The Dirty Little Secret of Microwave Popcorn

I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret of the microwave popcorn industry: It’s all a sham.

That’s right, I said it. Store-bought microwave popcorn is a lie.

Here’s the scoop: You don’t need to buy those expensive, high-fat, high-salt, individually-wrapped packets. You can just take plain popcorn kernels, toss ’em in a paper bag, and pop them yourself in the microwave.  No oil or grease needed.  No reflective foil in the bottom of the bag needed.  No salt needed.

You’ll get wonderful, fresh popcorn, just like out of a hot-air popper, in about three minutes. It’s 95% less expensive, 99% less wasteful, and 100% better for your health (You do know that popcorn is a whole grain, right?  It’s a perfect snack for October Unprocessed!).

The only downside is that a few less kernels will pop.  Big whoop, I say!

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

1. Add 1/4 cup Organic Corn Kernels to a brown paper bag.

Corn Kernels in a Bag

2. Fold the bag closed, and microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Just like the store-bought stuff, you need to stand there and listen to the popping. Once there’s about 2 seconds between pops, stop the microwave (else you’ll burn some of the kernels.)

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

3. Pour into a bowl, sprinkle on your favorite toppings, and enjoy! (And save that paper bag for next time.)

Freshly popped, fat-free microwave popcorn

Below are a few topping ideas.  I recommend using an Oil Mister — you’ll use very little oil that way, but still get the flavor of the oil (and it’ll be enough to help the toppings stick to the kernels).

– Olive Oil, Sea Salt, and freshly ground Pepper.

– Olive Oil and Nutritional Yeast.

– Butter, Grated Truffle, Sea Salt, freshly ground Pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese. (Too fancy?)

– Tabasco and Garlic Salt. (Kapow!)

What’s your favorite popcorn topping? Share in the comments!

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48 Responses to The Dirty Little Secret of Microwave Popcorn

  1. Terry B October 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    I find my microwave is too strong for the paper bag and always scorches. I have found the perfect replacement though! A clear Pyrex glass bowl with a micro-safe cover works beautifully. I use a small amount of butter and canola oil (either by itself makes the popcorn come out too chewy) in proportion with the amount of popcorn we want. Time for 4 minutes, however listen for the slow down of popping just as in a bag because you may still scorch that last of the kernels if you are not careful. Use mitts to take out of oven and serve……

  2. Lynn October 10, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    I toss mine with a mix of grated parmesan and a salt free seasoning blend. Yum.

  3. Tom October 9, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    Lately, I have preferred to making it on the stove top. I use a pot with a clear lid that has steam vents. Coat the pot with olive oil, add a layer of kernels and get popping. Shake the pan as it pops to avoid burning.

  4. Jenny October 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    I have an air popper. Its great and it wasn’t expensive. Just popcorn nothing added but salt, pepper or another seasoning of choice. Great snack!

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