My wife makes popcorn by adding the corn to a pan, then tilt the pan and add oil until the popcorn is just covered. This seems to be a lot of oil. Does anybody know how to make popcorn with less oil?

5 Answers 5


The way I do it is put 1-2 tbsp of oil in my pot, add 1/3 cup or so of corn, cover, and heat on medium until it starts popping, then turn down a bit and shake the pot occasionally until it is all popped. So, not oil free, but not a whole lot of oil either.

  • 2
    Sounds like way less oil to me :-) Oct 21, 2012 at 22:07
  • 1
    Yup, this is how I do it too. Super tasty and very little oil.
    – Jacob G
    Oct 22, 2012 at 1:06
  • I add a tablespoon or two of (peanut) oil, throw in about three kernels, and once they've popped the oil is obviously hot enough,then pour in the full batch. Oct 22, 2012 at 6:10
  • I tried it and it works, see picture here Oct 23, 2012 at 19:23
  • 1
    That's still too much oil, you just need to coat the bottom of the pan, not drown it
    – TFD
    Oct 24, 2012 at 4:44

If you use an air popper, you don't need any oil.

I still add a little bit back in (with a pump sprayer), so the salt will stick ... but you could theoretically use none at all.n

  • 1
    +1 I prefer this method because you don't have to heat your oil at all...I usually drizzle on a very fruity olive oil, though a pump sprayer would make it easier. Making popcorn in a pan with a good olive oil would be a very bad idea, as the oil would go rancid from the heat. Oct 22, 2012 at 4:30
  • Probably a good method if you're planning on making it often. Oct 23, 2012 at 19:24

The minimum amount of oil to do popcorn is ZERO! here is the trick to make popcorn with less oil!

Edit: The method described by 'the trick' is to add a half cup of corn to a plain brown paper bag. Fold the bag closed, and put it in the microwave for 3 minutes on high. When the corn stops popping (less then two pops per second), take it out of the microwave. Add flavoring to taste.

  • 2
    This would be a better answer if you were to summarize the technique right here in your answer. This way, we still have the information if the linked page goes away.
    – KatieK
    Oct 24, 2012 at 1:20
  • +1, The minimum amount of oil is, indeed, zero. You can also achieve that with an air-popper as described by Joe. Oct 24, 2012 at 6:51
  • Ok thanks for the tip @BaffledCook I will ensure to make it this way the next time. edit: dunno why I can't make your username resolve as expected. Might be a js issue with my linux chromium browser.
    – vinni_f
    Oct 25, 2012 at 21:02

I remember reading when I bought my whirley pop, to use 2 tablespoons of oil per 1/2 cup of corn. It works out fine for me, although if I'm cooking it with butter as the oil, I usually add 3 tablespoons (because butter isn't entirely fat).

  • I think butter is a little under 20% water, and the milk solids don't have much volume, so 3 tablespoons of butter is closer to 2.5 tablespoons of oil, so you're probably overcompensating a bit. You could probably get away with 2.5 tablespoons if you're trying to minimize oil like the OP.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 23, 2012 at 16:07
  • Butter is, if I recall, 42% fat, and the rest is milk (excluding milk fat), and water. Don't quote me on this though.
    – Malfist
    Oct 25, 2012 at 12:22
  • Nope. Look up nutrition facts. nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/0/2
    – Cascabel
    Oct 25, 2012 at 14:08
  • You're right, wikipedia lists it as being 81% fat by weight.
    – Malfist
    Oct 25, 2012 at 14:09

In my Whirley pop I use half a teaspoon for 1/3 of a cup of kernels, less oil the healthier it is, works for me, I eat popcorn everyday!

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