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An Easy Way To Make Campfire Popcorn

Bowl of popcorn and glass of wine stand on a bench with a campfire behind - feature image for campfire popcorn
Enjoy some great popcorn by the campfire. Photo: Shutterstock

How To Make Campfire Popcorn In A Pot

For many RV campers, the thought of campfire popcorn evokes memories of a flat Jiffy Pop aluminum foil popcorn maker magically expanding with each pop into a huge silver sphere. You may not know that the creation of popcorn goodness over a campfire can happen via other methods too. 

We love popcorn by the campfire so much that we have tried out a number of different methods over the years. Let’s just say making popcorn over a campfire is one of those things that can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. We believe camping should be easy and uncomplicated and so should making popcorn. Here is our favorite way to make popcorn while RV camping. 

The easiest way to make popcorn over a campfire

The easiest way to make campfire popcorn is in a relatively heavy-bottomed stainless steel pot. If the bottom of the pot is too thin, the heat won’t be evenly distributed. You’ll wind up with unpopped kernels and your popcorn will always burn. 

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We recommend having at least one pot that you will exclusively use over the campfire. While it isn’t as exciting as Jiffy Pop, it’s super easy to achieve great results. This method ensures you can make perfect popcorn (nearly) every time.

What you’ll need:

  1. One medium to large pot with a handle (depending on how many campers you are feeding)
  2. A lid or piece of foil that will be large enough to act as a lid
  3. A pair of good oven mitts
  4. 2 Tbsp your favorite oil (such as vegetable, canola, margarine, coconut oil, etc.)
  5. As much quality popcorn as it takes to cover the bottom of the pot in a single layer


  1. Let the fire die down a bit, so there are no flames and only hot coals. Flames will burn the popcorn. The best popcorn is made over hot coals, not flames.   
  2. Put the pot onto the grill about a foot to 16 inches above the coals.   
  3. Pour enough oil into the pot to liberally coat the bottom of it.  
  4. Sprinkle popcorn over the bottom of the pot to form a single layer of kernels.
  5. Put the lid (or aluminum foil) on the pot. 
  6. Listen carefully for the first pop.
  7. Shake the pot back and forth, side to side on the grill over the hot coals, until the pops have almost stopped. It’s easier if you have a grill on the fire to rest the pot on. However, if you don’t have a grill, you can still get great results.
  8. Remove from heat and enjoy with melted butter and salt to taste.  

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