Put ½ cup popcorn kernels and 2 Tbsp. canola, vegetable, or coconut oil into a large, deep pot. Cover tightly and cook over medium-high heat until kernels just begin to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Give pot a firm up-and-down shake every 30 seconds or so. When popping has almost subsided, remove pot from heat and transfer popcorn to a bowl. Makes about 10 cups.
Place ¼ cup popcorn kernels and ½ Tbsp. oil (optional) in a paper lunch bag. Fold over top edge to secure; microwave on high for about 2 minutes, or until kernels have mostly stopped popping. Makes about 5 cups; do 2 bags' worth for the recipes here.
Some poppers require oil, others use only hot air. Follow the manufacturer's instructions; for the recipes here, pop ½ cup popcorn kernels total. You may have to work in batches.
Next: Use these techniques to make Cat Cora's playful popcorn recipes
More Ways to Make Your Favorite Snacks at Home