As much as I enjoy using my Instant Pot, I’ve decided to stop trying to make popcorn in it. You might say two attempts isn’t enough and I need to keep trying until I get it done, but no. I’m done. I call it as I see it. Instant Pot popcorn fail!

Instant Pot Popcorn Fail!

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An online search for how to make popcorn in the Instant Pot brings up tons of results. I’ve read several of the recipes and they’re all fairly similar. You use coconut oil for the high temperature cooking so it doesn’t burn. Toss in 2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, a couple more of butter, and turn the Instant Pot onto the saute setting, adjusting the button to “More” aka high.

I hate wasting anything and I like getting my money’s worth, so it really bugs me to see so many kernels that have to be thrown in the garbage. This is not one of those times when it’s OK not to get what you paid for!

The first time I tried to make popcorn in the Instant Pot I turned on the saute to high and put in my coconut oil and butter. Once it melted I added half a cup of popcorn and stirred to coat all the kernels.

I used the lid that comes with the pot and put it on. According to the directions it would take 2 to 3 minutes to start popping and I’d have popcorn in 5 minutes.

After a few minutes I did get some feeble pops sporadically and then it stopped. I opened the lid and saw the majority of the popcorn hadn’t popped.

I went back to using my good old reliable hot air popcorn popper. I’ve had it for so long I don’t remember when I got it, 80s or 90s. Whenever I’m in the mood for popcorn – it delivers!

After a few months I decided to give the Instant Pot another chance at making popcorn, but this time I used a glass lid, wondering if that would make a difference.

Same results as the last time. After a few minutes of sporadic popping, I opened the lid and gave the popcorn a stir. After 10 minutes I decided not to risk burning and poured into a bowl the contents of the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot popcorn fail

Doesn’t that look appetizing? Pathetic for over 10 minutes worth of waiting for the popcorn to pop.

Check out the leftover kernels once I made quick work of snacking on the 3 dozen or so popcorn that popped in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot popcorn fail

What a waste. Out of half a cup of popcorn, the majority didn’t pop in the Instant Pot.

I’d call that the Instant Pot popcorn fail for sure!

My verdict? The Instant Pot is good for many things but not for making popcorn. Ditch the idea of making popcorn in the Instant Pot and use whatever method has been working for you all over the years.

Have you ever tried to make popcorn in the Instant Pot? How’d it work out for you?




  1. My results were similar to yours. Two times and I am done. I saw these beautiful pictures of popcorn made with the IP and thought it was my popcorn, I put the unpopped kernels in a pot on the stove, and at this point they were no longer edible, but they did pop. I consider successful popcorn when almost all the kernels pop and the corn tastes good.

    1. Hello Pam! I’m glad to hear it’s just not me who has no luck with popcorn in the Instant Pot. Yeah you see all these wonderful photos and people saying it’ll pop like a charm and be ready in 2 minutes all hot and fluffy and wonderful. I also feel like I’m the only person who makes a no-fail fudge recipe only to have it fail!

  2. I found a recipe online that works GREAT! I use it every night and never a fail!
    1 – turn on saute feature (high)
    2 – add 2tbsp unrefined coconut oil
    3 – Swirl oil around bottom of pan, and wait until it gets really really hot
    4 – flick a droplette of water in the pan (stand back!) if it pops and sizzles it’s ready.
    5 – add 1/2 cup of Orville Reddenbocker kernels (I say this brand only because it is the one I used and I was told the kernels could be the problem behind the fail). — stir quicky, coating all the kernels – pushing them out to the sides where the oil sits.
    6 – put on your lid and wait… it takes about 30 seconds to start popping
    7. When popping slows to almost finished turn off the pot (I use some oven mitts and take the pot off the heat and set it on the stove just to completely stop cooking).
    8 . Coat with popcorn butter and add popcorn salt or other seasoning (I use a mixture of cheese powder, paprika, chili powder and garlic powder for a “gunpowder” type topping)

    1. Hi Kim! Wonderful of you to stop by and share your popcorn story that has a happy ending! Maybe it does come down to the brand of kernels, though I’m not sure why that makes a difference. The same popcorn that failed in the Instant Pot pops quite nicely in my air popper.

  3. […] The best diet plan that ever worked for me was the Beverly Hills Diet, that was about a 5 week plan. The theory being that carbs and protein should never be eaten on the same day. There was a lot of fruit on this diet. The premise being you could eat as much of one fruit as you wanted, then you took a break, I think for about two hours, before choosing a different kind of fruit and eating as much of that as you wanted. I remember eating a watermelon one day. There was another a day where I got to eat a lot of popcorn. By the way, don’t waste your time trying to make popcorn in the Instant Pot! […]

  4. Thank you !!!!!! I’m tired of trying my instant pot for popcorn. Really thought I was doing it wrong so did my research. Good to know it’s not me or the oil I use or my popcorn kernels !!! I quit !!!!!

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