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How to Make Movie Theater Popcorn at Home

Updated on May 15, 2012

How to Make Movie Theater Popcorn at Home

One of the best reasons to go to a movie in a theater is the popcorn! After buying popcorn, sodas and candy, it is very easy to spend well over $50 to take your kids to see a movie. That stinks!

Instead of spending all that money to watch a movie for less than two hours, why not get the supplies you need to make this great popcorn at your own home? It will cost a LOT less and you will be able to monitor how much your kids are eating!

There are only a few items that you need to make movie theater popcorn. You will need a stovetop popcorn popper, good quality popcorn, Flavacol salt, and coconut oil.

That's it!  Most of the stovetop popcorn poppers come with a recipe book for making exotic mixes like caramel corn and kettle corn, but for the purposes of movie theater popcorn simply add a couple of tablespoons of the coconut oil to the stovetop popper and 

Stovetop Popcorn Popper

The first item needed is a good quality stovetop popcorn popper. Look at the reviews on Amazon before deciding on yours. I personally like the "Back to Basics Stainless Steel Stovetop Popcorn Popper." It has a six quart capacity and has sturdy gearing that will not easily break.

You want good quality turning mechanisms as you will continually turn the handle as the popcorn heats in the oil. This keeps the kernels moving and avoids hot spots and burnt popcorn (blech!).

Stainless steel is an excellent material as well that will last you for years!

Popcorn Kernels

Have fun in choosing different types of kernels.  There are dozens of different varieties and your whole family will enjoy tasting the different ones to find their personal favorites.

For a fun treat, get a few different types of gourmet popcorns and make a small batch of each.  Ask your kids to give them a taste-test to pick out a new family favorite.  

Movie Theater Popcorn
Movie Theater Popcorn


Flavacol is the secret ingredient in movie theater popcorn.  It is a salt mix that you should add to your own popcorn at home.  This will give your homemade popcorn that true "movie theater taste."

A word of warning:  A little goes a long ways.  You do not need much to add that special favoring to the whole batch.  Start small and move your way up until you find the perfect amount for your taste buds.

Many people add Flavacol AFTER they pop the kernels, but the true connoisseurs will add a bit of Flavacol into the coconut oil.  This mixes the salt with the oil and creates a "truer" taste.  The one drawback to doing this is that it makes the cleanup of the stovetop popper a little more difficult.

Experiment for yourself and have fun doing it!

Which Oil to Use?

Coconut oil is the preferred oil to add to the Stovetop Popcorn Popper.  It can usually be found in your grocery store near the popcorn kernels.  You may need to look in a few different stores until you can find it, though.

Alternatively, Amazon and other online retailers will ship a bottle straight to your home. 

Remember, just like the Flavacol, a little goes a long ways.  You only need a few tablespoons to get those kernels popping!

On a side note, if you are concerned with the fats in coconut oil, some people have had success using olive oil.

To Complete the Look

Now, if you really want to make the movie theater popcorn experience complete, you will need to get a popcorn machine.

These electric machines spin the popcorn in the oil automatically and let the popped kernels fall into the base just like you see at the theater.  

This would make an amazing gift for any movie fan.  Nothing will keep your family together on a rainy afternoon like freshly popped popcorn and a fun newly released movie!

Movie Theater Popcorn
Movie Theater Popcorn

Complete the Package

Now that you have all the makings of a great fun filled evening watching movies, its time to pick a great movie that everyone will enjoy.

Look below for some new recommendations. 


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What's wrong with an air popper? NO clean-up and since you didn't use oil to pop it with, you can add more butter! Yum!! We also put garlic powder or Parmesan cheese...or both.

    • JasonPLittleton profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for good hub, I appreciate this.

    • Mutiny92 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arlington, VA

      Whitton - That sounds fun! I would love to get a movie theater popcorn popper for my house!

    • whitton profile image


      8 years ago

      Great Hub! We bought a refurbished popcorn maker at Best Buy and its in perfect condition for 1/2 the price. Makes great popcorn just like movie theater popcorn if not better!!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Taste good and great fun. Thank you.

    • goodmovies profile image

      Randy Ray 

      8 years ago from Texas

      What a great idea for a hub. I had no idea that Flavacol is what gives movie theater popcorn its unique taste, but now I want to try it.

    • RJS7 profile image


      8 years ago

      Sounds Good!


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