I have a popcorn machine that produces popcorn without using fat. It basically blows hot air over the kernels, and after 2 minutes they start popping.

You're not supposed to add any flavoring agent (salt, sugar, ...) in the machines as it's not made for that. So when I want to add flavor, I spray water onto the popcorn right after it has popped, and then scatter the flavoring agent. This works relatively well.

The downside:

  • the popcorn can become damp (I solve this by leaving the machine on, which blows hot air over the popcorn)
  • you can waste some flavoring agent (not all of it sticks to the popcorn, some of it falls on the bottom of the bowl)

The upside:

  • no fat used, healthier and your fingers will be less "greasy"

Any other ideas how to flavor your popcorn using no fat or a minimal amount of fat?


8 Answers 8


While movie theaters do often add flavoring agents (e.g. Flavacol) during cooking, that's not all they do for seasoning— they also use popcorn salt which is simply extremely finely ground plain salt. Morton, among other salt companies, package it for sale in grocery stores. It sticks perfectly to popcorn with absolutely no liquid or fat whatsoever. If you can't find any, and don't feel like ordering it online for some reason, putting salt into a high speed blender, spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or some other grinding device does the trick.

For a sweeter corn, you can use a shake of confectioners sugar. It would be great with a shake of cinnamon.

I love to add a touch of garlic powder and a shake of smoked paprika to mine! My wife absolutely swears by brewers yeast for her popcorn... she even brings a little jar of it with her to the movie theater.

Good luck and happy popping!

  • 2
    I suspect that you may not have used an air popper before answering this. The hot air dries the popcorn so much that even popcorn salt doesn't stick well to it. It might work for microwaved popcorn, or other heating methods, but not an air popper
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 11:49
  • 1
    Proper popcorn salt is a powder— It would have no more trouble sticking to dried popcorn than cornstarch would. It will stick to clean glass and teflon.
    – ChefAndy
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 7:17

Don't spray with water with a standard squirt bottle. Get an olive oil spritzer. It's pressurized, so you get an almost aerosol-fine mist, which prevents the kernels from getting soggy. It also adds flavor, in addition to the powdered seasonings you add with it. Or you could use an infused oil and skip the powdered seasoning altogether.

  • How does this add flavor if you're just spraying water with it? And doesn't adding infused oil defeat the purpose of the question?
    – SourDoh
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 21:28
  • 2
    You're not spraying water; you're spraying flavored oil and then sprinkling powdered seasoning. If you look at the olive oil spritzer, it sprays a very light mist - it's not like pouring oil over the popcorn. It's just enough to make the seasoning stick to the popcorn.
    – EmmyS
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 14:04
  • I do the same thing (olive oil spritzer and popcorn salt). I do it in a large bowl so that I can spritz, sprinkle on the salt, toss a few times, then alternate spritzing and tossing a few times depending on the size of the batch
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 11:46

My fat-free flavoring of choice is a bit of lime juice and chile powder tossed with the popcorn in a large bag. Sometimes I toss by hand in the bowl. I find the lime juice doesn't dampen the popcorn as much as water and adds a nice flavor.

  • I will have to give this a try...
    – Cos Callis
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 18:34

I use a little spritzer bottle that I fill with Braggs aminos or nama shoyu or coconut enzymes. Just spay a little on as it comes out of the popper. It provided a tad of moisture to then sprinkle on other spices that stick. No fat!


Spritz your popcorn with vinegar, and whatever seasonings you enjoy with it. My personal guilt-free snack is salt & vinegar popcorn! :)


A popcorn gift pack that I recieved a few years ago came with a "grape seed oil" spray bottle (along with several flavorings powders). The grape seed oil seems to work quite well when administered in very low quantities. Not "no fat" but it is at least 'minimal'.


I used to use the cheese flavouring packets that come with macaroni and cheese making mix. Took the popcorn, put in a big bag, poured in the cheese mix and shook it all up. Works pretty good.

  • Are those packets fat free? Most cheese is not.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 21:23

I use brown lunch bags with virgin olive olive oil. It works good and adds flavor.

  • 1
    Hello Albert Nitch. I think your answer will have more success in our community if you explained the method in more detail.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 19:54
  • I don't think that this answer fits the question since it specifically asks about flavoring without fat.
    – SourDoh
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 16:28

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