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Microwave popcorn

jill Jan 3, 2006 01:33 PM

Anyone know how to microwave plain popcorn kernels? I don't have a hot air popper, but enjoy plain popcorn. I don't want all the additives and chemicals of regular microwave popcorn.

  1. n
    NickyPicky Feb 12, 2008 09:36 PM

    I gave up trying to make decent popcorn using the "plain paperbag in microwave" method long ago. It is very dangerous! Depending on wattage of oven it is a recipe for a fire.
    I bought a Whirly Pop type pan years ago and was very surprised by the excellent popcorn it makes with very very little oil.
    I guess if a person is lazy and hates having to wash a pan they might take a chance with the paper bag method.

    3 Replies
    1. re: NickyPicky
      piccola Feb 13, 2008 06:52 PM

      Funny, I've been making it that way for years and have never even come close to a fire. Then again, I usually stay nearby while it pops, and I take it out as soon as there are a few seconds between pops.

      1. re: NickyPicky
        Ruth Lafler Feb 13, 2008 09:12 PM

        Why do you need a special pan? I've always made popcorn in a regular pan. Right now I'm using my stirfry pan, which is perfect, but any deep pan with a lid will do. It doesn't take any longer then using the microwave, either.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          hondo77 Feb 14, 2008 08:37 AM

          I use my wok with a splatter screen on top.

      2. Caroline1 Feb 12, 2008 09:23 PM

        Pyrex makes a crackerjack (pun intended) round 2 quart covered casserole that works GREAT for popping corn. No oil required! No trees downed in the making, no Saran Wrap clogging the land fill, and the extra added super bonus: it can also be used to make those gourmet delights, green bean OR tuna casserole! What could be better than that?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Caroline1
          Janet from Richmond Feb 13, 2008 05:20 AM

          I have that casserole dish. How much popcorn do you put in there...what's the general time frame needed to pop?

          1. re: Janet from Richmond
            Caroline1 Feb 13, 2008 06:55 AM

            How much? sheesh... I dunno, I just "eyeball" it. But I would say start with about two rounded tablespoons, then keep an eye on it and if it starts to lift the lid off, open the door! I never pop any popcorn by clock time. I listen until there is about three seconds between pops, then open the door. Enjoy!

        2. s
          sunkissedbabe43 Feb 12, 2008 08:44 PM

          so did we decide if it was safe to microwave the brown bag? i live in dorm so it would help if i dont burn it down =]

          1. pancake Jan 7, 2007 05:29 PM

            I have found nice organic microwave popcorn at Dominion (in their organic section - brown box- says organic in large letters). NO additives - tastes great. Loblaws has an organic brand that is good as well.

            1. RShea78 Jan 6, 2007 02:23 AM

              Plastics and oils, for the most part, does not mix in the microwave.

              Manufactured plastic poppers generally have some special trick like, Presto needing the special popper disks, or the use of special plastic-like blends, not found in everyday plastics.

              Perhaps Smokey the Bear can move indoors for the Winter... Only you, can prevent kitchen fires.


              1. Sam Fujisaka Jan 3, 2007 11:19 PM

                Bowl, handful of kernels, dash of oil and salt (optional), cover tightly with plastic wrap, microwave until popped. Perfect, clean, no fuss, no muss.

                10 Replies
                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                  marcia2 Jan 5, 2007 06:08 PM

                  NordicWare makes a microwave popcorn popper that I like. You can pop just dry popcorn kernels. I usually toss the kernels with a tiny bit of olive oil. It adds some nice flavor and helps the salt stick.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                    a_and_w Jan 5, 2007 06:37 PM

                    Sam, there's no problem with the plastic melting? Also, what kind of bowl are you using?

                    1. re: a_and_w
                      Sam Fujisaka Jan 5, 2007 08:12 PM

                      Someone else mentioned fear of reaction with the plastic wrap. Plastic wrap is inert unless you apply flame, doesn't melt or give off fumes. I use a glass or China bowl.

                      Marcia2, I too use a tad of oil--EVOO or canola--and a pinch of salt.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                        cheryl_h Jan 5, 2007 09:01 PM

                        We use a plastic bowl with a plastic cover. I don't know if it's meant specially for microwaving popcorn but I imagine any microwave-safe plastic will be fine. I like to add a few drops each of water and oil, some salt and a sprinkle of cayenne.

                        1. re: cheryl_h
                          a_and_w Jan 5, 2007 09:13 PM

                          Have either of you tried popping without the oil? I usually add olive oil (or butter) and salt after popping. Does the addition of oil in the container make a difference?

                          1. re: a_and_w
                            cheryl_h Jan 5, 2007 09:20 PM

                            My husband leave out oil so I think you can too. I think it adds a little bit of flavor and helps the salt/pepper to stick but I can't say it's essential.

                            1. re: cheryl_h
                              Sam Fujisaka Jan 6, 2007 01:34 AM

                              Right. No need for oil, but I think a little improves flavor and ensures that you don't feel like you're eating packaging material.

                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                          tomishungry Jan 7, 2007 12:10 AM

                          plastic heated in the microwave can leach off additives ...


                          Even if you think your plastics are safe, all you have to do is to overheat the stuff once and try to peel it off your food and you'll never try it again.

                          Use glass.

                          1. re: tomishungry
                            Sam Fujisaka Jan 7, 2007 02:26 PM

                            Additives? Plastic is a polymer.

                            1. re: tomishungry
                              Lindseyup67 Feb 12, 2008 01:02 AM

                              False...............check out http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/...

                      2. m
                        michael23 Jan 3, 2007 10:53 PM

                        I've been using a presto popper for years. You add one teaspoon of oil, put your regular popcorn and in 3 minutes you have the best tasting popcorn. Add salt and/or butter to your tasting.

                        Here's a link to what I'm talking about.


                        1. f
                          Fleur Jan 3, 2007 10:44 PM

                          Don't do it. Nuking your popcorn is never as good as a WHIRLEY-POP. Cooked on top of the stove in less time than it takes to microwave, it is the best popcorn ever. Plain, buttered, olive oiled, kettle, or flavored.

                          1. a_and_w Jan 3, 2007 10:20 PM

                            Just wanted to report that the brown paper bag (sans staple) worked absurdly well. Popped better than the microwave bags you buy, and was many times tastier than my air popper.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: a_and_w
                              China Jan 3, 2007 11:13 PM

                              I do this daily. Its totally the way to go!

                              1. re: a_and_w
                                Maxmillion Feb 11, 2008 06:21 PM

                                Ditto on the brown paper bag, no oil.

                                I then melted a small pat of good butter in the microwave, drizzled it over the air-popped (nuked) popcorn, then dusted the lot liberally with powdered brewers yeast.

                                Extremely delicious and relatively good for you!! (butter notwithstanding...)

                                I'm sure the whirley-pop thing that Fleur recommends is great, but I just don't need another kitchen gadget when a paper bag will do.

                                BTW - I am not a huge fan of cooking in the microwave and tried the stove top first and ended up burning the lot!! pee-yew!

                                At least my micro oven is a PhD one -- ("push here, dummy!") with popcorn settings.

                                Plus, I noticed the popped corn was WAY bigger when nuked than the early, okay ones that popped stovetop. Interesting..........

                                1. re: Maxmillion
                                  MAH Feb 12, 2008 11:13 AM

                                  I just started making it this way in the microwave in a brown paper bag, folded and taped. After some experimentation, I don't add any oil or butter pre-popping. My early attempts at tossing the kernels with olive oil and cajun seasoning didn't work well. Oil was unnecessary and the spices burned a bit in popping. I like to season the beautifully fluffy popped corn with some melted butter and a bit of salt. Or better yet, black truffle butter. That's my new favorite. Delicious and perfect with champagne.

                                  1. re: MAH
                                    Amuse Bouches Feb 12, 2008 12:02 PM

                                    Truffle salt is also good.

                                  2. re: Maxmillion
                                    geminigirl Feb 12, 2008 02:50 PM

                                    what exactly does brewers yeast taste like? i've heard it mentioned in other threads about poporn too. and pardon my ignorance, is it the stuff you make bread with? thanks

                                    1. re: geminigirl
                                      goodhealthgourmet Feb 12, 2008 09:46 PM

                                      brewers yeast is actually the by-product of brewing fermentation, and it's surprisingly nutritious - particularly rich in B vitamins. and no it's not related to baker's yeast. i don't use brewer's yeast because of the gluten content, but i can vouch for the brilliance of nutritional yeast [another non-baker's yeast supplement] sprinkled on hot popcorn. it adds a great umami tang, and melts/dissolves right onto the fluffy kernels.

                                2. a
                                  a Jan 4, 2006 04:04 PM

                                  keep your corn kernals in the fridge.....it's suppose to help build up more moisture/steam in the kernal & it's suppose to pop bigger

                                  1. n
                                    nooodles Jan 4, 2006 01:04 AM

                                    You don't need a special popper.

                                    I just popped several batches for the first time using a metal pot with a slightly thick bottom and a glass lid. The glass lid isn't necessary, but it really helped me see what was happening.

                                    I put in barely any canola oil (a tablespoon?), then turned the heat to medium and put in one kernel of popcorn. As soon as the single kernel popped, I put in a half cup to a whole cup of popcorn. When more start popping, I put on two oven mitts, held the pot closed, and alternated between shaking and letting the pan touch the stove to retain heat (I have electric coils). As soon as the poporn stopped popping, I sprinkled with salt or other seasonings and shook well. I managed to pop almost every single kernel this way when I used 1/2 a cup. 1 cup was a little too much for my pot.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: nooodles
                                      Suzy Q Feb 11, 2008 06:39 PM

                                      noodles, that's exactly how we did it when I was a kid, in the pre-microwave days!

                                    2. f
                                      Fleur Jan 4, 2006 12:18 AM

                                      Don't waste your time with microwave popcorn.

                                      Get out your WHIRLEY-POP and make it fresh in the same amount of time. Much healthier and much more delicious.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Fleur
                                        Tugboat Jan 4, 2006 08:18 AM

                                        I make my popcorn on the stovetop in a pan, but I am not sure how it can be more healthy to do it that way as you need to use some oil.

                                        In the microwave, you don't use any oil. It just pops from the steam the builds up inside the kernel.

                                        1. re: Fleur
                                          michael23 Jan 4, 2007 06:47 PM

                                          I don't think Jill was asking about pre-packaged microwave popcorn, but ways to cook regular popcorn in the microwave.

                                          Assuming that you don't load up on butter, oil salt (or who knows what else they put in that pre-packaged stuff), cooking it in the microwave is no different than stove top, air or other methods healthwise.

                                        2. t
                                          Tugboat Jan 3, 2006 02:47 PM

                                          Alton Brown has a good recipie for that.

                                          I think you can google the instructions, but it is basically a brown paper lunch bag that has been sealed. He even puts a staple in it to keep it closed and it does not spark.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Tugboat
                                            veggiegirl Jan 7, 2007 12:02 AM

                                            I have all the respect in the world for Alton Brown, but DO NOT put a stapled paper bag in the microwave!! I started a fire in the microwave that way.

                                          2. j
                                            jill (too) Jan 3, 2006 01:39 PM

                                            very easy, just use a brown lunch bag.

                                            I grab a handful of kernals and throw them in a small brown bag (enough to cover the bottom of the bag) and fold the rim down twice, & lay it horizontal in the microwave. I zap it (about 1.5-2.5 minutes in my microwave) until I only hear 1-2 pops left.


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jill (too)
                                              Michele Cindy Jan 5, 2006 07:27 AM

                                              Just be careful very doing it this way, the bag can catch fire.

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