There are commercial flavored popcorn (i.e. BetterMade) that aren't topped with flavor but coated like a potato chip. How do I re-create that coating at home? Specifically, I'm a fan or the 'hot' style coating (bbq, buffalo chicken, jalapeno, flame). I've tried oils, tossing in a bowl, spraying from a bottle, but no luck - it's just regular popcorn with a little chili powder sticking to each kernel.


7 Answers 7


How you are popping your corn makes a difference.

Air popped corn with flavoring added afterwards may be healthier but it is difficult to make flavorings adhere.

Using an agitated oil popper and putting the flavoring infused in the oil will make the difference. The flavors will be part of the kernel and not just stuck to the outside.

Lately I've seen several table top, agitated oil poppers at places like costco for reasonable prices.


Anyone ever try just popping with your regular oil, but 50/50 mixed with India Mustard oil, and then before dumping the popcorn into the oil, add 1 tsp of Turmeric powder, and 1 tsp of Reshampatti chilly powder ( hot India ground chilli ) in with the popping corn ?

When it pops, you get a hot curry taste, and an atomic yellow colored corn. Salt with unflavored regular popcorn salt, or, powdered India "Black Salt" for an unusual taste sensation.


  • That sounds delicious Dave. Welcome to Seasoned Advice.
    – Preston
    Mar 24, 2014 at 4:25

A method I like to use is to pop the corn in a large steel frying pan, and adding the seasonings into the oil right before the kernels begin to pop. My frying pan ratio is 1TB olive oil per 1/4 cup of popcorn, and also up to 1tsp of seasonings into that, sometimes a tad more onto the popcorn after it has been popped. Use a lighter olive oil if you want less of that bold flavor, but olive oil is definitely nice because a) of the flavor and b) it can nicely withstand heat and thereby pops the corn quickly.

The basic process here starts with getting the pan hot, then adding oil, then kernels, and lastly the seasoning. The flavoring is trickier because you don't want it in the oil for too long because it can take on too dark of a charred flavor if you add it too soon. Some seasonings suffer more from being in the oil too long (like garlic), and some don't work well with this method at all (like the Nacho Cheese). If you can have your flavoring at the ready, wait until the very first kernel pops, and then throw the seasonings on and stir it vigorously into the oil - put the lid back on promptly so you don't loose the popcorn as the kernels pop.

Because of the flavors you mention, I highly recommend you try the Kernel Seasons Cajun. What's nice about all their flavors is the fine grind helps maximize coating, your primary concern, though it still doesn't all stick. My favorite is to pop with Cajun and sprinkle on some Nacho Cheese afterwards - yum. Another favorite in our house is a homemade powdered rosemary salt.


I've had great success infusing butter with flavor and then putting it and the popcorn in a plastic tub and shaking it for a few minutes.


To start, coat the bottom of a medium sized pot with canola oil.

-Cover the pot and pop the corn on medium heat

-Add ~4 tablespoons of soy sauce (I drizzle it over the popcorn in a big bowl, trying to get as many pieces as possible, but you do not want to drench it!)

-Take a handful of baker's yeast and sprinkle it over the soy sauced popcorn

et voila!


I use spray on vegetable oil which is a good and light adhesive, plus add extra taste to flavoring.


A search for "popcorn coating" at the patent office turned up several possibilities. This one (# 4,767,635 - 1988) seems like it might be adaptable to home use:

A free-flowing uniformly flavorant coated unpopped corn and method of preparation thereof wherein the unpopped corn is essentially oil and fat-free and retains a substantial amount of added salt and flavorant upon popping in a hot air popper comprising unpopped corn coated with an adherent flavoring consisting essentially of an edible adhesive, e.g. gelatin, an edible salt and optional colorants and flavors.

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