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I pop seeds all the time without oil. First get your pan hot (heat on high) when a drop of water fizzles, it's ready. You can then proceed to pop your seeds, etc. I pop quinoa, amaranth and barley this way. I've also done it with popcorn! I have stainless steel, and am unsure if that matters. You do have to keep an eye on them and shake them occasionally to keep it from burning, however.