How to Pop Popcorn Over a Campfire



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Nobody enjoys leaving their favorite kernel snack behind during a camping trip. But carrying around a bag of ready-to-eat popcorn doesn’t sound fun. So, is there a way to make a fresh bowl of popcorn in the great outdoors?

How Do You Make Popcorn on a Camp Stove?

Making popcorn on a camping stove is one of the easiest camping hacks you can pull off. Typically, this will require only five items, including your stove, the kernels, some oil, a medium-sized pot, and its lid. If you like seasoned popcorn, you can also carry some of your favorite popcorn seasonings to add that savory taste

With all your items in place, you can start the popcorn-making process. The first step is to light your stove to a medium or low flame and place your pot on it. Next, grease your pot with some of the oil you carried. One or two tablespoons should do the trick. Remember to grease your pot because it can make your kernels stick to the bottom and burn.

At this point, you can pour in your kernels. Try not to fill your pot with the kernels because they won’t get enough room to pop, or they will end up spilling all over your campsite once they do. It’s not a rule of thumb, but leaving three-quarters of your pot empty should give the kernels enough space to pop.

Cover up the pot and let the popping begin. Wait for the majority of kernels to pop. You will only get some of them to pop, so as soon as you have a comfortable amount, take the pot off the camping stove, sprinkle some salt or your preferred seasoning, pour them out on a bowl, and enjoy your treat.

How Do You Use a Popcorn Maker over a Fire?

Popcorn on a camp fire.

An open-fire popcorn maker also comes in handy when making popcorn out in the wild. To pop kernels using this device, you need to set it up correctly as per the instructions in its user manual. You also need popcorn kernels, oil, and your favorite flavoring ingredients.

Once you’re done assembling your popcorn maker, add just enough oil to grease its bottom. Again, add your kernels and leave enough room to allow them to pop without spilling over or burning. With that done, hold the popcorn maker over the campfire using its handle. Occasionally, shake the maker from front to back to allow the heat to move evenly across all the kernels.

Getting enough popped kernels for one serving should take about three to five minutes. However, if you notice most of your kernels are ready before this time, remove the popcorn maker from the flames, add your flavoring ingredients or some salt to taste, and you’re good to go.

Can You Pop Microwave Popcorn over a Fire?

Yes, you can pop microwave popcorn over a campfire and still end up with a tasty snack. Microwave popcorn is made from standard popcorn kernels. The only difference is that they are pre-oiled and pre-seasoned to shorten the preparation process. That means you can cook them on a camping stove or with a popcorn maker, as we’ve described above.

For our recommended microwave popcorn brands, check this article.

Using aluminum foil, you can also pop microwave popcorn over a campfire. If you don’t have a pot or a popcorn maker and your popcorn munchies get the best of you, you can tear the microwave popcorn wrapper, pour the kernels on a sheet of aluminum foil, and seal it well so that it won’t open when popping begins.

Get a long enough stick, wrap one end of it in foil, and then use a string to attach the wrapped end of the stick to the kernel-containing foil. Wrap the string in foil to insulate it from the flame, then place your kernels over the fire. Ensure the foil is far from the flame, and shake the kernels occasionally to ensure they get equal heat. In no time, you’ll have your microwave popcorn ready.

Can You Pop Popcorn over a Candle?

Theoretically, it is possible to pop popcorn over a candle. In practice, however, this is a very difficult task. First, you would have to make sure the flame of the candle stays steady. If it flickers, it won’t heat the popcorn evenly.

The other challenge will be to find the right material that will easily heat up when heated by a candle. Since a candle’s flame is weak, this material needs to be very light yet inflammable because it will come very close to the flame.

Lastly, a candle can only pop a very few kernels because its flame isn’t strong enough. If you want a bowl or more of your favorite kernel snack, you will take so much time popping them that there probably won’t be enough time left to snack away.

Read how to pop popcorn on a BBQ next.

Nothing Beats Popcorn Over a Campfire of Popcorn Heads

If you love popcorn, then you know nothing would make a tastier treat in the great outdoors than a bowl of your favorite kernel treats. Even better is that making popcorn on a camping trip is so easy. You can prepare them on a camp stove, use a popcorn maker over a campfire, or find other ingenious ways to satisfy your popcorn cravings.

Whatever you choose, all you need to do is be cautious and use the proper equipment to say goodbye to your popcorn cravings on your next camping trip.

For information on all the different ways to make popcorn, check out this article next.


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