Instant Pot Perfect Popcorn

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people want to successfully make fresh popcorn in their Instant Pot only for them to say it ended with a burnt fail. That’s simply because they didn’t use the proper oil required to make this TWO-ingredient popcorn! 


This is the perfect popcorn to sit in a big bowl on your lap while watching your favorite movies on the couch. In fact, it’s so good, you’ll also likely find the couch tried to eat some when you get up from your seat to make more. 

And the best part? It’s totally naked popcorn so you can keep it as light or indulgent as you want! 

Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe): 

Begin with coconut oil (refined is preferred and it won’t taste like coconut). And yes, it MUST be coconut oil to properly pop popcorn in your Instant Pot 😉 

When at room temperature, this oil is thick, slick and sticky-ish. Kind of like a Crisco-consistency. 

Scoop some out of the jar and add it to the Instant Pot. 

Give the pot high heat on the Sauté setting… 

…and the oil will melt. 

Once the display reads Hot, we’re ready to pop! 

Take some popcorn kernels… 

…only 5 to begin with… 

…place it in the oil… 

…and cover with a glass lid (any will do – so long as it fully covers the pot. 

Once three kernels have popped, remove the lid… 

…and add in the remaining kernels. 

Give the pot a shake back and forth once the kernels are added for even distribution. 

Place the lid back on the pot. 

Within a few minutes, the kernels will begin to pop… 

…into a popcorn crescendo! 

Be sure to shake the pot back and forth to ensure maximum kernel-popping success (although it’s just popcorn nature that some won’t make it and will remain forever as a kernel. Try not to make them feel bad about this). 

As the popping begins to die down and becomes intermittent, turn the pot off. 

Remove the lid (avoiding direct contact over the pop to avoid any last-second poppers)… 

…and with protected hands, remove the liner pot… 

…and pour the popcorn into a bowl. 

Looka that! The perfect popcorn! 

Feel free to top it off with whatever you wish, be it melted butter… 

…seasonings, you name it! 

And now hop on the couch, grab the remote and get ready to bask in the glory of some crunchy cinema!

Instant Pot Perfect Popcorn
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Perfect Popcorn

Instant Pot Perfect Popcorn

Fresh popcorn in your Instant Pot? Sure! The secret is to use refined coconut oil for the best popping action. After that, grab a bowl, your favorite movie, plop on the couch and enjoy!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes


The Popcorn:

  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil (it will be thick and slick but will melt once heated. It also doesn’t taste like coconut so no fear if coconut flavor isn’t your thing. If using an 8qt, use 4 tablespoons of oil due to the larger volume)
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (I used Jolly Time)

The Toppings:

  • Melted butter, seasoned salt, Parmesan, chocolate, caramel and/or anything your heart desires


  1. On the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and adjust so you’re on the More or High Setting. Add the coconut oil where it will melt into liquid as it heats. Once the display reads Hot, you’re ready to pop!
  2. Add in ONLY 5 kernels and cover with a glass lid that’s slightly larger than the circumference of the liner pot (you can use any glass lid you have for your pots/pans/skillets that fit).
  3. Once 3 of the 5 kernels pop (about 1-2 minutes), remove the lid and add in the rest of the kernels and then immediately shake the liner pot back and forth so the kernels are in an even layer. Place the glass lid back on and within about 5 minutes, all of the popcorn will be popped! (NOTE: Make sure you carefully shake the pot around every so often as it’s popping for even distribution of the kernels. This ensures the max amount of popping.)
  4. Once the popping becomes very intermittent, hit Keep Warm/Cancel to turn the pot off. Remove the liner pop and let rest for 2 minutes and take the lid off, carefully keeping your face away from the pot in case any last second poppers shoot out of the pot and into your mouth (although, that would be impressive).
  5. Grab your favorite movie, transfer the popcorn to a large serving bowl and top as you wish!

Jeffrey's Tips

If you’re allergic to coconut oil, many say that Ghee (clarified butter) also works – but it MUST be clarified butter and not regular. Use 2 tablespoons.

If some kernels didn’t pop, that’s fine! They just weren’t meant to be and this is a common issue no matter the method of making popcorn.

You must use coconut oil (preferably refined) to achieve successful popcorn in your Instant Pot. This is because refined coconut oil has a very high heat tolerance and won’t burn where as canola, vegetable corn and olive oil won’t be quite as tolerant if heating for this long. 

Reader Interactions


  1. Susan

    I used flax seed oil and it came out perfect. The key is that you don’t actually pressure cook the popcorn. You cook it like you would in a regular pot on the stove. Delish!!

  2. Keith

    How many tablespoons of of for a 10 qt? I’m figuring 5. Every recipe I’ve tried came out perfect in my 10qt.

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