What is the Best Way to Make Good Movie Theater Popcorn?

Father and Son enjoying movie theater popcorn at home

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Movie theaters are fun places to go with friends and family, but sometimes we wonder, “How does popcorn taste like in a movie theater?” Well, it turns out that there are many different ways to enjoy your favorite snack while watching a film.

Here’s a list of tips to remember when making popcorn at home:

1. Buy Popcorn Kernels

The first step to making great movie theater popcorn is to buy the right kind of popcorn kernels. The type of corn used for movie theater popcorn is called popped corn because it has been cooked until it pops. It is important to use only unpopped corn kernels when making popcorn at home. If you try to cook them yourself, they may explode.

Popcorn kernels come in different sizes, so choose the size that best suits your needs. Smaller kernels tend to pop faster, so they’re perfect for popping in small batches. Larger kernels require longer cooking times, but they produce larger popped corn.

2. Use Salt

Salt enhances the flavor of popcorn, especially when used in smaller amounts. For every cup of uncooked popcorn, sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of salt over the surface.

3. Cook in Oven

Cooking popcorn on high heat produces better results than using medium-low heat. When using a stovetop or microwave oven, turn up the heat as much as possible. Adding water to the pot helps prevent burning. However, too much water makes the popcorn soggy. Try adding 2 cups of water per 1 cup of uncooked popcorn. Stirring often prevents the kernels from sticking together and burning. After each addition of oil, stir the popcorn well before adding another batch.

Cooking popcorn in an oven makes it easier to control the temperature and timing. Place the unpopped kernels in a single layer inside a large bowl or baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook until all the kernels begin to pop.

4. Add Flavors

Adding flavors to the popcorn before popping increases its appeal. Try sprinkling some Parmesan cheese on top of your popcorn just before serving. Or try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or bacon bits.

5. Serve Immediately

Serve popcorn immediately after removing it from the heat. If you wait too long, the kernels will become soggy. Also, cold popcorn tastes flat and bland.

6. Store Leftovers

Store leftover popcorn in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Once cooled completely, transfer the popcorn to resealable plastic bags.


Now that you know how to make delicious popcorn, enjoy it with your favorite movies.