Instant Pot Popcorn

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Calling all popcorn fans. Let me show how to make delicious instant pot popcorn that tastes just as good as the cinema, but for a fraction of the price.

You will fall I love with instant pot popcorn. So much easier than typical popcorn in a pot and easy to mix and match flavours.

This is an updated post. We originally shared with you all about instant pot popcorn back in early 2017. Today we have a better recipe with better tips and better photos and have upgraded our instant pot.

instant pot popcorn recipe
Instant Pot Popcorn Recipe

Instapot Popcorn

It feels like when you get an instant pot, you go on this brand new cooking journey. Instant pot recipes are made that you would never have made unless you owned an instant pot.

For example, until the instant pot made its way into the Milner kitchen in late 2016, I had never made cheesecake and now I love instant pot strawberry cheesecake, I had never cooked dried beans having only bought cans and now love instant pot kidney beans and instant pot black beans.

I am also obsessed now with instant pot veggie stock, something that back then I would never have considered making myself.

So, when me and Dominic and the kids stood in front of the instant pot over Christmas 2016 and made instapot popcorn it felt so surreal for something we would normally buy already popped and ready for eating.

Well, it was great fun and OMG homemade popcorn is the BEST. Today, I am taking a trip down memory lane to one of my first favourite instant pot recipes and showing you exactly how to make popcorn in the instant pot.

Are You New To The Instant Pot?

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Can You Make Popcorn In An Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make popcorn in the instant pot. Just like you can make popcorn in a pan on the stovetop.

Just like making popcorn in a pot you are getting the cooking pot hot enough, popping the corn with the lid on to catch the popping corn and then you have perfectly cooked popcorn ready for movie night.

Can I Use Pressure Cooker To Make Popcorn?

Yes, you can use any pressure cooker to make popcorn. Pressure cooker popcorn could be made in the instant pot, ninja foodi, pressure king pro, mealthy, or whichever brand of pressure cooker you currently own.

Simply use your pressure cook button and follow our simple pressure cooker popcorn instructions.

Can Popcorn Be Made In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can make popcorn in the air fryer. But that doesn’t mean you should. Instant Pot popcorn is fantastic because it’s the old school way of doing popcorn. I.e. the popcorn pops in a pot, until it is all done.

But an air fryer in comparison uses air technology and doesn’t work the same way as a pot does.

This means, it is easy for the popcorn in the air fryer to get stuck and damage your air fryer.

We did a recipe showing you air fryer popcorn along with the photos of what the air fryer looked like afterwards. Plus, a video that shows similar.

We recommend you watch the video and view the photos before making air fryer popcorn.

Why Won’t My Popcorn Pop In Instant Pot?

We have made this mistake ourselves when we first made popcorn in the instant pot. The reason it goes wrong is because the instant pot inner pot is not hot enough and not sizzling from the oil enough.

This results in the corn taking too long to get hot enough and then failing to pop.

Instant Pot Popcorn Without Oil

You MUST use oil when making instant pot popcorn. I know we all want to cut calories and want to make instant pot popcorn without oil, but you need the heat from the oil to pop your corn.

You also need a combination of extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil for the best results. Otherwise, you will create a dry popcorn and it won’t be as nice as what you have at the cinema.

Though note, this popcorn in an instant pot recipe only uses a little oil to make popcorn for four people, so the oil in your diet is very low.

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Popcorn Instant Pot Ingredients

Popcorn Instant Pot Ingredients

Corn – Note that those kernels of popcorn expand in size when you make your pressure cooker popcorn, so you really don’t need much. In fact, ½ cup of kernels will easily fill two giant popcorn boxes.

Oil – You will need a little of both coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and butter. Depending on your preferences.

Seasoning – Then your favourite seasoning. For example sea salt for salted popcorn and maybe some caster sugar for sweet popcorn depending on how you like it.  

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this pressure cooking popcorn recipe it has just been our Instant Pot. We have this one and it’s my favourite and great for a lot of different instant pot veggie recipes.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our instant pot recipes category as we have many electric pressure cooker recipes and have been using instant pots for 5 years.

Instant Pot Popcorn With Coconut Oil

The reason why you make popcorn with coconut oil is the creamy texture it has and the burn point.

In other words it will stop your instant pot popcorn from going dry and give it the best flavour and crunch ever.

Instant Pot Popcorn Without Glass Lid

I love to save money and I am frugal, and I only buy instant pot accessories that I really need. With that said, I have never bought an instant pot glass lid.

I see them as pointless when most of the foods you cook in the instant pot require the proper lid. And then just use the regular pressure cooking lid for making popcorn and for slow cooking.

In this instant pot popcorn recipe, rest assured you can do so without the glass lid.

How To Make Popcorn In Instant Pot?

instant pot popcorn step by step
  • Sauté. Set the instant pot to the sauté setting and press the sauté button about three times until it reads more. This puts it on the highest sauté heat. You can read more about it in our instant pot less normal more podcast episode.
  • Oil. Then after setting the saute, add in the butter and coconut oil and wait for the instant pot to bring up its hot warning.
  • Hot. Once the instant pot says hot (about 3 mins) add in the corn and stir to make sure all corn is covered in the oil and butter.
  • Lid. Place the lid on the instant pot as soon as the first corn kernel pops and then listen and wait until it stops popping.
  • Remove. Then remove the lid off the instant pot, press cancel, and you have popcorn ready to eat.

And I am sure you can see now how simple and easy it is to cook popcorn in instant pot and why you should be doing the same.

More Instant Pot Treats

Instant Pot Popcorn

Your popcorn pressure cooker recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

Though before you do, don’t forget to subscribe, and grab your FREE VIP Pass to Recipe This. You will get access to our latest recipes first, you will be able to request recipes, you will have access to free mini courses, free instant pot ebooks and useful instant pot cook time charts and so much more.

Instant Pot Popcorn
Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Instant Pot Popcorn

Calling all popcorn fans. Let me show how to make delicious instant pot popcorn that tastes just as good as the cinema, but for a fraction of the price.
Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time6 minutes
Total Time7 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Instant Pot
Servings: 4
Calories: 107kcal


Kitchen Gadgets


  • Place the instant pot on the sauté setting and then press the sauté button 3 times to adjust it to the higher sauté setting. Then add in the coconut oil and the butter.
    How To Make Popcorn In Instant Pot?
  • Wait for the instant pot oil and butter to be melted and the instant pot to read hot.
    How To Make Popcorn In Instant Pot?
  • Then add to the instant pot your corn kernels. Note ½ a cup creates a lot of popcorn so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like a lot.
    How To Make Popcorn In Instant Pot?
  • Then mix with a wooden spoon to make sure all the kernels are well coated in hot oil.
    How To Make Popcorn In Instant Pot?
  • Then wait for the first kernel to pop and once it does place the lid down on the instant pot. No need to set to sealing position.
    How To Make Popcorn In Instant Pot?
  • Then listen, and when the last kernel has popped remove the lid and stir. Then transfer your big inner pot full of popcorn to containers and serve.
    How To Make Popcorn In Instant Pot?


Flavour. If you would like just basic savoury popcorn, then once you have made the popcorn toss in some salt. Or in caster sugar for some sweet popcorn and you could always add in some cinnamon or pumpkin spice.
Thanks for reading our popcorn instant pot recipe on Recipe This. We have many more instant pot recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to see more instant pot money saving recipes then do check out our instant pot chicken stock next.


Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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instant pot popcorn @ recipethis
Recipe This

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes. Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets. CLICKING HERE →

20 thoughts on “Instant Pot Popcorn”

    • Hi Letty

      After about 1 minute – 2 minutes turn of the instant pot but when we did it the instant pot turns itself off after a short while so if it does not turn itself of make sure the corn is well coated and after 1 minute if you have had alot of popping turn it off.

      Hope it turns out good for you.

      Sam & Dom

  1. I tried this recipe and very little of the corn popped. I did have the lid all ththe way on, so I wonder if that’s why.

    • Hi kristen

      The lid being fully on should not interfere with the corn. I would suggest keeping the instant pot on longer until a few more corns have popped but be aware that the instant pot will turn itself off if it gets too hot on the saute setting.

      Hope this helps.


      Sam & Dom

    • Hi Justin,

      I just made this popcorn again for a new recipe that will be going out on the blog next month. I find that it has worked really well. Do you make sure your saute function is on hot and not just normal? Also are you kernels well coated in the oil before they start popping? The last time i did it nearly all of my popcorn popped. The Instant Pot has a safety shut off where it turns itself off if it gets too hot ours usually does this when doing this recipe does yours get to the same temperature, please let me know thanks.



    • Hi Ted,

      What size were your corn? As ours was very small and of course you need to get the Instant Pot to its max as far as heat is concerned. Just before it switches itself off for overheating.



  2. I’ve been waiting for over 10 minutes and only have about 30 popped kernels. The instructions don’t seem very clear about the heat setting. This is a complete flop!

    • Hi Judy,

      With this recipe you need to use saute and press adjust to more and then the instant pot will say hot. Let it get very hot, (it will turn itself off if it gets to hot) but it is still hot enough for all the kernels to pop. Just make sure once the kernels are popping turn the instant pot off.

      Kind Regards


      • How do you change the temperature? With my 8 qt you can change the cooking time but Ive never been able to figure out how to change the temperature

        • Hi PJ

          You can only turn the temp up or down on the saute option not on any of the other options apart from rice but with that one it is usually set to half pressure which is where you should leave it as when we tried with full pressure it did not end well for our rice pudding :/

          If you are wanting to make the Instant Pot hotter when you are sauteing you need to press adjust and you will see a red light that moves when pushed between low normal and more. When we are sauteing we always have it on more as this makes the instant pot get very hot.

          If you need anymore advice feel free to ask.

          Kind Regards


  3. I can’t remember whether it was unrefined coconut oil or refined coconut oil that I saw in one video. I made mine with unrefined coconut oil and many kernels did not pop. The difference is in the temperatures that the oil can reach if I recall. What can you tell me about this.

    • Hi Diane,

      All i can remember is our coconut oil we used was extra virgin, so i do not know if it was refined or unrefined coconut oil. Sorry i cannot be more help.

      Kind Regards


  4. 5 stars
    Hi, my popcorn failed but it was because the kernel were too old and dry. There must be enough moisture in the kernels to turn to steam and blow up the kernel.
    I found that the butter browned too much before the kernels popped.
    I will try again.

  5. 5 stars

    I have tried this recipe twice and only half of the kernels popped. What am I doing wrong? EDIT: Got it sorted now thanks for your help

    • Hi Bill,

      I can only think it could be 2 things. One the Instant Pot had not got hot enough in the heat up phase before you turned it of or the kernals were not all covered really well in the oil.

      Thanks for your comment.


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