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Better Than Movie Theater Popcorn

Movie night popcorn is a must, so skip the microwave and make your own!

Few things bring people more joy and nostalgia than munching on popcorn at the movie theater. It’s nothing but salty, buttery, addictive goodness! I set out to make my own BETTER than movie theater popcorn (so I could sneak it into the theater in a ziplock bag in my fiancee’s purse. Who wants to pay $10 for a bag of popcorn!) Not only is this way cheaper than buying popcorn at the movie theater, but it’s also SO much better. And it’s only four simple ingredients: popcorn kernels, coconut oil, butter, and salt. But here’s my trick to taking my popcorn to the next level…I brown the butter! You wouldn’t believe the subtle yet obvious impact that brown butter has on your popcorn. Suddenly it’s nutty with a hint of salty caramel and your taste buds can’t get enough.

The key to amazing movie theater-like popcorn is coconut oil and butter. If you use something besides coconut oil, you’ll be straying away from the movie theater popcorn taste. The first thing I do is use a small saucepan to brown my butter. I use about 4 to 6 tbsp but use as much or as little as you’d like. If you do this enough you’ll quickly learn exactly how buttery you like your popcorn! Heat the butter on medium heat whisking constantly until the butter starts to brown and smell nutty, then take it off the heat. You’ll use it soon!

In a large pot or Dutch oven (it’s important they have lids!), heat 2 to 3 tbsp of coconut oil on medium heat. As the oil melts, I put one or two popcorn kernels as heat testers. When those kernels pop, the oil is hot enough and it’s time to put in the rest of your popcorn! As soon as the oil pops the kernels, I dump in the rest of my popcorn kernels, along with half of the brown butter as well as a large pinch of salt. Stir it all around so the kernels are nice and coated, and put the lid on. It’ll all start popping very soon! I put the brown butter in at the last second because you don’t want it heating up with the coconut oil that whole time. It will burn. But I find if I put it on the kernels at the last second, it coats them all well and avoids burning.

The kernels will start popping very quickly. I give the pot a shake every so often to make sure nothing is sitting on the bottom and burning. Once you’re not hearing kernels popping, take your pot off the heat, remove the lid and pour the rest of your brown butter all over the popcorn along with a generous pinch of salt. Mix it all around to coat everything and have a taste! The popcorn should be buttery and salty. Salt to taste at that point and now you’re ready to watch your movie or binge your show! Or get that popcorn into a bag and sneak it on into the movie theater like this rule breaker here!

Serves 4

5m prep time

10m cook time

Rated 4 out of 5
Rated by 3 reviewers
  • 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly until butter is brown and smells nutty. Be careful not to burn it!
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat coconut oil on medium heat until melted. Use a single popcorn kernel to test oil heat. When the kernel pops, the oil is ready.
  3. Pour popcorn kernels into along with a couple tablespoons of brown butter. Season with salt. Cover with lid.
  4. The popcorn will start popping. Remove from heat once there are several seconds between popping sounds.
  5. Remove lid and pour the rest of the brown butter over popcorn. Salt to taste. Mix well and serve!
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