Stealth Organic Movie Popcorn

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It’s movie season; all the best movies seem to come out this time of year. Wait, actually, every season is movie season.  And I confess, I love buttered popcorn. At the movies. Or rather, during the movie previews…. I want to be all stuffed and buttered before the actual movie starts, so I can concentrate.

However, not only is movie popcorn obscenely salty, and buttered with fake chemical butter, it’s also one of the most over-priced, over-sodiumed and -caloried products on the market. But it sort of feels illegal to sneak in real popcorn, doesn’t it?  If it is actually illegal, it’s one law I don’t mind breaking, and in fact, have gotten rather good at it.

So, here is how I do it—and the great news is, you can get it done in less than five minutes right before you head out to the movie theatre.

Stealth Movie Popcorn


¼ to ½ cup organic popcorn kernels



Paper bag

Plastic bag

Large “purse”


1. Put the popcorn into the paper bag and fold the top over.

2. Put the bag with the popcorn into the microwave, and set the timer for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. As soon as the popping slows down significantly, turn the microwave off and remove the bag (or the popcorn will burn!). Open up the bag and let the steam out.

4. Put butter (as much or as little as you want) in a bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds.

5. Pour the melted butter into the bag of popcorn.

6. Add salt.

7. Close the bag and shake it up!

8. Put the paper bag with the popcorn inside it into the plastic bag to keep the butter from soaking through…don’t pour the popcorn out of the paper bag, or it will melt the plastic. And don’t close up the plastic bag until you get to the movie theatre, or the popcorn will get soggy from the steam. Conceal the bag of popcorn in the “purse” or another movie-friendly carrier bag, and off you go to the movies!

9. When you get to the theater, just act as if you’re carrying the usual bag that you carry everywhere. Find your seat, and discreetly reach inside your bag and start munching. People might wonder what smells so good—is that the smell of REAL melted butter?! But as long as you are careful, no one should complain or turn you in

10. Enjoy the movie.

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11 Responses to Stealth Organic Movie Popcorn

  1. Bonnie October 29, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Have been doing this since we married 45 years ago. At that time, we did it to save money. Always works like a charm. Not unusual for a woman to be carrying large purse. We always brought our own bottled water as well – years ago, they didn’t sell water in the theaters.

  2. Eve Robson October 29, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    This is a great strategy, however, I’m watching calories and wonder if there’s a popcorn recipe out there that is low in fat and colories yet extremely yummy and satisfying??

  3. Marianne Calilhann October 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    I’ve been doing this for a while as well–microwave good popcorn in bag + byop to movies. I buy a huge bag of kernels once a year from the Boulder Farmer’s Market and store it in the freezer. It lasts us just about a year. My kids like our own popcorn more than fakey crap. When it’s cold, I boil eggs to bring to the movies. They keep our hands warm as we hold them in our pockets and we splurge on the salt from the condiment stand.

  4. Maya October 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    I love sneaking popcorn into the movies!

    Eve, popcorn on its own is a really low calorie snack. The butter is the main culprit here.

    For a major splurge, add some sugar to make it kettle corn…but nothing beats [organic] butter and salt 🙂

  5. Chiot's Run October 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    We make ours on the stove top (no microwave here) with locally purchased organic corn (or sometimes homegrown) and we pop it in homemade organic pastured ghee (sometimes coconut oil). Of course we top with pink Himalayan salt – MMMMM.

    Popcorn is a super healthy snack, it provides 67% as much protein, 110% as much iron and as much calcium as an equal amount of beef. An average 1.5-ounce serving of popcorn supplies the same energy as two eggs and the hull contains some serious fiber.

    And don’t feel the least bit guilty about adding lots of butter or ghee, especially if you get butter from pastured cows. Read some great info here about the health benefits of butter:

    Here’s how we do it on the stove:

  6. Bonniesue October 31, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    You might try the butter mixed with olive oil to make it not quite so fattening but still have the butter flavor.

  7. Joella October 31, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Two lowfat toppings for popcorn that I love are nutritional yeast, sprinkled liberally, and celery salt. Use butter only occasionally, when it will be a special treat.

  8. Maggie October 31, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    To avoid butter on popcorn, try ground cayenne pepper and a sprinkling of parmesian (sp?) cheese. There’s still some fat in the cheese, but less than better, and the taste is divine! (I find no extra salt needed because the cheese in on the salty side) Extra bonus, fingers aren’t greasy when done.

  9. Donna in Delaware November 1, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    Been doing this for a long, long time. Isn’t it great?! Who needs to pay $5.00 for a small cup of popcorn with fake and terrible smelling butter an salt? I love being sneaky when it comes to this!! I also use a dried Italian herb blend to make the popcorn savory. It’s excellent.

  10. Barbara November 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    We use a sprinkling of tamari (or mist it on from spritz bottle because it is easy to over do it) on popcorn popped in our cast iron kettle, the heat from the cast iron keeps the popcorn from getting soggy.. We then add nutritional yeast and garlic powder. YUM!

  11. Kay September 8, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I coat my paper bagged popcorn with a drizzle of EVOO and drizzle of hemp oil. Sprinkle some Sea salt on top and shake bag well. Really delicious and so healthy. I use organic ingredient.

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