Any specific brands? so far, I could not find any popcorn that tastes like popcorn at movies.

  • Movie Theater Popcorn I've ever had just tasted like normal popcorn, with about 10x as much salt as normal Jan 13, 2014 at 15:47

4 Answers 4


I think this is primarily going to come down to the method of cooking and the flavorings. I think it's unlikely that you can buy a microwave popcorn that will taste like the movie theatre.

You'll need a specific popcorn pan so that you can stir the popcorn continuously and that will also vent some of the steam from cooking (which a normal pot won't do. Whirley Pop seems to be a common solution here.

Next you'll need to find the right type of oil. Experiment with a couple of things to see what you like. Coconut oil seems to be commonly recommended (and not easy to find).

Finally you'll need flavoring. Try Flavacol. My work has popcorn on thursdays, and they use this flavoring. It's pretty dead on.

I don't think the actual pop corn kernels will make a ton of difference. It's more the cooking technique and other ingredients.

Here's my primary source, but further research and experience backs that up as pretty dead on.

  • 1
    Coconut oil is the main factor. Even using a microwave popper, just spraying a little coconut oil on the popped corn duplicates most of the local theater's taste. Jan 17, 2013 at 19:10

I work at a movie theater and we do pop our popcorn in coconut oil. Also the popcorn popper that we use is basically a huge whirley pop, so any regular whirley pop with coconut oil should work. We also put the salt seasoning in the popper with the kernels, which is why they all come out with that orange color, although I don't know if you're supposed to put seasoning in your average whirley pop. As for the butter, I don't know what to tell you unless you want to melt clarified butter. The butter we use at the movies isn't really butter at all, just flavored oil.


You definitely have to cook it in oil. I like to use a wok to make my popcorn. As the kernels pop, they move up the sides of the wok, getting them out of the heat area. You get fewer unpopped kernels and less chance of scorching.

I think the type of oil, and the type of salt you apply may be the final pieces of the puzzle. I started mixing Molly McButter with salt to give the popcorn that buttery flavor. It's still not an exact replication, but it's a lot better than microwave, that's for sure.


Anything covered in lots of salt and artificial butter flavour will probably taste good

Not sure what your local movie theatre uses, but try this: Salt and raw (unprocessed) sugar (50/50). Use a food processor on max to turn it into a very fine dusting powder

Pop your popcorn with a little peanut oil, shaking the pan often. When all popped add a small teaspoon of the powder. Shake the pan a bit to mix and eat, yum

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