Can You Put Melted Butter on Popcorn?

Popcorn: A Beloved Snack with Endless Possibilities

Popcorn, a delightful and versatile snack, has captured the hearts of people worldwide. Its popularity stems from its light and airy texture, affordability, and ability to serve as a blank canvas for various toppings and flavorings. Among the traditional toppings, salt and butter reign supreme, adding a savory and rich dimension to the popcorn experience. This article delves into the art of using melted butter on popcorn, providing a comprehensive guide to achieve evenly coated and flavorful results.

Benefits of Using Melted Butter

Melted butter is a preferred topping for popcorn due to its ability to enhance the flavor and richness of the snack. The melted butter seeps into the popcorn kernels, creating a more satisfying and indulgent experience. Additionally, melted butter acts as an adhesive, helping other toppings like salt and seasonings adhere to the popcorn, resulting in a more cohesive and flavorful snack.

Methods for Melting Butter

There are several methods to melt butter for popcorn, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Stovetop Method:

  1. Place a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the desired amount of butter and let it melt slowly, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. Once the butter is completely melted, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Microwave Method:

  1. Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on high for 15-20 seconds, or until the butter is melted.
  3. Stir the butter to ensure even melting and prevent splattering.

Butter Warmer Method:

  1. If you have a butter warmer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to melt the butter.
  2. This method is convenient and allows you to keep the melted butter warm for extended periods.

Preparing Popcorn for Butter

Before applying melted butter, it is essential to prepare the popcorn. There are various popcorn options available, including microwave popcorn, stovetop popping, and air-popped popcorn.

Microwave Popcorn:

  1. Follow the instructions on the popcorn bag for cooking in the microwave.
  2. Once the popcorn is popped, pour it into a large bowl or serving container.

Stovetop Popping:

  1. Heat a large pot or saucepan with a lid over medium heat.
  2. Add a tablespoon of oil and a few popcorn kernels.
  3. Once the kernels start popping, add the remaining popcorn kernels and cover the pot.
  4. Shake the pot occasionally to prevent burning.
  5. Once the popping slows down, remove the pot from the heat and pour the popcorn into a large bowl or serving container.

Air-Popped Popcorn:

  1. Use an air popper to pop the popcorn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Once the popcorn is popped, pour it into a large bowl or serving container.

Applying Melted Butter

To achieve evenly coated and flavorful popcorn, follow these steps:

  1. Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn while tossing it gently to ensure even distribution.
  2. Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle filled with melted butter to evenly coat the popcorn.
  3. For a more intense flavor, you can brush the melted butter onto the popcorn using a pastry brush.

Seasoning and Flavoring Options

In addition to melted butter, there are numerous seasoning and flavoring options to enhance the popcorn experience.


  1. Salt is a classic seasoning that complements the buttery flavor of popcorn.
  2. Use fine sea salt or kosher salt for a more pronounced flavor.

Herbs and Spices:

  1. Add a sprinkle of dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano for a savory twist.
  2. Experiment with spices like chili powder, cumin, or paprika for a spicy kick.

Cheese Powder:

  1. Cheese powder is a popular topping that adds a cheesy and tangy flavor to popcorn.
  2. You can use store-bought cheese powder or make your own using grated cheese and cornstarch.

Creative Flavor Combinations:

  1. Try combining different seasonings and flavors to create unique popcorn blends.
  2. For example, mix garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika for a savory and flavorful combination.

Alternative Butter Options

For individuals with dietary restrictions, there are alternative butter options available:

Clarified Butter:

  1. Clarified butter is made by removing the milk solids and water from regular butter.
  2. It has a higher smoke point and can withstand higher temperatures, making it ideal for cooking.

Vegan Butter Substitutes:

  1. Vegan butter substitutes, made from plant-based oils, can be used instead of regular butter.
  2. They provide a similar flavor and texture to butter but are dairy-free.

Health Considerations

While buttered popcorn can be a delicious snack, it is important to be mindful of its potential health implications:

Calorie Content:

  1. Butter is high in calories and saturated fat, which can contribute to weight gain and cardiovascular problems if consumed excessively.

Saturated Fat:

  1. Saturated fat, found in butter, can raise LDL cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.

Moderation and Alternative Toppings:

  1. Enjoy buttered popcorn in moderation and consider using healthier toppings like air-popped popcorn, whole grains, or fruits.
  2. Opt for healthier cooking methods like air-popping or baking instead of deep-frying.


Melted butter is a versatile and flavorful topping that enhances the popcorn experience. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve evenly coated and delicious buttered popcorn. Experiment with different seasonings and flavor combinations to create unique and satisfying snacks. Remember to consume buttered popcorn in moderation and consider healthier alternatives to maintain a balanced diet.


Why is melted butter preferred for popcorn?

Melted butter enhances the flavor and richness of popcorn. It also acts as an adhesive, helping other toppings like salt and seasonings adhere to the popcorn.

What are the different methods for melting butter for popcorn?

You can melt butter using the stovetop, microwave, or butter warmer.

How do I prepare popcorn for melted butter?

You can use microwave popcorn, stovetop popping, or air-popped popcorn. Ensure the popcorn is popped and in a large bowl or serving container.

How do I apply melted butter to popcorn?

Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn while tossing it gently. You can also use a spray bottle or pastry brush for even distribution.

What are some seasoning and flavoring options for buttered popcorn?

Popular options include salt, herbs, spices, cheese powder, and creative flavor combinations.

Are there alternative butter options for individuals with dietary restrictions?

Yes, clarified butter and vegan butter substitutes can be used instead of regular butter.

What are the health considerations associated with buttered popcorn?

Butter is high in calories and saturated fat, so moderation is key. Consider using healthier toppings and cooking methods for a balanced diet.

How can I make sure the melted butter is evenly distributed on the popcorn?

Toss the popcorn gently while drizzling the melted butter. Alternatively, use a spray bottle or pastry brush to ensure even coating.

Can I use melted butter on air-popped popcorn?

Yes, melted butter can be used on air-popped popcorn. It provides a flavorful and healthy snack option.