Perfect Movie Popcorn

"If you want popcorn that tastes like it's from your local movie theater, make it this way! I like to make this in a wok, so there's plenty of room for popping."
photo by Claire de Luna photo by Claire de Luna
photo by Claire de Luna
Ready In:




  • Pour in the oil and heat the pan until oil shimmers, to about 400 degrees F(or medium high heat).
  • Test one kernel by throwing it into the oil; place the lid on the popper and wait until it pops. Pour the rest of the popcorn into the pan, stirring the kernels until they are evenly coated.
  • Cook for three minutes, exactly.
  • Here's a tip from the Popcorn Council: "Old Maids" is a term for kernels that fail to pop and are often found at the bottom of the popcorn bowl. They can, however, be rejuvenated. The water in kernels is what causes popcorn to pop, so all you need to do is re-hydrate the dried kernels. David Woodside, author of What Makes Popcorn Pop? suggests filling "a one-quart jar three-quarters full of popcorn and adding one tablespoon of water. Cover the jar with an airtight lid and give it a few good shakes every few minutes until the popcorn has absorbed all the water. Store the jar in a cool place." Woodside says in two or three days you can test-pop a batch of kernels. If you still get old maids, add a few more drops of water to the jar, shake it, and let it sit for a few more days.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Bearable
    To make it really taste like movie theater popcorn, you have to add Flavacol to the coconut oil. We buy ours at a restaurant supply, but you can buy single bags online ( You can read reviews on the Flavacol there too, SOOOO many people swear by it because it's what the theaters use.
  2. horker1
    I love this recipe! I've made it several times in a Dutch oven. On my stovetop, I really need to keep the popcorn moving or it will scorch, so i hold both handles of the pot and shake it around as it pops. It also cooks faster on my stovetop, but I just listen to the sounds of the popping to stop and pull it off.
  3. Ms. B
    I usually pop my own, but every now and then I get the urge for Subway popcorn (yes, Subway the sandwich place). Using the coconut oil and Flavacol is almost identical to Subway's bagged or boxed popcorn. Thanks for the recipe and also to the member that suggested using Flavacol. I pop a Dutch oven full, place it in a large new brown paper bag, shake about 1/2 teaspoon of Flavacol and I have better than Subway popcorn.
    This popcorn was pretty good, especially after I put it all in a paper bag and let it sit for a while, it just got crisper. It didn't quite taste like movie theater popcorn to me though.
  5. Nurse Rain
    I have been making popcorn this way for years. It is much healthier for you than microwave, and it tastes much nicer than air popped. Coconut oil is extrememly good for you, and it doesn't lose its health properties when heated. I use a large pot (dutch oven) with a lid to prevent a huge mess.


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