Brown Butter & Black Pepper Popcorn


Rich and nutty brown butter is the perfect complement to spicy black pepper in this elevated take on a classic movie snack.



1/4 cup salted butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/3 cup popcorn kernels

912 cranks of fresh cracked black pepper

1/41/2 teaspoon salt (I use kosher, but table salt is fine as well)


  1. Melt your butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
  2. Once the butter is melted, continue to keep on the heat until it foams and then starts to darken in colour, while giving off a nutty aroma. You want it to be kind of the colour of caramel, but no darker than that or it will start to burn.
  3. Take the brown butter off the heat and set aside
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Add 3-4 kernels to the oil.
  6. Once those kernels pop, you know your oil is hot enough to cook the popcorn, so add the remaining kernels to the pot and cover leaving the lid slightly askew for steam to escape
  7. Move your pot back and forth over the element as the kernels pop.
  8. It should only take about 30 seconds or so for all your kernels to pop. Once the rate of popping has gone down and you only hear about 2 every second, you can take the popcorn off the heat.
  9. Immediately dump the popcorn into a large bowl.
  10. Start by drizzling 1/3 of the brown butter over the top of the popcorn followed by about 3-4 cranks of freshly cracked black pepper and an even sprinkling of salt.
  11. Hold your bowl with both hands and gently toss the popcorn so that you have a fresh layer on top. Repeat the brown butter/pepper/salt process.
  12. Toss the popcorn again using your last 3rd of butter and more salt and pepper.
  13. Enjoy!


You could do this with popcorn that you’ve popped in the microwave, but just be aware of the salt and butter content that might already be on that popcorn. Taste a few kernels first to see how salty they are and scale back on the salt I’ve suggested if need be.

Keywords: popcorn, brown butter, black pepper

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