large, and it wasn’t practical to use them in your home. However, now you can find an electric air popper with a compact size that can be placed on your kitchen’s countertop, thanks to technology!


Microwave Popcorn Vs. Air Popped Popcorn

The primary difference between microwave and air-popped popcorn is the method that both techniques use to heat the kernels. The microwave sends the radio wave particles (microwaves) to heat the kernels.

On the other hand, an air popper heats the kernels by circulating hot air around them. The kernels are maintained in a bag to retain steam and help in the popping of the popcorn. You don’t need to add any flavors or oil if you are using an air popper.

However, the microwave popcorn kernels that you buy from a store come with additional ingredients such as flavors, oil, and salt. They also contain PFCs (Per-fluorinated Compounds) in order to keep the oil from leaking.


How to Air Pop Popcorn

Using an electric air popper is the easiest way to make air-popped popcorn at home. However, if you don’t have an electric air popper, then there’s nothing to worry about. You can make air-popped popcorn by following the steps mentioned below without using any special appliance.


Step One: Gather Ingredients and Equipment

Flavacol seasoning salt and coconut oil for popcorn

You’ll need the following equipment and ingredients for this recipe:

  • Hydrogenated coconut oil
  • Covered metal pan
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Powdered salt
  • Butter-flavored artificial topping


Step Two: Prepare the Setup

jar of coconut oil for popcorn

You’ll need to put the metal pan on the stove and pour a thin layer of coconut oil. You can also use a range of different types of oils that’ll help you to air pop the popcorn. However, coconut oil will add the same taste that you get at movie theaters.


Step Three: Heat the Pan

Start heating the metal pan with the coconut oil on medium heat and add a few popcorn kernels. Once they pop, cover the entire pan bottom with popcorn kernels.


Step Four: Shake the Pan

Now you’ll need to cover the pan but keep the lid slightly ajar and start shaking the pan steadily and gently because it’ll have burning oil. This step is very important because it’ll allow you to air pop the popcorn properly.

While shaking, you’ll hear a popping sound. Continue the process until the popping sound starts to slow.

Pro Tip: Your first batch is ready if you’re hearing only one popping sound every two to three seconds.


Step Five: Remove the Pan and Fill Your Bowl

fun popcorn bowls

Remove the metal pan from the stove and uncover it very carefully. Fill up a big bowl with the air-popped popcorn and sprinkle it using butter-flavored artificial topping and powdered salt.


Season Your Air Popped Popcorn for a Richer Taste!

variety of popcorn salt

Popcorn is a whole-grain, high-fiber, and low-fat food, which makes it a healthy snack. However, a little seasoning makes it taste better. We have already mentioned that you can use butter, oil, and salt. You can also use garlic salt, dried oregano, simple salt, parmesan cheese, and melted butter to improve the taste.

To make everything vegan-friendly, substitute the cheese with nutritional yeast and use olive oil instead of butter. You can also use ancho Chile powder, smoked paprika, or cayenne pepper to add a bit of spice.

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t hesitate to turn your air-popped popcorn into a dessert. You can add some warming spices, such as cloves, nutmeg, or even cinnamon, along with brown or powdered sugar. In short, the possibilities are endless, and the only limit is your imagination!



What kind of corn is popcorn?

Popcorn is made from Zea Mays L. var. Everta, which is a specific type of corn that is unique because it is the only type of corn that pops when heated.


When is national popcorn day?

National Popcorn Day is celebrated on January 19th.


How to reheat popcorn

Preheat your oven to 250°F (125°C), spread the popcorn out in a single layer on a baking tray, and reheat it for about 5 minutes.

Another method is to use a microwave. Place the popcorn in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with plastic wrap or a paper towel to retain moisture, and microwave it for 20-30 seconds.


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Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.