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Popping Tips

How to pop the best popcorn on earth

Stovetop Popping

Preferred oils for popping (healthy and heat tolerant)

Coconut, Avocado, Sunflower, Olive Oil, Safflower, Canola.

Place a large heavy-bottom pot on stove and turn burner to medium-high. Immediately add 3 tbsp oil and a few test kernels to the pot.

Once test kernels pop, add ½ c kernels to pot. Gently shake pot to evenly coat kernels in oil, then cover with lid.

Kernels will begin to pop vigorously; once popping slows to 1–2 seconds between pops, carefully pick up pot and shake a couple times (do not overshake), then return to stove.

Turn off heat and remove pot from burner. Slightly crack the lid to allow steam to escape (do not let steam near hands or face).

Pour popcorn into a bowl, season to taste and enjoy!

Stovetop Popping FAQs

A heavy-bottom pot is best for popping on the stovetop. For example, a cast iron pot or a thick-walled aluminum or stainless steel pot. Other lighter-bottom pots can work as well, but heavier pots do a much better job of retaining heat and eliminating hot spots. Surprisingly enough, when you put all the oil and kernels into the pot the temperature drops; consistent heat is the key to getting the best popcorn explosion, and heavy-bottom pots aid in getting those results.

Experimenting with oils is one of the best ways to create a wide variety of delicious, natural flavors of popcorn. As mentioned in the stovetop popping directions section above, we prefer the following healthy and heat tolerant oils: Coconut, Avocado, Sunflower, Olive Oil, Safflower, Canola. As most of us know, there are “good” fats and there are “bad” fats. Different oils offer different health benefits. Some of our customers are completely off fats and they elect to use air poppers (see our comments on air popping above), but most popcorn lovers are perfectly happy with a little healthy fat along with their popcorn. The best oils for popping are “Expeller pressed” oils – this process is the most natural way of extracting oil and it eliminates the use of things like hexane in the oil making process. Any oil varieties with a “high smoke point” can be used for popping popcorn and we encourage you to ask your doctor or nutritionist if there are varieties they recommend.

Preheat the oil to medium/high heat is best. This is one of the most important tips and we can’t stress it enough. Heating the oil in advance along with a few test kernels is the best way to make sure your oil is at the proper temperature when you add the remainder of your kernels. This all goes back to HEAT – when you add your kernels, you want the oil temperature to remain high so that the kernels can quickly get to their job of popping. If you add all the kernels right at the beginning, your whole batch will be fighting to get up to popping temperature and will often lead to batches that aren’t perfect. This is also why we recommend medium/high heat – anything lower will not provide enough heat and lead to kernels that slowly roast, rather than explode.

Resist the urge to shake obsessively! Constantly picking up the pot to shake it means you’re removing it from the heat source, when the heat is needed for it to pop. Shaking the pot like crazy is only fighting against their goal of getting the heat. What does have the potential to burn is the popped popcorn – but unlike a microwave (where everything inside is getting heated intensely and relentlessly) the stovetop batch of popped popcorn is only taking heat from the metal, and very few pieces of popped popcorn are actually touching the bottom of the pot (the rest of them pop up into the center and have almost no risk of burning). When you get to the point during the popping process where the kernels are popping vigorously, you know you’re on track for a perfect batch (you preheated the proper amount of oil, didn’t add too many kernels, and resisted the urge to shake the pot). What’s happening at this point is the popped popcorn starts to fill the pot and all the commotion inside the pot will trap some of the unpopped kernels up and away from the bottom of the pot (and the heat they need). So rather than shaking continuously to prevent burning, you actually want to briefly shake the pot toward the end (see How To Pop instructions) and help those unpopped kernels return to the bottom of the pot so they may also pop.

The amount listed in our How To Pop directions should yield enough popcorn for 1-2 people to enjoy. Typically, ½ cup of Unpopped Kernels popped will yield 8 cups of popped popcorn. Depending on the size of the pot you’re using on the stovetop, our general rule of thumb is that the oil should nearly coat the entire bottom of the pot, but the oil should never be more than 1mm deep. If you use too much oil, this can easily lead to poor popping results. The problem with too much oil is that the kernels end up swimming in the oil and roasting slowly instead of exploding into fully popped kernels. Also, do not pour in too many kernels with the oil. Another rule of thumb is that there should never be more than a single layer of kernels in the pot. If you add too many and they are piling up on top of one another, you may have many unpopped kernels - or what we call “Old Maids” - at the end.

Ghee is clarified butter, which is essentially butter that’s rendered so it can be cooked at higher temperatures. We love to pop in Ghee (grass fed and organic ghees are our favorites), or it’s wonderful when melted down and used as a flavorful topping on our popcorn.

RuthAnne M.
This is by far the best popcorn I've ever tasted - if you are a popcorn lover you MUST get ahold of some!!!


Air Popping Tips

We have many longtime customers who only use air poppers. Our popcorn pops well in an air popper too, but depending on the model you may encounter some flying kernels. This has always been a problem for air popping and most people have come up with their own methods to combat the flying kernels so they fall back into the chamber and eventually pop. Since Tiny But Mighty kernels are very small (that’s what makes them so tasty!), you’ll likely encounter more flying kernels than usual.

Some poppers work better than others, but none of them advertise based on “size of fan,” so we don’t have any recommendation as to which variety will work best. The unanimous response from all of our air pop customers is that they’ve found great methods to fight the problem. The best method we’ve learned is using an oven mitt to cover the popping chamber. Once the kernels start to pop, there will be enough popped kernels to hold down the other unpopped kernels in the chamber so they don’t fly out.

Microwave Popcorn Popping Tips

ALL microwaves are different. The popping time and heat setting that may work in one microwave may be too much or too little in another microwave. You may need to try a few different popping times or power settings before you find just the right one for popping the perfect bag of popcorn in your microwave.
If your microwave has a “Popcorn” button or setting, we recommend that you do not use it. Back to that whole “one size does not fit all” thing…there’s no way your microwave can accurately predict what will work for various types of microwave popcorn, so it’s best to choose the time and power setting yourself.
We recommend high power and have found that it generally takes less than 2 mins 30 seconds to pop Tiny But Mighty Microwave Popcorn in a home microwave. Of course, final cooking time will vary based on your particular microwave model, but we like to start with setting the cook time to 3 minutes. Once the popping sounds begins to slow (about 1-2 seconds in between pops) stop the microwave and pull out the bag. Be careful as it’s HOT! Shake the bag and let it cool for a minute before opening.
So you set your power and time and hit the “Start” button – DO NOT walk away, people! Popping in a microwave requires full attention (as does stovetop popping). You need to stick by your microwave to monitor popping progress (watch that the bag is expanding properly, listen for popping to start and then slow at the end) if you want to end up with the yummiest, non-burnt microwave popcorn.
There are various sizes of microwaves out there, and as a bag of microwave popcorn cooks it expands and can get caught on the insides of the microwave, preventing it from turning as it cooks – which means the super concentrated heat can more easily burn the popcorn inside the bag. If the bag does get stuck, quickly open the microwave and adjust the positioning of the bag so it can once again turn properly on the turntable.
If you find your bag of Microwave popcorn having a lot of unpopped kernels (we call ‘em “old maids”), try taking a small microwave-safe plate, place it upside down in your microwave, then place the bag of Tiny But Mighty Microwave Popcorn on top of the plate as pop as usual. It’s a funny little trick that seems to fix the issue, more often than not.

If you’re looking for the convenience of popping Tiny But Mighty Popcorn in the microwave, our Microwave Products (Butter, Light Butter and Spicy Southwest flavors) are a great option to try.


“Your true popcorn people, who we call P.P.E.’s — Professional Popcorn Eaters — those people are looking for the flavor of corn, and when they and our corn or the smaller corns, they realize ‘that’s what I’m after’ and that’s where the true flavor of popcorn comes from.”