How to Make Movie Butter for Your Popcorn: 9 Steps

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How to Make Movie Butter for Your Popcorn: 9 Steps
How to Make Movie Butter for Your Popcorn: 9 Steps

The magic of movie popcorn has nothing to do with butter itself, but sometimes we get nostalgic, wanting that greasy taste of it. You can buy most of the products that movie theaters use, but you can also recreate the recipe with nothing more than ordinary homemade ingredients.


  • Popcorn
  • Butter
  • Coconut or canola oil
  • Popcorn Salt or Alberger Salt
  • Seasoning for movie popcorn (optional)
  • Topping for butter-flavored popcorn (optional)


Method 1 of 2: Making Movie Theater Popcorn

Make Movie Butter for Your Popcorn Step 1

Step 1. Choose the salt

Many movie theaters use Alberger processed salt, as this method creates sharp edges in the salt crystals, which causes them to stick to the popcorn. It is possible to achieve an effect similar to extra-fine powdered salt, which is often called “popcorn salt” and placed next to popcorn on the market.

You can make common salt look like this by grinding it in a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder. If you used the coffee grinder, just grind a little coffee afterwards to remove the remaining salt

Step 2. Melt butter.

Movie theaters that use real butter (instead of butter-flavored oil) often use melted butter. This process removes some of the water from the butter, which prevents the popcorn from becoming soggy. You can do this at home by placing the butter over a low heat until it stops bubbling and the liquid is clear, which takes 30 to 40 minutes for every ounce of butter. Pass the liquid through a damp cheesecloth or cheesecloth and let it cool to obtain the melted butter. Discard any remaining milk particles on the cheesecloth or the bottom of the pan.

The famous “buttered popcorn” smell in movie theaters comes from the artificial flavor. Real butter doesn't smell the same

Step 3. Put coconut or canola oil in a pan

Save the melted butter to pour over the popcorn, as it will likely turn brown or burnt if you try to pop popcorn with it. Coconut oil used to be used in movie theaters (and many still do), but you may prefer to follow the latest trend and switch to canola oil, which has less saturated fat and a higher boiling point. Whichever you choose, add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large pot. Leave on the fire until it starts to smoke.

  • Most movie theaters that use canola oil use a more hydrogenated version that has more fat than regular canola oil.
  • If using coconut oil, let it melt completely.
  • Use a pot with a lid, but it is not necessary to put the lid on now.

Step 4. Make popcorn.

Put some corn kernels in the pan and put the lid on. Once they've popped, put in the rest of the corn. Put ⅓ cup (80 mL) of popcorn into a 5.6 L pan. Cover and heat, shaking the pan occasionally until most of the kernels have popped. Pour the popped beans into a large bowl when the pan is full.

  • Lift the lid slightly to let the steam escape, which prevents the popcorn from becoming soggy or rubbery.
  • To reduce the number of burnt or unpopped beans, remove the pan from the heat immediately after placing them. Wait 30 seconds for them to reach an even temperature and then put on the fire again.

Step 5. Add the salt right after popping the popcorn

About ⅓ teaspoon (1.5 mL) of fine salt is needed in this recipe. The exact size of salt crystals affects the flavor, so it is necessary to adjust to taste. Add the salt right after popping the popcorn, as the steam coming out of it will help the salt settle.

Step 6. Add the melted butter

Put the popcorn in a large bowl. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 mL) of melted butter at room temperature to the hot pan as desired. It should quickly melt in the hot pan; no need to start the fire. Toss it over the popcorn while it's still yellow or just a little brown.

Method 2 of 2: Using Artificial Butter Flavors

Make Movie Butter for Your Popcorn Step 7

Step 1. Pop the popcorn with coconut or canola oil.

These are the two most common oils in movie theaters. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large pot until it starts to smoke a little. Put some corn kernels to test, and put the rest after they pop. Remove from heat for 30 seconds so that the beans reach an even temperature. Return to heat and let it pop, shaking the pan occasionally.

You will need about ⅓ cup of corn kernels for a 5.6 L pot

Make Movie Butter for Your Popcorn Step 8

Step 2. Add flavored salt during or after popping

Many movie theaters use artificial butter flavored salts. You can find this product on the internet and put it in your popcorn. Since a teaspoon (5 mL) of flavored salt contains 116% of the daily limit for sodium recommended by the health authorities, it's best to put too little.

Movie theater workers often add flavored salt before popping the popcorn. However, this product releases chemical substances present in the air that, in the long term, can cause damage when heated. The probability of this happening is pretty low if you only make popcorn for your own consumption, but if you're worried, add flavored salt after it pops

Step 3. Add butter-flavored popcorn topping

Flavored salt should already give you that artificial butter flavor, but if you want to feel the grease on your fingers and tongue, buy popcorn toppings online. Place on top of popcorn to taste as soon as it is ready.

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