Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

We don't have an air popcorn popper because we have a teeny little kitchen so I always made us stovetop popcorn. It was sort of a hassle, mostly because I don't like washing pots, but we dealt with it because it was healthier and cheaper than microwave popcorn.

Recently, my husband has been trying to break his addiction to potato chips. They're unhealthy and expensive, but his mom always packed chips in his lunch when he was growing up and he just carried on the habit into adulthood. He likes salty and savory snacks. (I prefer sweets myself, though I do like Doritos every once in awhile.) I suggested he eat popcorn instead of chips because it's high in fiber and low in calories, but it wasn't really practical for him to make stovetop popcorn every morning before work.

Instead, I tried a little experiment to make our own microwave popcorn rather than buying the chemical-laden kind from the grocery store. I simply put 1/2 cup of popcorn (from the bulk section of my favorite natural food store) in a paper lunch bag, folded over the top, and microwaved it. It takes something like two and a half minutes; I just use my microwave's popcorn button. It cooks up perfectly and leaves very few unpopped kernels. We pour it into a bowl before adding toppings so that we can reuse the paper bag. We've been able to reuse our bags 10-20 times, so it's still cost-effective and relatively eco-friendly.

Even with toppings, a large serving of popcorn for my husband's lunch costs just pennies; it's cheaper and healthier than either potato chips or microwave popcorn, and is just as fast as the latter. It certainly works for us.


  1. I have heard this tip before about the paper bag in the microwave, but never thought about doing it without butter/oil first. I like that with your method you can reuse the bag. Stupid question, but do you use the normal "sandwich" size paper bags? Thanks for this tip, I LOOOOVVVEEE popcorn.

  2. It's not a sandwich sized bag, but it's the regular kind of lunch sized paper bag a kid would carry his lunch to school in. I bought a pack of 50 at Target for a couple of bucks. The approximate dimensions are 6 x 4 x 12. I was just lucky in that it exactly holds 1/2 cup of unpopped popcorn when it's cooked.

  3. I was recently wondering if this worked or not; I too love popcorn but not the chemical-laden ones. So glad that it works! I will have to try it!

  4. I've heard of this before but never given it a try. I'll have to now. I like that you can reuse the bag so many times.

  5. I have done this and it works great. It can get your microwave very hot though if you are making multiple batches in a row. I had a houseful of kids and made them each their won bag - after six bags, my microwave overheated and died. No power at all. I unplugged it and left it alone over night - thankfully it was back to normal the next day. :)
    I love your tip on reusing bags.

  6. Heidi, I've only ever made one batch at a time, but I wonder if you could put two or three bags in the microwave at once rather than do it serially.


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