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What is the best microwave setting for making popcorn in a paper bag?

My microwave's 'popcorn' setting stopped just as the corn started to pop. Running it through twice resulted in burned hulls... although a lot more popped. I didn't add any oil, just put in a scant single layer on the bottom of the bag. Only about 20% popped the first time around. So if I set the power (instead of using the official popcorn setting) should I use high, medium, or low?

hishealer4 years ago
I use high, and time it by smell.  Next time you make it just right, memorize the smell and aim for that on subsequent tries.  I still scorch mine just a bit, but mostly because I like it that way. ^.^
hammer98762 years ago
Find a hot air popcorn popper. You CAN burn the last few kernels, but only if you really ignore it. You can watch it easier than in a microwave. When the kernels pop they are blown away from the heat source, so the only thing you can burn are the unpopped kernels. It is less expensive than microwave popcorn. There is very little wasted popcorn. I can add as much butter to my popcorn as I want and stay away from those hydrogenated oils with fake butter flavor. With my 30 year old popper, I can melt butter in it at the same time. Try Parmesan cheese or Season All for toppings.
mole1 (author)  hammer98762 years ago
Thanks! I didn't know that the microwave used more power than a hot air popper... or did you mean the corn itself is cheaper? I was using regular - from a bottle - corn. There would be major upheaval in this household if I tried to nuke 'microwave popcorn' with all the chemical glop.
I meant that plain old pop corn is cheaper than microwavable popcorn. I buy pop corn in a plastic bag like the kind dry pasta or dry beans come in. I don't buy the "gourmet" kind.
jeff-o4 years ago
Cook on high until about 3 seconds after the last kernel has popped. That's about 2 minutes on my microwave, yours may be different (and it will vary each time).
frollard4 years ago
Cook on high for 2-4 minutes. As soon as there are a few seconds between pops its done.
orksecurity4 years ago
Depends on the power of the microwave oven. You really do have to experiment to find out what works. Or do it by ear -- stop the oven when the popping slows down to under one per second.
lemonie4 years ago
Bagged plain kernels, and a pan are much cheaper. But you still have the learning to do. L
on my microwave its the popcorn button lol... suposedly 4 min 20 sec
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Re-design4 years ago
Depends on the power of your oven. Try different settings and different time until you find YOUR setting for the way you like it. If you're using your own popcorn and it's not fresh you might have to change the setting since how well and fast is pops is changed by the amount of water left inside the corn. That's what pops the corn. On mine using the microwave popcorn in the prepared bag 2:37 on high gets me the best pop most of the time. 2:40 and they start to burn and I really don't like the taste of them then. I like the picture show butter flavor best.
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