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How to Make Instant Pot Popcorn

This is how to make Instant Pot popcorn with coconut oil that tastes great and is ready in just 5 minutes!! Easy to do in a Ninja Foodi too and tastes way better than microwave popcorn. It’s a fun pressure cooker snack your whole family will surely love!


If you haven’t caught the bug yet to try Instant Pot popcorn I’m telling you that you MUST! I am working to create lots of new Instant Pot recipes and this is the latest one I tried. Watch our video so you can make it too!  (originally posted 1/17, participant in Amazon program, affiliate links present)

Ninja Foodi Popcorn

We have made it on the stovetop, in an air popper, and Ninja Foodi popcorn but our IP wanted a try too! I think it’s a bit quicker than the “old fashioned” version too. You can use any brand you have at home. This is a really fun one to do with kids because with the glass lid they can watch it all happen in front of their eyes!

Remember as a kid it was just pure happiness when you heard that pop pop pop. You knew there might be a movie night awaiting you, little did you know then what a healthy snack it really was. That is right, I’m not talking microwave type in a bag with lots of who knows what. Get out your Crockpot Express, IP or Ninja Foodi and let’s get going y’all.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Popcorn in Instant Pot

The way you make popcorn in your Instant Pot is similar to the stove top version and how we’ve made it in the past. I have been tinkering with mine since I got it and worked with what settings are best for meats, soups, and now popcorn! Saute is what works for this recipe (and many others). This is what you’re going to need:

  1. Instant Pot
    1. I HIGHLY suggest you get a non stick pot like we have now, linked above
  2. Instant Pot glass lid
  3. Coconut oil
  4. Popcorn kernels
  5. Butter
  6. Salt

I don’t really add anything else on top of this, it is so good as is I just like to taste a little melted butter and sea salt. I do see nowadays thought that there are several types of seasonings at the store you can add too. You can make it cheesy, sweet more like Kettle corn, spicy, go for that if it sounds good but we are fine with simple.

instant pot popcorn

Instant Pot Popcorn with Coconut Oil

This is how ours looked when we lifted the lid. Like I said, you’re going to use the saute function for this recipe and it’s done in about 5 minutes or so. It tastes WAY better than microwave popcorn and is a lot healthier than adding all that fake butter into the mix.

First thing first you MUST use coconut oil or it will not work. You cannot substitute vegetable or olive oil as it won’t achieve the high heat you need for popping corn.

  • I use coconut oil for lots of other things like melting chocolate so it will not go to waste other than using for this recipe. It has a high smoke point and can get hotter than others which will allow the process to start.
  • Use an Instant Pot glass lid before they start popping to protect yourself from splatters.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot once about 3/4 of the kernels have popped so those don’t burn, more will continue to pop with the remaining heat.
  • Careful when removing the lid, so so away from your face. 

Put popcorn in a bowl and pour melted butter and salt on top, discard unpopped kernels. Before you get started on this I HIGHLY suggest you watch the video in this post so you can see how it is done. If one step isn’t followed exactly it may frustrate you because the kernels won’t get hot enough.

instant pot popcorn

I’m new to the Instant Pot so I didn’t have a lid, it is on it’s way now, so I used a glass lid from my large cooking pot that worked just fine but one that fit properly would be better so it didn’t slide around at all. The kids loved watching it pop and it tastes really delicious!

Is microwave popcorn the same as air popped?

While microwave popcorn is typically higher in calories and sodium than the air popped variety, the main reason it’s less healthy is that it often contains trans fats.

  • This one is a bit different than a typical air popper but still uses a similar method where by it’s made with very hot steam. .

Try all 3 methods and decide for yourself which one you like best Part of why we love this is the taste. The other benefit is it is fun for the kids to make with me in the kitchen. Using the glass lid allows them to see it popping right before their very eyes which makes them smile.

Coconut Oil Popcorn

Now you could use the same philosophy and the same ingredients to make this possible on the stovetop too. If you used this same type of “accelerant” and got it really hot where it was bubbling, then added your kernels and had a glass lid on it the same thing would happen. You’d need it over medium high heat and pay close attention as it just takes seconds for it to start to burn once popping stops.

coconut oil

Why do you have to use coconut oil to pop popcorn

This is the number one question that comes into play when people make this, and the reason why it doesn’t work if you try to substitute for something else. Here are a few reasons why coconut oil is commonly used for popping popcorn:

  1. Coconut oil has a relatively high smoke point compared to other oils, which means it can withstand high temperatures without burning or producing excessive smoke. This is important when popping popcorn over direct heat.
  2. This type of oil adds a unique, slightly sweet and nutty flavor to the popcorn, giving it a delicious taste that many people enjoy. The flavor can enhance the overall popcorn experience.
  3. This has good heat distribution properties, which helps to ensure that the popcorn kernels pop evenly. This can result in fewer unpopped kernels and a more consistent batch of popcorn.
  4. While it is known to be higher in saturated fat content, it is primarily composed of medium chain fatty acids, which are considered to be relatively healthy fats. Easier to digest and metabolize compared to long-chain fatty acids. However, it’s important to consume it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

It’s not the only option for popping popcorn, but using this method it is. There isn’t another with the same high smoke point with the heat that the saute function generates.

Ninja Foodi Popcorn

Popcorn in Ninja Foodi

Now if you do use your Foodi to make this you still want a glass lid to make it happen as you see here above. If you close the lid that is attached it would work to seal in the heat however you will get a bunch of caked on oil that will be impossible to get off on your air fryer lid. Just don’t do it.

You can grab a lid that fits on one of your pots really, or a splatter screen may work too. I wouldn’t use the other lid either as it would need to seal shut, create another mess, and you won’t be able to see what is inside to know when to turn it off and it will likely burn. Just trust me on this….

Love this one? Try out other easy Instant Pot recipes like:

Please watch the popcorn recipe video first. It will help you succeed your first time around. Make sure to use coconut oil and kernels that are fresh and not old.

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Instant Pot Popcorn

Instant Pot popcorn tastes so good and is ready in just 5 minutes!! Easy to do and tastes WAY better than microwave popcorn. Here’s the easy pressure cooker popcorn recipe.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword easy, homemade, instant pot, popcorn, pressure cooker
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 215kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Set Instant Pot to saute, more (or high) setting. 
  • Add coconut oil and butter and allow to melt completely and start to sizzle (important step – watch video in this post for an example). 
  • Add popcorn kernels and stir so all kernels are coated with oil. 
  • Place glass lid on top and hold, popcorn will begin popping in about 2-3 minutes, turn off when 2/3 of kernels have popped and they will continue to pop but not burn. 
  • Carefully remove lid. Pour out of pot when done so they don’t continue to cook. Salt and you’re done!


Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Popcorn
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 52mg2%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 175IU4%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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Tuesday 2nd of January 2024

Perfect for me! All but a few kernels popped, took about 2-3 mins and no burned bits. Spot on thank you

The Typical Mom

Tuesday 2nd of January 2024


Carol C

Thursday 31st of December 2020

I can tell you from years of experience microwaving popcorn, Kroger brand popcorn does not pop. I buy my fresh popcorn at GFS.


Sunday 25th of October 2020

What can i use if I’m allergic to coconut?


Saturday 26th of December 2020

I don’t have coconut oil so I use peanut oil. Olive oil might work too.


Thursday 17th of December 2020

Unfortunately it didn't work for me either. Had it on saute, heard the sizzling, coated the kernels, only a few popped after a long time, and that was it :(


Thursday 25th of June 2020

The instructional part early in the blog says to turn off the pot after 3/4 of the kernels have popped, but the printed recipe says 2/3. Which one is more likely to be successful?


Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

It was a big hit! Thank you for the recipe! Not sure what the others commenting are doing wrong.

The Typical Mom

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

Not quite sure but glad yours was a hit

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