Old Bay Popcorn

Sure you could just microwave up some popcorn and sprinkle it with Old Bay—no judgement here. We’ve done that, too. But Old Bay popcorn is so much better when you’ve oil popped the corn kernels and butter-coated it just right with the crab spice, salt, and pepper. It’s a treat and very simple to do. Plus, it doesn’t take really that much more time than a microwave popcorn bag. So what’s stopping you the next time you have a hankerin’ for crab corn?

Old Bay popcorn—so simple to make

Old Bay isn’t truly spicy, more warming. There’s paprika in the spice blend, along with many other spices that really make the flavor so distinct. If you’d like to make this a spicier popcorn, try adding just a touch of cayenne pepper powder to the mix. Careful, cayenne has some kick (30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units), so start small and build from there.

Like this recipe? You’ll love these too:

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Old Bay Popcorn

Old Bay Popcorn

5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste


  • In large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and place 3 kernels in the center of the pot. Wait for the 3 kernels to pop as it’s a signal that your oil is hot enough to start.
  • Turn up the heat slightly more, toss in remaining corn kernels, cover the pot, and shake the pot continuously over the heat.
  • In a separate small pan on medium-low, melt the butter.
  • Once the corn kernels have slowed down their popping (listen for single pops, typically 5 to 7 minutes in), remove the popcorn from the heat and pour it into a large serving bowl.
  • Drizzle the butter over the popcorn and add in the Old Bay, the salt, and the pepper. Toss the popcorn until it’s evenly covered with the butter and spices.


Want it spicier, add a little cayenne. Start with a small amount and build from there.
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on May 6, 2024 to include new content.
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