My Grandpa Rigby’s Stovetop Popcorn

post featured image
The following content may contain affiliate links. When you click and shop the links, we receive a commission.

Remember when I told you that I had three sets of grandparents without involving in-laws or step anything? Well, here’s how. The third set wasn’t by blood. But my whole family called them Grandma and Grandpa. One of my brothers is even named after Grandpa Rigby.

Dean Weldon with Grandpa Weldon Rigby (in his later, less vibrant years)The Two Weldons

Grandma & Grandpa Rigby were a wonderful couple that went to my parents’ church when we were growing up. Apparently I was a preeeettty bad baby and I’ve always loved hearing my mom tell me stories of how Grandma Rigby was the only person who could get me to calm down during church. (I wish I had a picture of them both to show you….the pictures are all in Utah. Sad smile)

They were the kind of grandparents that always insisted on feeding you, whether it was a whole meal or cookies. The best treat we could get during a visit was some of Grandpa Rigby’s popcorn. He made it on the stove and it was always perfect.

Whenever I have stovetop popcorn (which is often), I think of the Rigbys fondly and miss them dearly. They’ve both passed on and especially now that I’m older, I realize how lucky I was to call them my grandparents.


{Not quite as good as Grandpa Rigby’s} Stovetop Popcorn
  • 1-3 T canola oil
  • white popcorn (it will be labeled as white…yellow is more common, but I like white better. it’s crunchier)
  • butter & salt

Add enough oil to a deep pan to coat the bottom, maybe 1/8” deep.
Add enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer.

popcorn-1Cover with a tight lid and turn to medium-high heat.



Periodically shake the pan as it heats – I kind of just scrape it back and forth over the burner. When the first kernel pops, prop the lid so there’s a little crack to let the steam out. This prevents your popcorn from getting soggy.


It will start to pop quickly after the first one, so keep an eye on it, shaking once in a while.popcorn-7

Have a bowl close by in case your popcorn starts to overflow. Dump some out (quickly!) and return to the heat until all kernels are popped.popcorn-6
Melt some butta. I use about a tablespoon for that huge big bowl (it’s about 15” across). popcorn-11

Drizzle your butter, sprinkle some salt, toss, taste. Drizzle, sprinkle, toss, taste, sprinkle, toss, taste until it’s juuuust right.



Try taking a decent picture while drizzling butter and salt shaking. It’s like rubbing your tummy & patting your head at the same time.


This special popcorn salt is essential.popcorn-9

It’s a very fine salt and coats the popcorn well. Top left is regular table salt. Bottom left is kosher salt. The right pile is popcorn salt. See the difference?


Maizey also LOVES popcorn. She will wake up from a nap and come into the kitchen when she hears it popping. She will even sit on the hardwood floor for a piece and she hates sitting on the hardwood floor (because she slides backwards – heh heh).


It’s a perfect evening snack for movies or engrossing literature.


And hopefully you don’t mind beggars. popcorn-13

Do you use microwave popcorn? My family always made air-popped on Saturday nights and enjoyed stovetop popcorn when visiting the Rigbys. It’s not hard to understand why microwave popcorn just ain’t my thang.

terilyn signatureterilyn signature

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    47 responses to “My Grandpa Rigby’s Stovetop Popcorn”

    1. What a wonderful story! This is the ONLY way that my grandpa and my dad eat popcorn to this day. No microwave popcorn here!

      You are so lucky to have had 3 sets of grandparents. With only one grandpa left, I miss them all so much, especially around the holidays. 🙁

    2. I used to when I lived with a group of girls last year in college.. one of them had a pot for the stove. I dont have one yet..I am too poor to buy one yet!

    3. We used to make microwave and then I realized how CHEAP + EASY it is to make it at home……micro popcorn never again!! Cute story about your 3rd set of gp’s. 🙂 Dakota is totally a chin rester too!!!

    4. Great post Teri! I am honored that I finally made it on your website and to be named after a great man. I had almost forgot how perfect his popcorn always was. Thanks for the reminder, and now I am off to make some.

    5. I’m not a fan of microwave popcorn — the fake butter smell nauseates me . . . which may partially explain why I hardly ever go to the movies. Your way of making it is best. Definitely.

    6. I do a “poor mans” microwave popcorn. I throw kernels in a brown paper lunch bags, salt, oil, sugar and let it rip for 2 min or until i dont hear a pop every five seconds. But when I teach kids during the week in their cooking class, we always do popcorn on the stove at least once in the semester. they get a huge kick out of it.

    7. I always ate microwave popcorn but then my in-laws taught me how to make stovetop. Now I’m crazy addicted and obsessed. We use coconut oil for ours (my in-laws’ secret) and it’s AMAZING. I’ve also used olive oil in a pinch. Stovetop popcorn makes microwave popcorn seem so rubbery and gross!

      • I’ve used olive oil before and liked it but COCONUT OIL??? That sounds amazing. I might have to make that right now. For breakfast.

    8. This was the only way I ate popcorn growing up, my dad always used to cook it on the stove and it came out SO good…but you know what’s funny? I use microwave popcorn now. I’m going to go out and get some regular corn today and pop some tonight! Hooray nostalgia!

    9. I am a HUGE popcorn fan. If people ask me to go see a crappy movie, or any movie that I’m just not generally interested in – I’ll go anyway, JUST for the chance to have some popcorn.

      Call me crazy! 🙂

    10. This post brought back such good memories of growing up. Stovetop popcorn was all we ever made when I was a kid. We didn’t have a microwave and my parents still don’t. Popcorn is such a awesome snack! I love coming up with whacky flavors like curry and cayanne.

    11. Homemade popcorn is a fond memory for my Mum growing up, too.

      I love that you shared this. Grandparents are such special people and I miss mine all the time. Also, that book? Is it good? I have a copy that’s been sitting untouched for three months. 🙂 I heard it’s really hard to get into.

    12. That is a brilliant recipe! I love popcorn, sprinkled with a little parm cheese, mmm.

      Fantastic pic:)

      I actually bought the jiffy pop stove top and used it at the campfire this weekend, yea old school!

    13. Billy taught me to make popcorn this way! When he lived in London, he got in the habit of popping it stove-top because he didn’t have a microwave and it’s so much tastier.

    14. It has been years since I have had popcorn. But it was one thing that my family would do when we had family movie night as we were growing up 🙂

      I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

    15. I must find a pic of my Grandpa York. He and Grandpa Rigby were surely related…and stovetop popcorn reminds me of my childhood. i can smell it now. with my dad. on rainy Sunday afternoons. watching old movies. wow do I miss that. Happy Thanksgiving Teri!

    16. Yum yum… now I have a popcorn craving an its only 10am! I haven’t made it on the stove in along time, I usually just pop a bag of natural but you’re right, the stove top is so much better!

      Also you puppy’s begging eyes melted my heart! What a cutie!

    17. stove-top popcorn is the ONLY popcorn i like. daddy everythingtarian makes a mean batch, and it makes me think of him as fondly as it does for you and the rigbys 🙂

      happy thanksgiving to you and your family love!!!

    18. I love the story of your Grandparents. So Sweet. And I also love popcorn! It’s so easy to make and the smell of microwave popcorn makes me sick to my stomach! I usually use olive oil, but I saw someone said they use coconut oil!?! I am going to try this soon.

    19. hahaha how perfect! I’m sitting here with a bowl of popcorn right now! I use to eat it all the time but for some reason stopped..but I’m getting back into it. This popcorn sounds great! I bet it’s much tastier than store bought.

    20. Hey I’m almost done with that book. What do you think of it? I really liked the mystery part, but it’s so full of awful things that I wish never happened to people. Not sure I can recommend it to other people since I don’t have the stomach for stuff like that.

    21. My hubby loves popcorn, so I got him an air popper a few years ago for Valentine’s Day along with a Netflix subscription. We don’t even own a microwave! One of our cats always sits nearby when he makes popcorn to chase any strays that skitter across the floor.

    22. first of all, it is stuffing. i never said dressing and never heard it until a few years ago, like you.

      second of all, it is all about stovetop popcorn. or hot air corn popper popcorn. that is what i grew up eating–never microwave!

      funny story–randy will NOT eat popcorn. the dog eats everything from broccoli to bread, but popcorn he will not touch. i even tried to feed him a piece of that 479 cheddar popcorn.. he put it in his mouth, sucked off the cheese coating and spit out the popcorn! weird dog.

      <3 you, <2 maizey

    23. What a sweet story. It definitely proves that family isn’t always blood related.

      I have an air popper and the stir-crazy popcorn maker but using the old-fashioned stove method makes popcorn perfect every time. (I’d hate to admit, but sometimes I’d have a BIG bowl for dinner – like a mixing-bowl’s worth – when I was single). And like your pooch, mine comes frolicking into the kitchen whenever he hears the popper start 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.