Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Make your own microwave popcorn

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06-21-2011, 03:26 PM
This idea is so incredibly simple and wonderful I can't believe it took me so long to hear about it. You don't need an air popper to make your own fat free popcorn.

What you need:
1/4 to 1/2 cup popping corn
A brown paper "lunch" bag
A microwave

Pour the popcorn into the bag. Fold the bag over a couple of times to seal it. Place the bag in the microwave on its side, distributing the kernels along the bottom. Cook on high for around two minutes or until there is a two second pause between pops. (Just like processed microwave popcorn.) Pour into a bowl and butter and season as desired.

The time that you could it might vary per your microwave and the popcorn might burn so watch it while it pops. Unpopped kernels can be thrown back into the bag to be popped again if you wish.

There are only 30 calories in a cup of popped plain popcorn. Popping corn and lunch bags are way cheaper than even generic microwave popcorn. You won't get any harmful chemicals (from the bags) or preservatives and junk in your own microwave popcorn.

06-21-2011, 05:18 PM
Somewhere I saw a discussion about this technique and it was mentioned that some brown lunch bags are made out of recycled paper and may contain a bit of metal which could be an issue in the MW. Perhaps someone else knows about this?

06-21-2011, 11:01 PM
I haven't heard about the metal, but I have heard of a few incidents of fires :) I came close to that, once! I decided then I prefer my hot air popper. Or the store-bought pre-packages!

06-21-2011, 11:25 PM
I don't usually bother with microwave popcorn - I just put a big pot on the stove, pour in a little oil (maybe a tablespoon?), and let it heat up. Once the oil is hot enough (when it gets a lot less viscous ), I add the popcorn and a bit of salt. Cover the pot with tinfoil, poke a few holes, and shake the pot back and forth over the stove. Keep going until the popping slows to a couple seconds between pops. You can add butter or whatever at the end, but I usually just do a bit of salt when popping.

This is super easy, and a lot cheaper than microwave popcorn!

06-22-2011, 03:28 PM
I do this all the time. It's much cheaper and I've never had any burning bags or scorching.

06-22-2011, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the tip - I'm definitely going to give it a try. I have an ancient air popper that's on it's last legs and needs to be retired!

06-22-2011, 04:13 PM
Do you know they now have bowls for microwaving popcorn. I saw one the other day in target for $8. I've been debating to get it but I eat popcorn almost everyday so it could be worth a shot.

06-23-2011, 03:21 PM
Do you know they now have bowls for microwaving popcorn. I saw one the other day in target for $8. I've been debating to get it but I eat popcorn almost everyday so it could be worth a shot.

I've heard about them but never bought them yet. I think I like the convenience of just throwing away the bag when I'm done and not having to keep a container clean.

Just like regular micro popcorn, you really need to watch it at the end of the cycle. I've had plenty of burnt popcorn with the regular stuff AND making my own.

Believe it or not some people put a STAPLE in the bag and claim it works just fine even though it is metal, but I'm not taking the chance! Maybe that is what you are thinking of, Tommy.

I used to love eating regular microwave popcorn until I learned the chemicals in the bags and the popcorn are really bad for you. Now I can eat my microwave popcorn guilt free. :D

06-23-2011, 03:22 PM
I make microwave popcorn in a Tupperware bowl that I think is designed for heating leftovers. It has a small vent on the top and my popcorn comes out perfect. Sooo much easier/quicker than using the air popper.

07-02-2011, 10:28 AM
I tried the brown paper bag popcorn this week and I love it!!!!! so awesome!! I don't think I need to buy the bowl anymore.

07-04-2011, 10:26 PM
That is SOO cool! I'm so doing this, just need to get the bags! Thank you for sharing. I hate having to cook the popcorn over the stove, it gets too hot!! This will be awesome! Thank you sooo much!! :D

07-05-2011, 09:04 PM
I have a microwavable bowl by Nordic Ware that I got off Amazon. Looks like they go for $8.89 now. Sometimes I might have to take some out to pop the rest but overall I'm very happy with it and it cleans up fast by hand or I throw it in the dishwasher. :)

07-05-2011, 09:56 PM
I used to do this all the time. Then I read in a magazine that it was dangerous because the bag could burst into flames. I thought that was ridiculous because I'd been doing it for years and never had a problem.

Then when I was visiting my mother, I was showing her how to do it, and the bag went up in flames. Thankfully, I was smart enough to keep the microwave door shut until the fire went out, because it was blazing. Opening the door would have made it worse.

I still pop popcorn this way, but I'm much more careful about it. I watch the process start to finish, and I don't open the door right way. When the popping slows, I stop the microwave but don't open the door for a few seconds. That way if the bag was just about to burst into flame, opening the door doesn't provide extra air to fuel it. If it's going to burst into flames I want it to happen inside the microwave, not in my hands.

I've never had a problem, but I suspect it's because I've always bought low-wattage, super cheap microwaves (my mother's microwave was a much more expensive, higher wattage model, so I suspect that may have been the issue).

Although I don't eat microwave popcorn of any kind very often anymore. My husband makes old-fashioned popcorn on the stove with very little oil (and he adds the salt to the oil before popping). It tastes so much better, that I just budget for the oil calories (using my fat exchanges).

07-05-2011, 11:13 PM
Yep, had a near-fire experience and decided I liked the pre-packaged or my air popper better! :)

07-09-2011, 10:04 AM
I used to pop in the bag with a teaspoon of oil and garlic powder OR yellow curry powder all the time and never had a problem. Currently I dont have a microwave* though, so I am back to low oil stove top popping.

*I really dont miss my microwave, I use my toaster oven a lot more (and when we moved we didn't have room in the van for both) My biggest use for the microwave was reheating coffee and that is a lot of counterspace for a coffee mug heater!
7hrs met Fri

07-10-2011, 09:23 PM
Bah!!! I never knew about the bursting into flames thing! I have noticed that sometimes the bag gets oily before it's done popping but I only let half of the kernels pop when I remove it from the microwave. I shall have to try the stove kind. My sister used to make it but she always used a lot of oil. Can you make it will olive oil or does it have to be canola oil?

07-11-2011, 06:45 AM
I thought Olive oil could not stand all the heat needed to pop corn but I googled it and folks are sucessful, usually using med-high heat.

07-11-2011, 12:14 PM
I do this occasionally(despite owning an air popper).
When I do, I don't use oil in the bag, though. Just popcorn kernels and a paper bag.

Afterwards, I use a mister to spray a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt.

07-12-2011, 04:02 PM
Instead of having the bag on its side I did this with the bag straight up the other day. I used 1/2 of popcorn vs. 1/4 cup. It worked great, but the bag broke since it couldn't expand as much. If I do this again I'll lean towards 1/4 cup.

Never had a bag burst into flames.:sp: Though I have had popcorn burn when I'm not watching it. Now I always just watch it at the end of the cycle and I don't have any problems.

07-15-2011, 02:22 PM
.....Afterwards, I use a mister to spray a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt.

Another reason for me to buy another mister :o