Campfire Popcorn

popcorn-camping-snackThere is no better way to top off an evening of s’mores around the campfire than with a big batch of buttery, salty, popcorn. It’s hard to beat a bowl of warm popcorn after the sun goes down and, let’s face it, popcorn is usually a better bedtime snack for the little ones than marshmallows and chocolate!

People have been popping corn for thousands to years and it’s an easy camping snack to make. Even if you’re boondocking (camping outside of an established campground) without a campfire, you can still pop corn on your camp stove. All you need is a little oil and something to contain the popping corn kernels. Any pot with a handle and a lid will do.

Campfire corn poppers feature long handles to protect your hands

Campfire corn poppers feature long handles to protect your hands

If you are popping corn over a campfire, then you probably want something with a longer handle than a regular pot. Dedicated “open flame” popcorn poppers, such as those from Rome Industries in Peoria, Illinois and Wabash Valley Farms in Monon, Indiana feature two-foot-long handles to keep your hands safely away from the licking flames of the fire.

jiffy-popIf a dedicated popcorn popper, like Rome’s or Wabash’s, isn’t your style there is another way to get your popcorn on that is straight out of the 1960’s: Jiffy Pop! Yes, Jiffy Pop™ is still around, though thanks to the onslaught of the microwave, it’s much harder to find. And when you do find it, you really need to be careful not to get ripped-off. Jiffy Pop should cost about $1 per package, but many online sources sell it for twice that. Check the ConAgra Foods® store locator for availability in your area.

Note that Jiffy Pop is supposed to be used for popping corn on a stove, not a campfire. If your campfire ring includes a grill, though, just place a griddle (you do have a cast iron griddle, don’t you?) on the grill and it will pop just fine. We have even used Jiffy Pop directly on the grill with decent results as long as the flames of the fire weren’t too close, which tends to burn the kernels in the thin Jiffy Pop container.

Camping is all about making memories and what’s more memorable than munching on warm popcorn under the stars?

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18 thoughts on “Campfire Popcorn

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  3. Although the “Campfire Popcorn Holder” sold on Amazon is a cool invention, we usually accomplish the same thing by attaching a nearby stick to the end of the wire loop handle. We just wrap a strip of foil to hold them together. No more hot knuckles. As a bonus, the stick extension makes it easy to pass it around the campfire to your friends.

  4. There is a company that supplies the long handled campfire poppers shown above in the picture that also ships them with an ingredients kit… Like you just zip the top off the pouch and dump it in the popper. That looks the easiest… Their website is http://www.cascadedelights.com The poppers seem to work great on a stove too and in case you burn a few kernels you don’t have to sandblast your spaghetti pot. The poppers are black so it blend in!

    Every time I have tried to pop a jiffy pop on an open fire , the bottom has burned through and everything falls out…. The griddle idea seems good except I never have packed a griddle only a frying pan and I had to get the frying pan blue hot to get the jiffy pop to cook.

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  6. This sounds a bit like the Jiffy Pop idea:

    Hobo Popcorn
    * Popcorn
    * Oil
    * Heavy duty aluminum foil
    * Stick
    In the middle of a 18″ x 18″ piece of aluminum foil, place 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of popcorn. Bring foil corners together to make a pouch. Secure the edges of the foil but leave plenty of room for the popcorn to pop. Tie the pouch to a stick and hold the pouch over the hot coals. Shake constantly until all the popcorn has popped. Add butter and salt to taste.

  7. Thanks for the insights on Jiffy Pop, we are using that as “prizes” at our food bloggers camp for funny skits, etc. Will warn our campers that if they try to pop it in the campfire, they probably won’t be happy. But it would make a good blog post if they do!

  8. I’ve found that with a little effort you can wrap each side of the wire Jiffy Pop handle around each side of a marshmallow fork for that extra length. Make sure it can handle some shaking before you put it over the fire, because the key to not burning Jiffy Pop is to shake it continously while it’s heating. This seems to be true whether you are over an open fire or on a burner.

  9. Helen – that sounds pretty cool! I did a quick search on the web, but I couldn’t find it – I’ll have to keep looking.

  10. I just saw a device in a camp store that is essentially a long handle for Jiffy Pop. It has a long handle like a toasting fork and then a ring at the other end that you sit the Jiffy Pop in. It was not very expensive (under $10) so if you really like you JP over a campfire but hate the hot hands, it might be worth a try.

    • Helen, do you happen to recall the brand name or store? I’m a big fan of JP over the campire and would love to find the long handle thing you are talking about.

      Thanks!
      Susan

    • Helen, do you happen to recall the brand name or store? I’m a big fan of JP over the campire and would love to find the long handle thing you are talking about.

      Thanks!
      Susan

  11. Deb – very true, the handle on the Jiffy Pop is pretty short, so when you make your fire be sure to stack wood against one side of the fire pit. Also, before you start the fire, make sure to lower the grate enough so when the wood has burned down to nice hot coals, the Jiffy Pop will be close enough to work. We’re out of Jiffy Pop now, so I don’t know if we’re going to try and find some more or just get one of the campfire corn poppers.

  12. We’ve been doing the Jiffypop over the campfire – it get’s quite hot on the knuckles. Just might have to invest in one of those long handled poppers.

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