3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn
butter, melted (optional)
Add the oil to a large soup kettle. (A thin kettle is best, if you have one. A heavy kettle takes too long to heat up.) Add 2 kernels of popcorn and turn the heat to medium high. Cover the pot and wait for those 2 kernels to pop. Once they pop, remove the 2 popped kernels, and add the remaining unpopped kernels.
Place the lid back on the pot and wait for kernels to pop. (Do not shake the pan.) When the kernels no longer are popping continuously (3 to 4 minutes), remove from heat and immediately dump popcorn into a bowl (if you leave it in the kettle with the lid on, the popcorn will get tough).
If desired, pour melted butter over top.
Serve while still hot.