Campfire Popcorn

Campfire popcorn over an open fire.

Keep Popping

Hands up if you love a good campfire? I definitely do.  I am mesmerised by the dancing flames with crackling sparks flying up into the night sky on a clear night in the UK.  One way to next level your campfire experience is to cook something.  Want to turn your fire into an outdoor kitchen?  The quick and easy way minimal fuss and effort is with campfire popcorn!

Have you ever wondered how to make popcorn over a fire or in a pan? In this post we’ll walk through the easy steps needed to make campfire popcorn and help you keep popping.  What a great outdoor activity to share with family and friends!

Campfire popcorn toasting over an open fire.

Materials and Ingredients 

If you’re going to make your own popcorn, you’l need popcorn kernels. Grab them from most supermarkets. Check for any cross contamination and risk to those with allergens (nuts come to mind)

Campfire popcorn pan made of black metal.

Making popcorn in a pan is great fun.  If you’re looking for a campfire popcorn popper in the UK there are a few options.  One way is a DIY version with two sieves, a pole and some wire.  Another option is a long handled popcorn basket or pan.  I recently bought one from amazon.

Kit needed to start and maintain a fire. These include matches (or ignition source), tinder, kindling and fuel and a safe area to make your fire.

Oil, sugar and salt or other flavourings.

A colander or bowl and some paper towel. This helps with adding seasoning and also acts as a handy container from which to distribute. A slight reflection would be to have a spoon or some way to grab the popcorn to serve. This would minimise handling. 

Popcorn Maker In Action

Have a look at this video to see the popcorn maker in action.

This video shows the corn popping in slow motion.

Excerpt of a risk benefit analysis as part of a risk analysis.

Risk Benefit Analysis (RBA) and Life Links

As part of my risk assessment, I do an extra RBA. RBA finds reasons to keep activities as part of our schedule.  They show skills and lessons learned in a session.  They have more benefit than the risk associated with the activity. I also add a bonus ‘Life Links’(LL) element.  LL’s highlight everyday skills learners can take into their everyday lives. 

Campfire popcorn pan over hot coals.


Campfire Popcorn Is Inclusive 

This activity is a top inclusive activity, because everyone can take part. Here’s a list of the tasks that learners can help with:

  • prepare the pan
  • measure and add the oil to the pan
  • pour the campfire popcorn into the pan
  • secure the lid on the popcorn pan
  • shake and hold the popcorn pan over the campfire (using fire gloves)
  • pour the popped corn into the bowl / colander
  • season the popcorn with salt and/or sugar
  • plate up the popcorn and serve to other learners

Popping corn, salt, sugar and oil in small containers.

Managing Challenges For Popcorn

One of my learners is vegetarian and didn’t want to wear the fire gloves (which was a rule). The challenge they faced were gloves made of cow leather.  This is fine and there was no pressure placed on the learner to have to wear it.  Scenarios like this provide a moment for reflection. How can I find a solution to learner involvement challenges?  Was it compulsory for me to do?  No.  Will it help enhance my learner’s future experiences?  Absolutely!

Cotton bases or other synthetic materials could be a solution. Whichever alternative you choose, they need to be robust and suitable for use with fire. For example, I would not choose to use generic oven gloves.  They would need to be something suitable for working with fire and high temperatures.

Campfire popcorn being seasoned.

Fancy Getting Round The Fire?

Campfire cooking doesn’t have to be complex and challenging.  In fact, keeping it short and simple usually makes for a tasty treat.

Why not join us round the campfire for some popcorn action?  You can book onto one of our sessions here.

Otherwise, you can get in touch and enquire about putting on a poptastic session for you and some friends.

A small fire.

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