3Tablespoonrefined coconut oilor oil of choice, see notes
4Tablespoonunsalted high-quality buttermelted
1/2tspfine sea saltapproximate; add to taste
In a large (8-12 quart) heavy-bottomed stockpot or dutch oven, add the oil and three popcorn kernels, heating over high heat. Cover the pan. These are the "test kernels" and once they pop, it signals that the oil is officially hot enough to pop all the kernels at the same time. Meanwhile, measure out the remaining 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels and begin preparing your butter by melting it either in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop.
Once the three test kernels have popped, immediately add the 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels to the pan. Cover and remove from heat, gently swirling from side to side for 20 seconds. Return the pan to the heat, and the popcorn kernels will almost immediately beginning popping.
Once the kernels are about halfway done popping, slightly crack the lid to allow excess steam to escape. Do this when the stockpot is approximately halfway full with popcorn, or about 30 seconds to 1 minute after they've popped - this does not have to be exact.
If needed, you can gently shake the pan side to side to allow any remaining kernels to make it to the bottom of the pan to pop. Once the popping has slowed or just stopped, immediately pour the popcorn into your serving bowl.
Evenly pour the butter across the popcorn, tossing to coat. Sprinkle in the salt, stopping to taste test and adjust the salt levels as needed (the best part!). Pro-tip, you can layer in the butter by adding half of the popcorn to your bowl, drizzling butter across, then add the remaining popcorn and butter.
Cooking Oil: See the post for the most detail on cooking oil; use an oil with a high smoke point. Refined coconut oil will give you the most movie-theater-like popcorn. Other great options include:
Vegetable or Canola Oil
Reheating Leftover Popcorn: Preheat your oven to 250°F. Spread the leftover popcorn on a large baking sheet in an even layer (it's ok if it's not totally in a single layer). Place the baking sheet in the oven for approximately 5-8 minutes or so until warm and crisp.