How to make sugar popcorn. Step by step

Last updated on March 12th, 2023 at 06:04 am

5 minutes read.   

Popcorn in bowl food


Four years ago I wanted to start a popcorn business. I picked up my phone and typed “how to make popcorn” on the internet. Did I see the answer to my question? Yes.

But you know what, the answer I saw didn’t solve my need at all. I searched and search the internet I couldn’t see a recipe that solved my need.

 I went to YouTube to search for video popcorn recipes I saw a lot of videos on how to make popcorn but you know what, none of the recipes solved my need. 

Do you know where the hook is? The writers and video instructors never show their readers how to do the commercial popcorn you normally buy from supermarkets and roadside shops.

They only show you the peripheral aspect. When you go home and practice what you saw in the video or read in an article the result you will get will be different from what you’re buying from shops. Why’s it so? I don’t know but that was exactly what I faced 4 years ago.

How did I manage to archive my goal after the whole stress of internet research on how to make commercial popcorn?

My dear, it wasn’t easy. I have to go out there and search for those who are already in the business and paid them hugely to teach me how to make commercial popcorn.

My beloved readers if you’re planning to start a small popcorn business or you’re a fan of popcorn who loves to buy one pack of popcorn each time you’re coming back from work.

So have been wondering if you can actually make that same popcorn in your home. 

Yes, it’s possible you can make the popcorn. Today I am going to review the whole secret so you can start to make and enjoy your favorite popcorn at home or start your own small popcorn business without having to pay anyone a dime

But one thing I want you to know is that what I am going to teach you on this website you may rarely find the same on the internet or YouTube videos. I decided to review this secret with my dear readers out of anger.

Follow me closely.

In Nigeria there are two main types of popcorn:

The local popcorn and

The foreign popcorn

In this article, I will be focusing on local popcorn.

Here are what you’ll be needing:


  • Manual or electrical popping machine
  • Pooping pot
  • Cooking gas cylinder and lighter/matches
  • A medium bowel
  • Teaspoon
  • A measuring cup (say liquid milk cup)


A popable specie of local Popcorn

White sugar powder (crystal)

Groundnut oil/soy oil/refined palm oil

Industrial butter (optional)

Vanilla, honey, or milk flavor (optional)

How do you source the corn? 

Go to any local market in your area met people that sell different types of corn, rice, and beans in bags, tell them that you want to make popcorn, and they should give you poppable popcorn. You can buy a few cups or half paint to taste run the recipe.


Step one

Corn treatment

They will never tell you on the internet that the corn needs special treatment before popping. This was a hook for me four years ago.

When you come home, boil warm water (don’t allow the water to boil very well, the hotness should be minimal so you can put your hand inside it).

Pour the warm water inside a bowl and soak the corn inside for 5 minutes pour inside a sieve immediately, and allow it to drain some water for 10 minutes.

Then spread it on sack bags at room temperature. Either on your house corridor/passage. Just make sure direct sunlight is not touching it.  Or you can spread it on sack bags under a ceiling fan or standing fan in your parlor.


The moment you pour the corn into the warm water, use your hand or bend the bowel to skim the dirt and spoiled small corn from the corn out on the ground.  You have to be fast while doing this so you can start counting the 5 minutes immediately.

The drying will last for two days if is under the fan, but if it is under room temperature outside your house the drying will last for 5 to 6 hours.  And bear in mind that you will be using your hand to turn the corn after 1 to 2 hours to enable all the corn to get dry at the same time.

manual commercial popcorn machine. Living Good image

How do you know the corn has dried for popping?

You will know if you use your hand and carry the corn up and it feels dry.

Step two

Set your pooping machine and pot.

Light the gas burner if you’re using a manual machine and keep the flame moderate or if you’re using an electric do the same.

Step three

Put the empty pot on the fire and allow the pot to dry any water particles in it.

Once the pot dries up.

Add one-quarter of the liquid milk cup of oil (1/4) into the pot.

This is what I mean, measure one cup of oil using a small dairy liquid milk cup and divide it into four and use one portion for the popping.

Allow the oil to heat for 1 minute while watching over it.

Measure two cups of treated popcorn using the same liquid milk cup into a plate and pour immediately inside the pot, cover it, and start turning it right away.

Measure four teaspoons of white sugar powder (crystal) into a plate standby.

As you’re turning the corn, once you start hearing the sound of the corn popping, pour the measured sugar into the pot through a small opening made available on the top of the pot cover, or quickly open the pot cover a little and pour the sugar through that place.

Continue turning consistently, and keep listening to the sound of the popping.

Once the popping sound reduces very well, it means the poppable corn among them has finished popping, off the fire with your left hand quickly, remove the pot and pour the popcorn inside a clean bowl stand by. 

Now you have clean clips of white sweet popcorn ready for packaging or chopping.

The total popping time lasts for 6 minutes once the corn enters the pot.

When it comes to adding flavor.

Some flavors can be added at the same time you add sugar while some are added once you pour the corn inside the bowl after popping and those flavors are added in drops or just half teaspoon.  

For example, the liquid flavor can be sprinkled on the popcorn the moment you remove the corn from the fire or you can mix it inside the frying oil. If you’re adding after popping, sprinkle and use a plastic spoon to mix it gently. While powder flavor should be added when you add sugar.

If you want to use honey in place of sugar, mix the honey with the frying oil (about half a milk cup of honey). However, Nigerian local popcorn will give you white sweet crispy popcorn if you pop it with only sugar.


The treated corn can last for two days and after which it cannot pop well if you try to pop it.

So what I normally do is treat only the ones I will pop for a maximum of two days.

For you to pop the corn for yourself and your family probably you don’t need the commercial popping machine.

All you need is your cooking gas and a medium aluminum pot that can cover well.

Follow the same procedure. However, since you don’t have a means of while the corn is still on fire.

What you need to do is to put the pot on the fire, allow it to dry, mix the flavor with the oil if you’re using liquid or honey, and add,  allow to heat for one minute as I mentioned above.

Then pour the corn and the sugar at the same time and cover the pot tight.

Don’t move away, stay and for the corn to pop in a few minutes.

You may need to use a tick towel to press and hold the cover of the pot because the popping pressure of the corn can open the pot and the corn will scatter everywhere.

If you want to use honey in place of white sugar, you either mix the honey with your oil or add it immediately after the corn finish popping and you remove it from the fire, then mix it vigorously with plastic spoons.

The heat on the popcorn will help to absorb the honey.

When it comes to popping local corn, either use only oil as I directed in the above recipe or you use one full spoonful of butter in place of the oil.

 If you use both the corn will not pop well, even if it pops, it will not rise well so as to meet up with your cost of production. But this is a different case when it comes to foreign popcorn.  Take notes.

So that is all for “how to make local popcorn in Nigeria”

Very simple and easy.

Check out how to make foreign milk popcorn in Nigeria

Now go and practice what you have learned today and come back to this website. Just pick up your phone and type” and search for “How to make milk popcorn in Nigeria” in the search option then press your enter key.

I hope you get the value worth your time. I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment if you find this post helpful. Do you still have any questions as regards this topic or do you have another method of making popcorn? Feel free to share with me in the comments below.


The content provided in living Good Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good Blog takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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