Have you ever craved the delicious, buttery goodness of microwave popcorn but didn’t want to spend the extra money on store-bought bags? Or maybe you’re trying to avoid all the artificial ingredients and preservatives found in most commercial brands. Either way, I have the solution for you – homemade microwave popcorn!
Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also a much healthier alternative to the pre-packaged versions. Plus, you can customize it to your liking with a variety of seasonings and toppings. In this blog post, I will show you how to make the perfect batch of homemade microwave popcorn in just a few simple steps in either a brown paper bag or a glass bowl. Say goodbye to boring, plain popcorn and hello to a tasty, homemade snack.
Why I Love Homemade Microwave Popcorn
When I was a kid, my family’s Sunday tradition of watching slides on my Dad’s slide projector was my favorite. If you don’t know what slides are, I will wait a few minutes while you go Google it and I reflect on how old I am. Every week, we would disagree over which slides would be featured that night. Of course, I only wanted to see slides that featured the cutest kid…me. Who cares about all the other slides?
Our family Sunday tradition wasn’t complete without an extremely large metal bowl of homemade popcorn. Like 20 quarts of popcorn “large.” Back in the day, there was no such thing as microwave popcorn, so the only option was to make it on the stove. And it was delicious!
My own children love stovetop popcorn just like their Mom, but my son always asks why I never buy the microwave stuff. To me, the answer is simple. First, the cost. Second, all the stuff I can’t pronounce/understand you find in the list of ingredients.
This week, to surprise the 12-year-old, I made homemade microwave popcorn as an after-school snack. He didn’t see me make it, so when he tasted it, he excitedly declared, “Mom! You bought me microwave popcorn!!” Success 🙂
This homemade microwave popcorn is so simple to make. In fact, I taught my son how and he made two more batches on his own. The only place you might struggle is the amount of time in the microwave. Since every microwave is different, you will have to experiment. I suggest starting conservatively with your time so you don’t burn it (because nothing smells worse than burnt popcorn!). Then, the next time you make a batch, add another 5 seconds. Continue to add 5 seconds every time you make a batch until you come up with the perfect time for your own microwave. With store-bought microwave popcorn, you wait until the popping slows down. I tell you from experience that if you go that long, you will have a burnt result.
What is Homemade Microwave Popcorn
Homemade microwave popcorn is popcorn that is made in the microwave instead of using a stovetop or air popper. This is typically done by placing popcorn kernels in a microwave-safe bag or container and heating them in the microwave until they pop. The resulting popcorn can then be seasoned or topped with various flavors as desired.
Homemade Microwave Popcorn Ingredients and Supplies
You probably have all the ingredients and supplies you need in your pantry to make homemade microwave popcorn.
- Popcorn kernels
- Butter or canola oil
- Brown paper bag or microwave-safe glass bowl
How to Make Popcorn in the Microwave in a Bag
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to Make Homemade Microwave Popcorn in a Bag
- Prepare the kernels
In a small bowl, mix together the popcorn kernels and vegetable oil, or butter.
- Prepare the paper bag
It is best to add a sheet of wax paper into the bag to keep it from ripping. Pour the mixture into a brown paper bag. Fold the top of the paper bag over a few times to close it. You can add a staple to keep it closed.
- Cook the popcorn
Microwave the popcorn on high for 2-3 minutes on a dinner plate turned upside down inside the microwave. Cook until the popping is just beginning to slow.
How to Make Popcorn in the Microwave in a Bowl
- Start by grabbing a large microwave-safe glass bowl and adding popcorn kernels.
- Next, add oil or butter and mix it well with the kernels. Top with a microwave-safe plate.
- Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes.
- After the time is up, carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and give the popcorn a good stir or shake.
- Place the bowl back in the microwave and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the popping just begins to slow.
- Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and pour the popcorn into a large bowl or container.
- Add in your desired seasonings or toppings, such as butter, salt, or Parmesan cheese, and enjoy your homemade microwave popcorn!
Homemade Microwave Popcorn FAQs
Generally, it is safe to microwave popcorn in a paper bag, as long as the bag is specifically labeled for microwave use and the instructions on the bag are followed carefully. It is important to avoid overheating the popcorn, as this can cause the bag to catch fire. It is also recommended to carefully monitor the popcorn while it is cooking and to stop the microwave immediately if any signs of burning or smoking occur.
Yes, regular popcorn can be made in the microwave. It can be done in a microwave-safe glass bowl or a plain brown paper bag. Homemade microwave popcorn can also be made with or without oil or butter.
It is important to keep an eye on the popcorn while it is cooking in the microwave to prevent it from burning or overcooking. Some microwave ovens have a popcorn setting that can be used to cook the popcorn more evenly and consistently, but watch it closely until you know the specific time your microwave needs.
Can I make homemade microwave popcorn without oil?
Yes, you can make homemade microwave popcorn without oil by using a microwave-safe bowl or paper bag and adding popcorn kernels and a small amount of water to the bowl or bag. It needs a bit of moisture to properly pop so if you take out the butter, use water. Place it in the microwave and cook according to the instructions in the recipe below or until the popping slows down. You may also add seasonings or toppings of your choice after the popcorn is cooked.
Can I use olive oil instead of butter?
Yes, you can make microwave popcorn with olive oil instead of butter. To do this, simply replace the butter in the microwave popcorn recipe with an equal amount of olive oil and follow the instructions in the recipe below. The resulting popcorn will have a slightly different flavor, but will still be delicious.
My popcorn burned. What went wrong?
Likely you left the popcorn in the microwave for too long or cooked it at too high of a power setting, causing it to burn. To avoid burning the popcorn, it is important to carefully monitor the cooking time and adjust the power level as needed. Also, use a microwave-safe glass bowl or brown paper bag and occasionally shake the container to evenly distribute the heat. If you are used to store-bought microwave popcorn, you know to wait until the popping slows to one pop every second or two. If you do that with this homemade microwave popcorn recipe, you’ll have burnt popcorn.
What type of kernels works best in homemade microwave popcorn?
The best type of popcorn kernels for making microwave popcorn are the small, pearl-shaped kernels. These kernels are specifically designed for microwave popping and are less likely to burn or undercook compared to other types of kernels. All types will work for homemade microwave popcorn, but these ones have a slight advantage.
Homemade Microwave Popcorn Recipe Variations
Being a home cook provides endless opportunities to experiment with recipes, personalizing them to your tastes and creativity. Any of the following variations would be great spin-offs of this recipe for homemade microwave popcorn.
- Turn up the heat with a few shakes of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the finished microwave popcorn
- Add sweetness with a little bit of powdered sugar dusted over the top of the popcorn once it is done popping.
- Try some cheese over the top of the hot popcorn. Use freshly grated Parmesan or another dry cheese like Romano.
- Experiment with spices to add variety. A bit of garlic powder would be delicious, as would some chili lime powder.
Looking for More Great Popcorn Recipes?
If this recipe for homemade microwave popcorn is just what you were looking for, be sure to check out these other delicious recipes. Go grab them now before you forget!
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- 1/3 C popcorn kernels
- 1 1/2 Tb salted butter or oil
Paper Bag Instructions
1. Open the paper lunch sack and lay it on its side. Use a piece of wax paper big enough to go around all four sides of the bag and place the wax paper into the bag. With the bag still on its side, pour the popcorn into a pile in the middle of the bag. Add the butter on top. Keep the bag on its side and fold over the bag end once. Staple it twice and yes, it is perfectly safe.
2. Turn a dinner plate upside down on the tray of your microwave. Place the bag on its side on top of the plate and microwave on high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes, just until it begins to slow down from popping.
1. Place the kernels and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a microwave-safe plate.
2. Cook on high for 2 minutes. Remove the bowl and shake or stir well.
3. Cook on high for another 2-3 minutes until the popcorn begins to slow popping.
If you would like fat-free popcorn, you can make this the same way but add a few dashes of water with the popcorn kernels. It needs the missing moisture from the oil or butter to properly pop.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Snack
- Method: Microwave
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bag
- Calories: 119
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 100 mg
- Fat: 9 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 23 mg
Keywords: homemade microwave popcorn