coconut oil in a jar

Why We Love Using Coconut Oil for Popcorn

You can use almost any common cooking oil to pop popcorn, but coconut oil tops them all! Keep reading to find out why we use it for all our popcorn kits.   

You can use different kinds of oil to pop popcorn, but here at Popsmith, we tend to reach for one oil in particular — coconut oil. 

Here’s why we love using coconut oil for popcorn (and why you won’t regret going for it, too):

It Has a Good Smoke Point

Popcorn pops at a high temperature so you need an oil that won’t burn the kernels in the process. That’s why a high smoke point should be your top consideration when you choose an oil. Coconut oil fits the bill with a smoke point of 350°F (or 400°F for the refined type). 

It Helps Replicate the Taste of Butter

woman squeezes solid coconut oil into a mint popcorn popper with kernels 

Everybody loves buttery movie theater popcorn, but the trouble with using actual butter to flavor popcorn is that it can turn the kernels soggy (the horror).  

You won’t have this problem with coconut oil. What sets it apart from other oils, too, is the silky texture and richness it adds to your popcorn. It’s creamy and butter-like without sacrificing crunch — the secret to achieving movie theater-quality popcorn at home (along with butter-flavored salt).

It’s Vegan and Gluten-Free

Since coconut oil is derived from, well, coconuts, it’s safe for vegans and other folks who can’t consume dairy. It also doesn’t contain gluten so those with a gluten intolerance won’t have any problem with it. That’s why coconut oil is a popular butter substitute.  

It Boosts the Popcorn’s Flavor

coconut oil mixed in with kernels in a Popsmith Popper

While choosing more neutral-tasting oils like vegetable and grapeseed has its perks, coconut oil can complement all kinds of popcorn seasonings, whether sweet, savory, or both. It’s subtle enough to not overpower your popcorn and instead enhances its flavor.    

It’s Healthier Than Other Fats

Coconut oil has fewer calories than oils like olive, soybean, and canola oil. These have 120 calories per tablespoon while coconut oil has 117.

Coconut oil is also known for its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which give you an instant energy boost and may help with weight loss (though this claim needs more research). 

Say Hello to Perfect Popcorn Every Time

So, we’ve let you in on the trick to better-tasting popcorn. Now it makes sense why our Oh Sooo Buttery Popcorn and Classic Kettle Popcorn kits both use coconut oil, huh? It’s a simple but effective way to get more crunch and flavor with each bite.

Try cooking stovetop popcorn with coconut oil today and you’ll notice what a difference it makes!  

Looking for more popcorn tips and inspiration? We’ve got loads of these in our blog, so be sure to check it out. 

FAQs About Using Coconut Oil for Popcorn

How much coconut oil do I put in my popcorn machine?

The exact amount will depend on how much popcorn you plan on making, but we like to use 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for every half a cup of kernels. 

What kind of coconut oil do I use for popcorn?

While you can technically use both refined and unrefined coconut oil for popcorn, folks usually go for the refined version. It has a higher smoke point as well as a milder flavor and scent compared to unrefined coconut oil. 

How long does coconut oil for popcorn last?

It takes a while for coconut oil to go bad. Refined coconut oil has a shelf life of around 18-36 months while unrefined coconut oil can last about 3 to 5 years. The better the storage condition, the longer your oil’s lifespan.

If the coconut oil is solid, that doesn’t mean it’s gone bad. It’s normal when it’s at room temperature and will melt just like butter when you heat it.

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