I remember in the 70s my family always made popcorn the old-fashioned way: either in a saucepan on the stove or in a popcorn popper over a fire. Eventually, I took over the stove-top process, likely because I’m addicted to popcorn. Just the smell of it makes me want to eat it, even if I’m not hungry!
For many of the years I’ve gone tent camping, I’d bring along a package of Jiffy Pop, stick it on the fire grate and let it go, shaking occasionally. But the last few times I’ve camped–likely since I’ve become more particular about what I eat and how I prepare it–I’ve enjoyed the old saucepan method.
All you need is a good iron pot. Add some olive oil, or other cooking oil to just coat the bottom of the pot, and put in a layer of popcorn (as in the photo above). If the pot has a lid, put it on and set the whole thing on a grate over a very hot fire–or even right in red-hot to white coals. (I used aluminum foil since my pot doesn’t have a lid.) Then, wait for the first kernel to pop.
Once it starts popping, it’s important to tend to the corn by shaking the pan, or it will burn. In a matter of minutes, the whole pot of corn will be popped.
After the kernels have stopped popping, take the pot off the fire and let the corn “roast” with the lid or foil on top. Then, simply salt to taste and enjoy!