Instant Pot Popcorn

The do-it-all magic of the Instant Pot is easy to harness for this simple, incredibly snackable treat that requires just three pantry-friendly ingredients.

Instant pot popcorn scattered on parchment paper and in a bowl.


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How to make popcorn in an Instant Pot

Popcorn is one of those ultra-craveable snacks that just about everyone loves. While you might be used to tossing a bag in the microwave when you need a light snack or something to munch on while watching a movie, it’s far cheaper, nearly as quick, and even more delicious to pop it yourself.

And the process is easier than ever, thanks to an increasingly common kitchen appliance — the Instant Pot. 

Instant pots are so versatile – you can pop popcorn in them 

If you own an Instant Pot, you likely already know how many incredible things it can do. These devices are perfect for making soups and stews, ideally cooked rice, fork-tender meat, and a vast selection of other sides, main courses, desserts, sauces, and more. Some of our favorites include Instant Pot mac and cheese, Instant Pot roast beef, and best-ever Instant Pot beef stew.

But you may not have considered that their versatility allows them to make perfect popcorn, too. They work just like an old-school popcorn popper but save you space by combining the functionality with the Instant Pot’s many other functions. 

Instant pot popcorn in a bowl and scattered beside it.

Why you’ll have fun trying this recipe

Popping your own popcorn can be a lot of fun, especially when it’s as easy and fast as it is in the Instant Pot. Popping popcorn in the Instant Pot also allows you to vary the quantity you’re making. That means you can make a smaller snack if you’re not that hungry or easily experiment with various flavor profiles without wasting popcorn.

Plus, few things are as much fun as saving money, and there’s no doubt this Instant Pot recipe is far cheaper than buying those microwave bags at the grocery store.

So make pressure cooker popcorn for an easy snack or your next movie night.

Ingredients you’ll need

For the basics of Instant Pot popcorn, you’ll only need these three ingredients:

  • Extra virgin coconut oil
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Seasoned/popcorn salt

Be sure to use fresh popcorn kernels because old popcorn kernels won’t pop as well.

Instant pot popcorn ingredients in bowls.

How to make it 

Making Instant Pot popcorn is nearly as easy as microwave popcorn, but far better in quality:

  1. Turn on the Instant Pot, and start the saute setting on High. 
  2. Allow the Instant Pot to heat for two to three minutes.
  3. Add the coconut oil and allow it to melt. Then, add the popcorn kernels and seasoned salt.
  4. Stir to make sure each kernel is thoroughly coated.
  5. Replace the lid and let the corn kernels pop. 
  6. Turn off the Instant Pot when about two-thirds of the popcorn has popped, and allow it to finish popping naturally.
  7. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and enjoy! Drizzle melted butter over it if desired.
Collage of making instant pot popcorn.

It’s worth noting that this recipe is best when prepared using the glass lid available with the Instant Pot. However, those who only have the standard Instant Pot lid can swap it out for any clear lid from other kitchen pots that fits. 

5 tips for popping popcorn in your Instant Pot 

  1. If you’re looking for popcorn flavor just like you find at movie theaters, stadiums, and similar venues, grab some seasoning from the Flavacol brand. 
  2. While coconut oil is best for its high smoke point and subtle flavor, those who don’t have any on hand can substitute vegetable oil or canola oil in the same quantity. Do not use olive oil.
  3. Carefully keep an eye on your popcorn as it pops. You should make an effort not to let it run too long, as this can burn the bottom pieces, leading to an unpleasant taste and smell.
  4. Give the Instant Pot a shake occasionally while it’s popping. This can help redistribute unpopped kernels, which should sink to the bottom and be exposed to the heat.  
  5. Get creative with your flavorings. If you’re looking for a change from traditional popcorn flavor, try an Italian spice blend, Old Bay, chili powder, or cajun seasoning. Sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese for a cheesy touch. You can even make it a sweet treat by drizzling the popcorn with caramel sauce or melted chocolate. 

How to store popped popcorn

If you’ve got some popcorn left over after popping a big batch, the good news is that it’s as easy to store as it is to make. Once you’ve allowed the popcorn to cool to room temperature, store it in an airtight container or plastic bag. It’ll keep one to two weeks before going stale — if you can avoid snacking on it for that long!

Instant pot popcorn in a bowl and scattered beside it.

Be sure to check out my latest Instant Pot recipes

Use Instant Pot Popcorn for these recipes

Be sure to check out all my easy Instant Pot recipes and the best homemade snacks.

Instant pot popcorn scattered on parchment paper and in a bowl.

How to Make Popcorn in an Instant Pot

You can use your Instant Pot to make popcorn. 
4.79 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot Recipes
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 65kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon popcorn seasoned salt

Instructions

  • Turn on the Instant Pot, push the saute button, and then the adjust button, this should set your Instant Pot to a higher saute setting. Wait for 2 to 3 minutes until the pot heats up. Add the coconut oil, and when it melts add the popcorn. Add seasoned salt, and stir around to make sure the popcorn is coated with oil and salt. Put a lid on the pot, and once it 2/3rd’s of the popcorn turn off the Instant Pot.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 65kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 290mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Lynnette Siegl

    HI Stephanie
    I’m really frustrated with my NEW IP 6qt DEO IP!!!! I was able to pop my popcorn with NO problem at all!!!!! Now my new IP won’t even pop my popcorn!!!!!!!
    it won’t pop at all!!! I get a burn notice and it’s not burnt al ALL!!!!!
    2 tbsp coconut oil 1/2 cup popcorn……….. I’v many times to pop my popcorn but it won[t POP!!!!

    • Stephanie Manley

      I think there is a lot of variance in the models of the Instant Pot and what they can do. I have one of the earlier versions, and have bought newer ones, and went back to my older model.

  2. Sandy Smith

    5 stars
    I didn’t let the pot heat up for 1-2 minutes but added the coconut oil at the start. I think I might have gotten better results had I done so; I had to add 2 more tablespoons of coconut oil and seasoned popcorn salt after about half the kernels had popped. I also didn’t get the rapid popping I was used to with my old stovetop popper or with a bag of microwave popcorn. But the flavor was amazing! I will definitely make this again. I may also add some powdered cheese or other seasonings to experiment.

  3. Amy

    I have an 8 qt Instant pot. I heated the pot on saute, but only one kernel popped. I was very sad. I’ll have to investigate how to make this work. If I can fry sausage and burger, I should be able to pop corn. Alas!

  4. Rmj

    5 stars
    I had to Google this while I was mid-cooking my popcorn because I didn’t want to explode anything. I had two scoops about 1/4 c, and 3 heaping tablespoons of Dutchman’s coconut oil popcorn butter and it came out perfect. I just used the sauté function and vented the lid, and shook it a little to make sure it didn’t burn. It filled my 8 quart instant pot and cooked it just like our cuisinart popcorn maker which I’m trying to get rid of once I confirm I can do this on my own. It was a success! (A dash of pink Himalayan fine salt at the end)

  5. Azri

    Just a little information here.
    if you want to have the flavor of movie theater popcorn?
    you got to keep an eye on it! Fair warning.
    as you put a smidge more or less of, two tablespoons of coconut oil.
    basically coat the bottom with a liquid coconut oil then you put one or two tablespoons of butter in there and let it cook down and mix in with it.
    you throw your corn kernels in there you pop that stuff up.

    you will never go back.

    But like I said, keep an eye on it with the butter in it.
    you got to keep an eye on it.

    for me I used to do this in a big pot with the burner on high on the stove with a glass lid and my kids ate the crap out of it!!
    they loved it because it tastes like movie theater popcorn.
    mind you you need to salt it a little bit after it’s done.
    you will never go back and you will sneer a people who use a microwave to make popcorn.

    Cheers!!

  6. Lois Kramer

    Mine didn’t work. Two kernels popped and that was it.

    Also, how do you know when 2/3 has popped? So many minutes or….

    • Shiela Proudfoot

      Why would you write a comment like that Russell Coleman? The post was for how to make popcorn in an instant pot not how to make popcorn in the microwave.

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