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Microwave popcorn peeve

OK, I like microwave popcorn, but I have a peeve - if I put it on for the recommended 3 minutes (in my 700 watt unit), it invariably get scorched. But if I reduce the cooking time, it seems like half the kernels didn't pop, and I feel ripped off. Anyone else have this problem?

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  1. I don't have your problem (and that's partly because I don't eat microwave popcorn).

    But perhaps you could nuke at 700 watt for 2 minutes and give it another nuke at a lower setting (e.g. medium) for the last 1 minute?

    Just a thought ...

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Microwave popcorn is terrible, I don't microave either. For virtually the same amount of time you can cook on the stovetop, the cleanup tastes a bit longer. Get some good Orville and do it yourself. What exactly is all that crap, chemicals, in a microwave popcorn bag?

    2. I use the popcorn button on my micro and ususally have to add about 15 sec. Stand by your micro and listen--when you hear only a pop or so per second, turn it off. I have different results with different brands of popcorn. My micro is 1,000 watts and it takes about 3 min..

      1. When I make micro popcorn I break up the package with my hand. It is like a small block of kernels, and I just loosen them up so they spread out more evenly in the bag, beyond the folds. I hope I am making myself clear. This seems to make a difference. Then I put it on the time they suggest but still listen carefully. I hardly ever get many "old maids" with this technique.

        6 Replies
        1. re: danhole

          If anyone has Boy Scouts around selling a fundraising product called Trail's End Kettle Corn, I can recommend it. It has a sweet/salty coating that I really like and it all pops with my micro's popcorn setting. Kinda expensive but so is everything else they sell, the little extortionists. ;)

          1. re: danhole

            Hey, thanks, that's something I will try for sure!

            1. re: danhole

              I just tried your suggestion, and it works perfectly! Thanks so much.. who knew it would be so simple?

              1. re: KevinB


                I'm so glad you tried it! Most people think I'm crazy. Believe me, I went through many boxes before I figured that out. I was at my now grown daughters house and wanted to make some popcorn for her kids. As I pulled it out, she told me to make sure and break it up before putting in the micro. I laughed and said "who taught you that?"


              2. Have you popped regular popcorn in a regular paper bag in the microwave? I can vary the amount of popcorn and choose the type and amount of oil. Unpopped kernels can then be reused.

                1 Reply
                1. re: alwayscooking

                  Beat me to it. Prepackaged microwave popcorn is such a rip off; like so many other packaged foods.

                2. I pop mine in the micro all the time, I buy the mini pouches which are great 1/2 the size never go waste, they pop better. Also I pop mine the big pouches at not full power usually power 9 for the recommended and 1/2 way through flip. I know they don't say that. But I had similar problems. This seems to work every time. Sometimes I may have to go just a bit longer. But never scorched. I do love the small snack bags. 1/2 the size so I can add butter to one or if comes with it. I like parm now and then and a good friend likes a little cayenne with his butter. But good ol butter is just fine with me for the most part.

                  1. Stay and listen. A bag of popcorn will vary even if its the same brand and the same microwave. Once the pops slow to almost none, turn the microwave off. A couple more will pop and you're good to go.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mojoeater

                      Very true my old micro was completely different and each bag seems to be. If they are exposed to any moisture it definitely hurts the popping ability. Lots of variables.

                    2. I have a 26 year old microwave and popcorn takes over 3 minutes. I put it in for 5 and take it out when theres anywhere from 1:30-1:54 minutes left and it never gets scorched. I have problems using any other microwave cause they are not as old as mine.
                      I will break up the package next time.
                      BTW my fave popcorn is PopSecret Homestyle....the other butters usually have a bad aftertaste for me.
                      Of course nothing beats popcorn made on the stovetop.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LARaven

                        I like the kettle corn at times, sweeter but the homestyle is a good choice. Had that as well. Not a bad taste.

                        And yes ... all micros vary, a pain

                      2. I do 2:30 or 2:35. Some of the kernels brown a bit, but almost all of them pop at the same time.
                        If you stay near the microwave and listen to the popping rate, you should be OK. Just take it out when the pops get more than maybe 5 seconds apart.