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Microwave Popcorn

How many people like microwave over fresh popped? I prefer fresh popped for several reasons. Fresh popped just tastes better, it also doesn't take much longer, although cleanup is in the favor of microwave. It must be healthier, a little oil and some salt, plus some real butter, not the mystery concoction lurking in the bottom of the bag. What are all of those chemicals? I like it better leftover, plus, if you "accidentally" burn some, just an added plus.

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  1. Count me in the "fresh" camp. Something about the smell of it while it's poppin'-eww! Never thought I'd meet a popcorn I didn't like, til' the micro-variety reared it's smelly head. Now, if it was the last popcorn on earth, I might reconsider....Adam

    1. I have never liked microwaved popcorn.

      We use a whirley pop. Makes the best popcorn!

      1. I use Chintzy Pop stove top popcorn.

        1. The debate is not so simple. I don't like the pre-seasoned microwave bags, but I do use the microwave to pop my popcorn in a special plastic bowl.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Steve

            Alton Brown has a cool way of making fresh popcorn in a microwave- you use a brown paperbag, a little bit of oil and salt. Best part is there is no clean up!

            If I am at work there is one type of microwave popcorn that I do like. It is Orville Redenbacher's Natural & Organic Buttery Salt & Cracked Pepper. It has no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

            1. re: phimoez

              oh, that is a good idea to re-use the paper bags the grocery store puts wine bottles in. ;-)

              1. re: alkapal

                I've done popcorn in the m/w many times this way...no oil is necessary...just put some in paper bag, scrunch it closed...microwave...then when it's freshly popped, that's when I add melted butter and a little salt. Some folks on this board advise adding Parmesan cheese...I need to try that.

                1. re: Val

                  It's great w/ parmesan cheese but you do need to add oil or butter or it just falls right off. Someone recommended spraying wih vinegar and then sprinkling salt. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds good.

                  1. re: chowser

                    My favorite popcorn topping is soy sauce...........salty and yummy. I may have to give the vinegar a try and see how that compares. I like to come up with new popcorn "recipes" like garlic popcorn or herb popcorn. Parmesan cheese is good too but it never sticks as good as I would like.

                    1. re: phimoez

                      Do you spray on the soy sauce? Diluted or straight? Someone gave me some chipotle popcorn seasoning that was pretty good. When I've used parmesan cheese, I have the same problem, too and end up w/ it all in the bottom.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I do spray on the soy sauce undiluted. If you try to drizzle is on it can get soggy. The chipotle popcorn seasoning does sound good- I may try to concoct my own.

                  2. re: Val

                    That's how I make my popcorn too. We never buy microwave popcorn (that smell is so nasty). Just regular popcorn and brown paper bags.

              2. re: Steve

                Exactly. Microwaves are great for popping corn. Popcorn packaged to go into the microwave as the only way to cook it is pretty awful and smells worse.

              3. The smell of microwave popcorn literally makes me nauseous. Dont know what it is that does it, but always happens. Thank God I work in a small office now, and no one eats the stuff. At home, we use the Whitly Pop. Perferct popcorn every time, and cooks up so quickly.

                2 Replies
                1. re: macca

                  Don't even get me started about the job I had where a guy would whip out a bag at 7:45 every morning. I can somewhat tolerate the smell at a reasonable hour, but when I'm coming into work- ew.

                  I am not really a popcorn fan generally and prefer it plain, so I find most of the microwave varieties pretty repulsive.

                  1. re: queencru

                    I know I would have had to say something to the guy- don't know what is in the microwave swill, but it really makes me feel sick. I can only imagine how it tastes. Last year, on our family vacation (22 of us), we brought the whirly pop and had popcorn every night- we ran out of kernals and the kids went to the store and bought microwave, as they thought is was easier. Had to sit outside when they made it.

                2. Neither/both: just pop regular popcorn in the MW in a covered glass bowl.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    i pop the organic regular popcorn sold in the bulk-foods dept of whole foods in a plain brown paper bag in the microwave.

                    top it with real, freshly melted butter and kosher salt.

                  2. Home made is so much better, whether it's on the stove or in the microwave. And, there are health issues with grocery store microwave popcorn. It's called popcorn lung, more a problem for workers.


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: chowser

                      I'm surprised there are no followers of the Air Popped variety... perhaps the microwave in a bag version is basically the same, but I wonder if you get the half cracked old maids like you do in an air popper. Those little gems might just be the best part if you ask me.

                      real butter and salt are a necessity. Parm cheese is going to be attempted soon. Sounds delicious.

                      1. re: babaoriley7

                        We had an air popper growing up, I thought the popcorn tasted awful. It just smelled like feet when it was cooking and had a very try, unpleasant taste like very cheap movie theater popcorn that's been sitting for 3 days.

                        1. re: babaoriley7

                          I used the brown bag method for a while, also tried a microwave popcorn bowl, but something about the shape of my microwave prevents it from popping very well. It works if I remove the rotating plate so the bag/bowl sits about an inch lower, but that's a pain to do every time I want popcorn, which is pretty much every night. After a few burnt stove-top batches (darn you apartment stove!) I invested in an air popper. I love it. The kernels seem to pop bigger, and it's nearly impossible to burn. A spritz of olive oil and some parm (or Kernel Seasons flavored salt, my guilty pleasure) and I'm good to go.

                          On the subject of packaged microwave popcorn, I hate it. The smell is bad, but the tasts is worse. I like salty foods, but the salt flavor from the microwave bags is just too astringent. Yuck.

                      2. It's freshy fresh for me again. I like the firm, meaty kernels. Popcorn with heft. I don't want it airy and fluffy. I want it popped in hot oil, shaken a little, topped with melted butter, parm, too much black pepper and salt.

                        Ever try to add melted butter to nuker popcorn? It suffers from shrinkage if you get it wet. Bah!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Boccone Dolce

                          My latest favorite has become to melt a little butter and add a generous anmount of TEXAS PETE HOT SAUCE to the butter for a little zing!!

                          1. re: Boccone Dolce

                            I've never noticed a problem with adding butter to popcorn we popped in the microwave. I think this calls for a side by side taste test. I'm sure my guys wouldn't mind participating in such an experiment. :)

                            1. re: flourgirl

                              All in the interest of science, of course...

                              I bought some so called "amish" kernels and they are the hull-less ones. I notice they popped up very foofy and light. It tastes good otherwise but it's not on my list to get again.

                          2. I love popcorn. I will revert to micro popped as long as it's not one of those low fat varieties that taste and feel like packing peanuts.

                            however the only varieties i really like are the Dave's Insanity popcorn (wow-o) and perhaps on a lesser basis, the OR's jalapeno.

                            What I prefer most of all, is stove top variety, as a treat. And the movie variety, as well as the kernels stuff they sell. But stove top rules.

                            as for toppings, try some sriracha. or smoked sea salt. or just any cheese in general.

                            1. It seems like I'm going to be the only one to fess up to popping store-bought microwave popcorn...and liking it. Actually, it was bought from the Boy Scouts during their annual sale. It's really not too bad. Of course I always doctor it up with garlic powder, cheese powder, Butter Buds, and/or black and red pepper mix.

                              All this in only 2:15 in the micky wave, start to finish in about 5 min. w/no cleanup.

                              1. Of late we've been making that low-fat microwave popcorn in the bag, but I've got one of those big plastic bowl type microwave poppers with the little reservoirs in the bottom, and I've got a new bottle of white truffle oil. Does anybody know if I can toss my kernels in the oil and then micorwave them? Normally you're supposed to pop in this thing dry, but then not even the salt sticks to the popcorn. If we could make truffle popcorn that would be excellent.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: junescook

                                  I have a 'big bowl' microwave popper - the Presto Power Pop. You can pop with or without oil. With oil, the kernels pop while sitting in 2 to 4 tespoons of oil. No reason you can't do it that way.

                                  1. re: Steve

                                    Thanks. I'll let you know how it turned out after the weekend.

                                  2. re: junescook

                                    I just finished the Bittman book "Food Matter", and he includes a recipe for popping corn in a brown paper bag in the microwave. Has anyone tried this older method of nuking popcorn?

                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                          I do it that way too ...found out about it here on chowhound. Much better than oil-popped in my opinion.

                                          1. re: coney with everything

                                            i've been making popcorn by just nuking it in a brown paper bag ever since microwave ovens got popular.
                                            never read the bittman book.
                                            imho, the key is to remove the popped popcorn from the bag at intervals during the popping process so that the kernels that pop first don't get overcooked while waiting for the laggard kernels to pop.

                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                              "imho, the key is to remove the popped popcorn from the bag at intervals during the popping process so that the kernels that pop first don't get overcooked while waiting for the laggard kernels to pop."

                                              yes, i do this too.