Movie Theater Popcorn

“Growing up, we made popcorn in an air popper and poured over melted butter and table salt. It was really tasty, but got soggy fast. When I was in college, I tried microwave popcorn for the first time. Less work, less soggy, but less flavorful … also more expensive. When finances got tough, I finally realized there had to be a way to make good movie theater popcorn at home for cheap. And sure enough, here it is! The key is the clarified butter, or even better, ghee, which removes the water and dairy from the butter leaving you with an oil that won’t make your popcorn soggy. And the good news is, you can easily make your own ghee at home too!” – April Ferre

Movie Theater Popcorn

Course: Snacks


  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Optional, For Color
  • 1/2 Cup Popcorn Kernels
  • 1/4 to 1/3 Cup Clarified Butter or Ghee Melted
  • Popcorn Salt To Taste


  • In a large 6 to 8 quart stock pot, melt coconut oil and turmeric over medium-high heat.
  • Add 3 popcorn kernels. Wait until all three kernels pop. Then you know your oil is hot enough.
  • Add the rest of the popcorn kernels, cover and swirl the pot so that the kernels are coated in oil. Reduce heat to medium.
  • As the kernels begin to pop, shake the pot and occasionally open the lid to allow some of the steam to vent. Continue until popping slows significantly, then remove from heat and continue to shake until the popping stops completely.
  • Pour 1/3 of the butter over the popcorn and a bit of salt. Cover the pot and shake to coat. Taste and continue to add butter and salt to taste.
  • Note: popcorn salt is just regular salt finely ground into a powder. You can make your own by processing any available salt in a coffee or spice grinder or in a high powered blender.
  • Best served immediately, but lasts reasonably well for 1 to 2 days in an airtight container.

2024 Adapted Recipe – April Ferre – Adapted From The Kitchn

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