Popping Popcorn in Your Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Popcorn
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I love popcorn! Even more, I love Instant Pot popcorn! 🙂

I can honestly say that I haven’t had popcorn in the microwave in years! My husband and I bought an air popper about five years back, and we absolutely love the popcorn it makes! When I bought my Instant Pot, I wondered if I could make popcorn in it. People have made popcorn on the stove before, so why not in the IP? All that I used was unrefined virgin coconut oil (Nutiva brand that has a smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit – some coconut oils can only go to 280 degrees Fahrenheit), some butter, and popcorn kernels! You’ll also want a clear glass lid for your IP for this recipe. You’ll want to see what’s popping (and avoid flying kernels around your kitchen!). Take a look and listen!

1/8/17 update – the “more” function on the Instant Pot may reach temperatures of 347° -410°F (higher than I previously researched for the Great Popcorn 2.0 Experiment)  which exceeds the smoke points of some oils (the point at which they may break down and burn). This may result in unpopped or burnt kernels. It may be worth trying the “normal” setting which only heats up to 320°-349°F, although I have not yet tested this temperature.



Voila! Instant Pot popcorn! It was absolutely delicious (and clean up was a BREEZE!). My husband and I enjoyed it while watching a movie. He was caught enjoying the popcorn by the handful!!Sisters Under Pressure Popcorn Husband

🙂 The recipe is below in both SUP visual format, and in traditional recipe form. It’s fast, easy, and only requires three ingredients!!! I did also try this with both less and more coconut oil and butter. The recipe I listed worked best for me, but feel free to experiment and let us know how it turns out!!! I also tried with a full cup of kernels. While my bounty was definitely more than when I used half a cup, I was left with quite a few kernels that decided the popcorn life wasn’t for them.

Go get popping!! 🙂





Click here for video instructions over on YouTube 🙂

Instant Pot Popcorn Recipe - Sisters Under Pressure
Mmmmmm a delicious, visual popcorn recipe! The middle photo, ‘Adjust to more,’ shows a time of 30. This is not important as you will not be using the pot very long 🙂 Cook time is only a few minutes 🙂



Instant Pot Popcorn

Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 8 cups of popped popcorn

Instant Pot Popcorn



  1. Push the sauté button, then push 'adjust' to move the temperature control to 'more.'
  2. When the pot display reads 'HOT,' add the butter and coconut oil. Stir for about one minute or until it begins to simmer.
  3. Add popcorn kernels. Stir to ensure all pieces are coated in the butter-oil mixture.
  4. Put the lid on the pot.
  5. When the popping slows down, turn the pot to 'off.' Allow kernels to finish popping before removing lid.
  6. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!


Exercise caution in removing the lid. The handle, depending on what type you use, may be very hot.

Optional toppings: butter, salt, cinnamon and sugar, garlic salt, chili powder, chocolate drizzle, etc.

I used Country Crock spread in my batches.

This can be made using only coconut oil, or another oil of your choosing. Butter is not required.


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  1. Delicious! Can’t wait to try it! I just bought my IP and got it last night. Can I use any glass lid that would fit it, or does it have to be a specific IP glass lid?

    • Hi Mindy! Thanks for checking the recipe out 🙂 I used a lid from another pot actually – that’s the lid in the photos 🙂 I haven’t jumped to get the Instant Pot lid yet because this one has worked out fine 🙂 -Danielle

  2. I tried this tonight and it was wonderful! So great to have such a large batch of popcorn, and it was so quick! I used a glass pie plate for a lid since I don’t have a real lid that fits. One question – there was alot of steam that caused condensation under the “lid” and it was dripping. I was afraid it would make the popcorn soggy, so I risked a burn and held up my “lid” to vent the steam. Any problems with that when you have popped yours?

    • Hi Paula! Thanks for checking out the popcorn recipe – I’m so glad it turned out wonderful for you! The lid I used didn’t fit exactly either, and I did have a little condensation at the top as well. I was careful when I took the lid off – I vented it slightly away from me to let any steam out (I don’t believe I had much – guess I’m going to need to pop some more today to double check it 😉 , and then lifted the lid straight up to avoid any “drippage.”

      • I’m not sure how much it would splatter, but I do wonder if it needs that bit of heat to stay in the pan to get to a high enough temperature to ‘pop.’ I still haven’t tried it, but I know my glass lid (I didn’t know this at first) actually lets some steam out during the process. The oil doesn’t spit up too high, but it makes me wonder what else works and what doesn’t.

      • Hi Bev! It definitely isn’t for everyone, and I’ve found varied results with many people. I’ve done a few experiments, and oils have made a difference, and I’m beginning to think the lid and elevation may also have a part in it.

  3. Hmmm followed directions and half my kernels didn’t pop ☹️ Dumped it out and tried again, no luck. Opened a new Orville popcorn bottle (even though date is July 2017) and same results.

  4. I’ve tried two batches (and watched your video) and I only get a small handful of popped corn and the rest kinda burns in the butter. I’m using a combo of butter and olive oil. I’m using Saute on high and letting it get hot. Any idea what’s wrong?

    • Hi Cicely! I’m looking at the cooking temperature for olive oil. The instant pot temperature listed for the saute function is 338 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m beginning to wonder if that is the cause for the unpopped kernels – it isn’t getting hot enough for the oil to pop those kernels. I’m looking more into this! What kind of olive oil are you using?

  5. It didn’t work very well for me, either. The popping was very slow and “unenthusiastic” and took quite a while. I quit with less than 1/4 of the kernels popped, because I didn’t want it to burn. I thought maybe it was because the corn was kind of old. But maybe not, since others are also having trouble.

    I used a combo of coconut oil and ghee, so I would think that it should have worked. I’ll try it again another time with new popcorn and see if that was the issue.

    • Hi Martha! Thanks for stopping by! I’ve never used ghee, so this feedback is good. I only have experience using the coconut oil (unrefined), and butter. Based on information I’ve gotten from other people, I do think the cook temp/smoke point of the oil makes a difference. The coconut oil I’m using has a smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I went a-searching, and found this great article about smoke points (http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/cooking-fats-101-whats-a-smoke-point-and-why-does-it-matter.html). Ghee wasn’t listed on there, but from what I can find it is around 252 degrees Celsius, which is 485 Fahrenheit. The pot may not be hot enough to pop the kernels.

  6. Didn’t work for me and I was so looking forward to having this popcorn for my This is Us marathon. Used Nutiva oil (2TBS) and regular butter (1TBS). Very little popped and the rest just burnt.

    • Hi Debbie – that is such a great show!!! 🙂 I’m unsure about your results – this is how I’ve done it in several different pots (lots of friends have them, haha). Is the coconut oil unrefined? I haven’t tried it with any refined oils – trying to narrow down what may have gone wrong.

  7. I’ve tried this three times now, once with butter and coconut oil and twice with butter and olive oil. Only a small portion of the kernels pop. I’m so bummed! Why would it work for some folks and not others? I have the IP-LUX, would that make any difference?

  8. Hi, I used unrefined organic coconut oil and real butter. Only about half of the curnels popped. It popped slowly and not all the way open. I didn’t measure out the coconut oil exactly, that’s the only thing I did differently from you. Any suggestions?

  9. I have been wondering if altitude makes a difference in other recipes. I’m in a low, not very far above sea level area and it seems like everything except the cheesecake (chicken, roast, black beans, baked sweet potato) has taken much longer to cook.

    • Hi jp! I have read that the altitude can make a difference. I’m in Central New York, and Melissa is in the Southeastern part of South Dakota. An online search tells me that I’m 389 feet above sea level, and Melissa is 1229 feet above sea level. I’m headed to SD in 3 weeks – I’ll do my best to experiment with some recipes (being further above is the opposite of you, but may help figure some things out! 🙂 ). Have you tried popcorn?

  10. I followed directions exactly, used a corelle ware plate as a lid, and used 2 Tbsp coconut oil, 1 Tbsp butter, and 1/2 cup Jolly Time white popcorn kernels. About 12 kernels popped. After that, the oil and kernels both get darker but nothing else pops.

    • Hi Mary! I did an experiment with oils and popcorn, and found that there are definitely other factors at play with the results. What kind of coconut oil did you use? This may be one of the variables. The one I used had a smoke point of 350 degrees F, but I am finding that some are only labeled for up to 280 degrees F, which is too low for our Instant Pot when using the saute “more” function. Let em know and we’ll see if we can help you troubleshoot 🙂

    • Hi Janet! I didn’t have great luck with just butter. I tried it for the Great Popcorn Experiment 2.1. This was just basic butter from Wegman’s. From what information I’ve found, butter has a very low smoke point, so that may be why it didn’t work out well. I haven’t confirmed this information anywhere though – I can’t find any info on the specific butter I use. If you try it and have different results, please let us know 🙂

  11. I love this. I made this for my family tonight, and they are really picky. They all ate it and loved it. Maybe 3 unpopped kernels total. Thank you!

  12. Hi,

    When I try using this recipe, the Instant Pot turns itself off after (with lots of unpopped kernels). Not sure what I’m doing wrong or if there’s something defective with my IP 🙁


    • Hi Confused! Oh no! It shouldn’t be turning off, unless the 30 minutes are up or have been adjusted. It should definitely not take more than 10 minutes. I think elevation may be a factor. What have you been using for the popcorn – what kind of oils?

    • Hi JM! Popcorn can definitely be tricky, and I haven’t 100% sure figured out why. The only variable left that I haven’t fully tested is the elevation. I question it because I had issues when I traveled to South Dakota, and have had no issues consistently here in NY.

  13. Hi! I’ve been having really hit or miss results with my instant pot, including this recipe. 🙁 I bought a whole bottle of orville popcorn kernels that aren’t popping. Using unrefined coconut oil and butter, just like the directions. :/

    • Hi Allison – popcorn seems to be a really finicky thing in the pot. I’ve never had issues here in NY, but I did have issues when I traveled to South Dakota. The only variable there was the elevation, so I’m not sure if that may make a difference since it’s not actually pressure cooking the food. What else can we help you with?

  14. Hi. Grapeseed oil and avocado oil both have high smoke points and are very mild-flavored. I usually use a combination of grapeseed oil and either ghee or EVOO (for buttery flavor) to pop my corn. The higher-heat oil will raise the smoke point of the more delicate oil. I use a ratio of about 2:1 :: high-heat:delicate. Hope this helps.

  15. Hellooo… Love the post and have had a couple instant pots so far. The first one popped popcorn like a dream. But alas it failed and had to be taken back. We got the 2nd one and it didn’t pop popcorn. My husband and I did some readings with a heat probe and did not get the levels indicated in the manual. Not near hot enough for popcorn. Back the pot went. (This does explain why some people can pop and others can not, also why cook time vary on a lot of these recipes.) So we sent #2 back. We have received #3 and that is a bust too. The thermal switch keeps clicking on and off and the heat tops out at 300F (popcorn needs 380F to pop). So this one is going back too. Sorry for the length of this. Seems a lot of these are defective. I still love the instant pot and the pressure cooking is amazing! I will continue to look for one that fully functions.

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