It was raining the other day in San Diego (a more frequent than usual occurrence lately) so Nate's family and I took the opportunity to watch some TV and make some popcorn – from scratch! My soon-to-be mother-in-law whipped out this contraption and showed me the ropes. It seems that each popcorn popper works a little bit differently, but the concept is the same: heat it up, pour some oil in the bottom, wait for it all to pop, then coat with melted butter and salt. Yum!
I'm sure you could achieve a similar result with a pot/lid over the stove. This popper is really just a big metal bucket over some hot coils.
Whatever you do, be sure to use OIL and not butter to pop the popcorn in. Butter will burn. And as Nate's mom said, wait until the popping slows to a few seconds between each one – that's how you know it's done.