General Question

occ's avatar

Can I make regular popcorn in the microwave?

Asked by occ (4005 points ) March 28th, 2011

Is there a difference between “microwave” popcorn and “regular” popcorn? i.e. could I take regular popcorn, put it in a brown paper bag, and microwave it? I don’t like all of the chemicals in microwave popcorn, and it would be nice to be able to make my own fresh popcorn as a snack at work.

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7 Answers

YoBob's avatar

There is essentially no difference in the corn itself. However, the “grease” that is included in the bag is optimized to help the corn pop under microwave conditions. You can get microwave popcorn bowls that have a base where the corn fits and a plastic lid that inverts to become a bowl.

crisw's avatar

You can, but it’s safer to do it in a microwave-safe container than a paper bag- which can catch on fire.

MissAusten's avatar

I’ve done it so many times, and it is very easy AND much healthier. All you need is a plain brown paper bag. You can add oil and/or salt if you like, but it isn’t necessary. If you’re using a lunch-size paper bag, measure about ¼ to ⅓ cup popcorn kernels into it. Fold the top down, place it upright in the microwave, not on its side like you would a bag of microwave popcorn. The first time you make it, set the time for 3–4 minutes, but watch it closely and remove it from the microwave when popping slows down. Note the time, and use that as a guide for future popping.

Besides being better for you, it’s cheaper. It’s also great if you want to use the popcorn to make other things, like popcorn balls or caramel corn, and don’t want the popcorn to be greasy or too salty.

When I’ve popped corn this way, the bag has never scorched, let alone caught on fire. I think it’s perfectly safe if you just keep an eye on it like you would store-bought microwave popcorn.

gasman's avatar

The first microwave oven I ever used was in 1972—the cafeteria had a Litton. “Microwave popcorn” hadn’t been invented yet. We’d put a scoop of popcorn kernels in a plain brown lunch bag and it would pop nicely, without using any oil. The bag, however, routinely smoldered and often erupted in flames. So I’d say the secret to microwave popcorn is in the bag material, not the oil.

On a related note, I just ordered a hot-air popper to safely pop popcorn without oil. Popcorn is just tasty carbs if you don’t add oil and salt. Sad to say—I’m now on a low-fat, low-sodium diet. But still addicted to popcorn.

icehky06's avatar

In all honesty just put a handful of corn in your hand, put it in a paper bag and wrap an elastic around the top so they don’t jump out. It works, trust me

6rant6's avatar

Is it possible that the modern MWaves with their rotating turntables reduce the amount of flaming?

rooeytoo's avatar

I never tried it, but I am going to. Great answers to you all and gq too!

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