Microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag

It's cheaper, healthier, and it tastes better


It's a fun food. There is something so pleasant about fresh popcorn with butter that it practically makes people happy when they smell it.

You don't need the expensive small packages of microwave popcorn. You can use regular popcorn and microwave it in ordinary brown paper bags. You don't need the butter or oil in the bag. You can add it after.

You just listen until the popping starts to slow down. This will take a bit of time, so you might want to have a double brandy with you. If you make the same amount next time, you now know how long to set the timer for.

Medium bags work well, or use large bags if the microwave is big enough. Cut them so they can fit with a couple of tight folds. You can make a lot more at one time than you can with the small commercial bags.

You don't want to leave the bag unattended. Even if it gets to the stage of smoked popcorn, the family or the office lunch room might not be as impressed as they should be.

  • When I was using butter, it was only for popcorn. It can be kept in a plastic container in the freezer. Just microwave it to melt as much as you need.
  • Instead of butter, try olive oil. In one study, people who used lots of olive oil were 41% less likely to have a stroke than people who used none, and that's just one of the benefits. It also protects against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other conditions that contribute to heart disease.
  • Here are 3 short videos about the benefits of olive oil from ABC News. Olive oil protects against stroke.

    The first time I tried popcorn with olive oil, I thought it was good, but butter was better. Now I enjoy drizzling olive oil on it, and won't be getting butter.
  • Don't feel like being healthy, or you disagree about which fats are best? (They are controversial these days.) Bacon grease! :)
  • Coconut oil has been getting a lot of positive press lately. I have been using it with brown rice, and it adds such a nice flavor. The first time I tried it, I didn't know what to make of the taste, except that it didn't taste like olive oil. Since my second try, it has been very much appreciated. Some of the Amazon reviewers for a coconut popcorn oil say this is what gives theatre popcorn its appreciated taste. It must be one of the healthiest things added to commercial popcorn.

    Adding the butter or oil first will help the dry flavorings stick to the popcorn.

    If calories are a concern, get a mister for spraying oil lightly on popcorn. It works for other fluids too. Someone I know wants to avoid oil. She mixed Tabasco and soy sauce and sprayed her popcorn lightly with that. Then she put her flaky nutritional yeast in a blender to make a powder out of it, and sprinkled that on it. It worked out well; she's a thinker. :)
  • Use a seasoning salt instead of the regular version. You get less sodium and more flavor. My favorite is Everglades Seasonings Less Salt No MSG, from Amazon.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes are another very pleasant flavor for popcorn. They are loaded with B vitamins and are highly recommended. They are often available from health food stores.
  • A sprinkling of grated Parmesan Cheese adds an excellent flavor. If that's too upper class, take the powdered cheese pack out of a box of macaroni and cheese. It works too. (Nothing could possibly go wrong with that, could it?)
  • Anything hot. Cajun seasoning, chilli, ground mustard, cayenne pepper and curry powder all work well.

If you add the ingredients yourself, you don't have to worry about hydrogenated oil, artificial flavoring, artificial colors, or preservatives like propyl gallate or tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ).

If it seems that you are getting more unpopped kernels, try adding some water to the package. Depending on how much is left, I add a teaspoon to a tablespoon. Popcorn is a dry food, but it does need some moisture to pop.

If I have made 2 batches and there are enough unpopped kernels, they can be put in the microwave again. Some of them will pop the second time.

Not many people read right to the end of all the tedious details. Since you did, you now qualify for an Honorary Poptorate degree from the University of Jupiter. smile

Why a hot air popper works
better than a microwave.