Microwave popcorn

24 Sep

First off, thanks for all your encouraging comments on the last post.  Jade seems to be doing better now; she had fewer seizures yesterday and the swelling on her face is more like a marble than a golf ball.  There’s still quite a bit to update on, but I’m going to take a break from that and instead tell you about a wonderful little snack I just discovered.

Microwave popcorn might not be new to you.  We used to buy it and have it when watching movies, but stopped that habit for some reason.  Then the news came out about nasty chemicals in commercial microwave popcorn and I was really turned off.  Even though I do love popcorn!

Months ago, I read somewhere that you can pop regular kernels using a simple brown paper bag.  I tucked that bit of information away in my brain somewhere, but just thought to take it out again a couple of nights ago.  I couldn’t remember the instructions and Michael’s computer wasn’t available, so I decided to just wing it.

I threw about a quarter cup of kernels into a brown paper bag, dropped in a tablespoon of salted butter, and hit the “popcorn” button on the microwave.  Well, whaddya know, it worked!  The butter did soak through the paper bag and got the turntable a bit greasy, but gosh-darnit, the popcorn was good!

A quick Google search (after the fact!) tells me that you don’t even need to add any butter or oil, since it’s the kernels’ internal moisture that causes the pop (Right! I knew that!), which would give you healthy, low-fat “air-popped” popcorn.  I loves me some butter, though, and a little dash of salt, too.  I’ve brought some to work as a snack for the last couple of days.  Mmmmm… now I look forward to snack time even more.  And that’s saying quite a bit for a pregnant chick.

Brown Paper Bag Popcorn

  • 1 brown paper bag
  • 1/4 cup regular popping corn
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)
  • salt or other flavourings (optional)

Pour popcorn kernels into the brown paper bag.  Throw the butter in on top, if using.

Fold the paper bag closed, making two or three folds to secure.  You can also put in a single staple; apparently, there isn’t enough metal in one to cause any arcing or fires.  Put the bag in the microwave (with a paper towel underneath, if you’re using butter).  Note: I put my bag in on its side, but some Internet sources says standing it up is better.

Hit the popcorn button on the microwave.  Stand aside and watch as the butter seeps into the bag and gets spattered everywhere inside — you might even be able to see some of the kernels bouncing around in the semi-translucent bag! Stop the microwave when there are 1 to 2 seconds between pops.  You might want to use oven mitts to take the bag out.  Open it carefully, the steam is hot!

Season as desired and enjoy.


15 Responses to “Microwave popcorn”

  1. Kara September 24, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    Sounds yummy! I bought myself some of that special flour so I can try that mini chocolate cake in the microwave thing that you mentioned on here before.

    Glad Jade is having a better day! Hang in there!

  2. Mamasphere September 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    My family loves popcorn, but I hate cleaning our popper, and no chemical popcorn for us. So glad you posted this! When you say paper bag, are you talking about lunch bag size?

    Yep, lunch bag size! I’m sure you could pop more than 1/4 cup at a time, too, but I find that makes quite a good serving. One website I saw suggested stopping the popping partway through, removing the popped kernels and then continuing to pop the rest in order to avoid scorching the earlier-popping kernels. But I figure it’s just as easy to do it twice – you can even reuse the bag if you don’t use butter the first time!

  3. Nem September 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm #

    So what do you do if you don’t HAVE a popcorn button?? (Wahhh…)

    From the “original” recipe at The Food Network:

    Place the bag in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes to 3 minutes, or until there are about 5 seconds between pops. (But I still recommend only 1 or 2 seconds… I find longer than that and the popped corn gets scorched.)

  4. Simply Shannon September 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    Ooh, cool idea. Thanks for the info! It has too be better for me that the stuff I currently buy- and a million times cheaper too.

  5. Asheya September 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    Hey, very neat! I’ll have to put Eric on to this, as he is a constant snacker and always looking for quick, nutritious snacks. That man just burns through the calories, it’s crazy!

  6. maleesha September 24, 2008 at 6:37 pm #

    OMG! Thanks for this. I had no idea you could do this. I am trying this tomorrow night. Awesome!

  7. Captain Momma September 24, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    HI Fawn,

    So sorry to hear about Jade’s weekend, that must have been so hard. When it comes to combing through one’s diet, etc looking for clues, it can be so hard, I know that about other things (allergies, etc), not epilepsy.

    The microwave popcorn rocks, we have been doing it while living in the camper. Though I find a little more than 1/4 c pops way better and doesn’t burn like a lesser amount.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! We are thrilled with the house and can’t wait to move in!

    Take care,


    Thanks for the tip, Kelli. I tried it with 1/2 cup, and it works well. Mmmm, more popcorn!

  8. shannon maccuaig September 25, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    wait… perhaps i’m not reading that right. when you said you brought some to work, do you mean that you made a special bag for work, or are you taking leftover popcorn with you???

    I pop it the night before and bring it with me. I doesn’t seem stale to me and I think it’s mean to pop popcorn in an office. Everyone else would smell it and then they would want some, too!

  9. steadycat September 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm #

    Great news. I still buy the toxic stuff and am looking forward to switching to fresh kernels in a brown bag.

  10. Favorite Drinks September 25, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    i usually use caramel for the flavour.

  11. Beanie September 27, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    What a great idea! My favourite treat when I was a kid was this popcorn on a cob that they sold at our local video store. It was soooo much fun – you placed the cob directly on the turntable in the microwave and whatched it bounce around as kernels splayed everywhere. Then you held up a bowl, opened the door and caught the cascade of popcorn. And, of course, seeing as the nuker had to be nice and squeaky clean to cook like that, Sam and I were always willing to clean it for Mom beforehand. 😉

    My friend’s boys are in Scouts and she previewed this popcorn that they’re selling next month at our strata meeting the other day: caramel peanut or chocolate-covered. Mmmmmm… I’ve pre-ordered 2 tins.

  12. Lara September 28, 2008 at 12:29 am #

    Fun! My latest craving last weekend was Kernels popcorn, and I finally satisfied it the other day with a small bag of their caramel popcorn. Here in Calgary they are alot chintzier on the topping than in Ottawa, but hey that means its better for me, less sugar….

  13. Sharl September 28, 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    Haven’t tried the brown bag popcorn – sounds easy!!! I’ve been popping mine on the stove with just enough grapeseed oil to make the bottom of the pot shiny…. then shake like crazy till they start to pop…. takes about a minute for all the kernels to be popped. My favourite is to toss in a little oilve oil, sea salt and curry powder. Simon’s not a fan, which is great as I get a healthy pig out on the whole bowl!!

  14. Krn April 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    I want to know about the toxins in the brown lunch bag??? I made this popcorn in the microwave the other day, ate it, then thought, wait a minute, what about the items used to create this bag? What happens when I heat up the bag and it is in direct contact with my food? When I asked my hubby abt it he said, “the bags are full of dioxins which are carcinogens”… I’d love for a scientist to speak on this. I do see on the web, not to bake turkey in brown grocery bag, and I’d think the same would hold true for a brown lunch bag… Why does man keep creating poisens for unknowing persons to use… Gee, I wonder why the rate of cancer is so much higher now than 50 years ago… I don’t think it’s all related to people living longer ie cancer is a disease of aging. I think we are slowly killing ourselves by polluting our planet.

  15. Meandering Michael April 15, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Krn, it might be the case, but I bet brown paper bags are still a heck of a lot less harmful than those plastic-coated store-bought microwaveable popcorn bags. And we could ask the same questions about heavy metals leaching out of our pots and pans (and heaven help you if you’re making popcorn in a pot that is coated with a non-stick coating).

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