Introduction: Brownbag Popcorn

Picture of Brownbag Popcorn

'I see my mother and people shelling out bucks on boxes of microwave popcorn and I just shake my head at them. I mean, your paying up to five bucks for a box of 3 to 9 bags of popcorn that you either burn or don't pop correctly which are greasy messes.

Step 1: Raw Step

Picture of Raw Step

1: You buy a pack of brown lunch bags from a dollar store.
2: You buy a scoop of loose kernels from the bulk section of your grocery store. Cheaper then loose 'branded' kernels by far and if your stores great, you can find other kinds of kernels too.

Step 2: Construction

Picture of Construction

1. Take a paper bag, open the bag, and pour in your serving of loose kernels.
*If you want your kernals flavoured, smeer butter on the inside of one of the flaps and put this side up when you microwave. Or wait till later for the lazy man step to flavour.
2. Fluff out the bag and fold over the flaps like the standard brown bag lunch at least three times, small folds are better.

Step 3: Nuke It

Picture of  Nuke It
1. Place the bag in the microwave.
  • if you buttered the side of the bag, put that side top up, you can try on the bottom but the bag tends to burn.
  • and shake the bag before opening.
2. You only need about 4 minutes in the microwave on high. Stop the microwave if you don't hear more than a pop a second.

The Popcorn comes out -very- crisp and crunchy.
To flavour, there's always the flavour shakers. And now there's those butter sprays you probably have in your cupboard.
The lazy sods flavour step is one of those salad flavour spritzers.

Its perfect of taking to the office for a snack. A handful of kernels in a folded over brownbaggie in your purse or your backpack, and two minutes in a microwave. And if you don't butter the bag, you can reuse the bag if your cheapie.


blahblah2323 (author)2016-08-08

how long would it take to pop 20 corn kernels

amattai (author)2013-12-29

Thank you so much for posting this! I used the instructions and they worked perfectly for me. I made it with butter and salt this time, but next time....

I will never buy the boxed version of microwave popcorn again!

16lundgcodm (author)2013-04-06

Scratch that, thought i was somewhere else. Stupid internet...

16lundgcodm (author)2013-04-06

Post instructions

h3idi (author)2010-11-03

I reuse my bag about 5 times before getting rid of it. Unless i get my butterfingers on it.

I melt butter in a bowl after, and pour in popped kernels, stir, excellent.

VanillaXtiffy (author)2010-07-12

I make this all the time. For flavor I put in a smidge of garlic powder and some olive oil. Deeelicious. Best popcorn ever.

kdom22 (author)2008-01-02

Does the age of the kernel have a great effect on the popped/unpopped ratio? It looks like about half of my kernels didn't pop, but the rest of the popcorn is on the verge of burning...

jeffreydes (author)kdom222010-04-07

Popcorn must retain its moisture to pop correctly. It is the water inside the kernel that expands under heat and explodes. Keep your popcorn in a sealed container in the refrigerator to keep it moist. If it dries out, sprinkle water in the container, shake well to distribute evenly, and let it set a few days sealed to absorb the moisture.

tigerboy (author)kdom222008-05-12

ya i have a 1200 watt microwave on high and like 2 minutes in and it burnt it,so either you need to see if you have it on high or not or you need to up time

gragegrl (author)2009-10-09

 This was almost lifechanging..I read this Instructable about two years ago when I was  going through three bags of Safeway Organics Microwave Popcorn a week at a cost of $5 a pop. I was skeptical but it has never failed me, I've never seen sparks, and I've taught it to tons of other friends. Not only can I make popcorn for PENNIES, I buy organic popcorn from the bulk bins at Whole Foods so I it's more sustainable, I can recycle the brown paper bags, there's no nasty chemicals and most importantly....IT TASTES BETTER. I found I don't need the oil. Here's my trick to making it really tasty- I pour it out on a sheet pan and spray it lightly with olive oil and then salt it and add dried or fresh herbs and toss it. Sometimes I sprinkle truffle oil on it too. My friends LOVE my popcorn and rave about it.

jhines0042 (author)2009-09-03

Great idea! Made my first bag tonight. No more store bought microwave popcorn for me.

JelleeBee (author)2007-09-21

I prefer to add the butter afterwards (with some spice) -- melt the butter and put in several shakes of tabasco. That way you get even distribution of the hot sauce. In all the movie theatres where I'm from, they have a big bottle of tabasco right by the salt. If you like spicy food, it's worth a try!

JoeBearPA (author)JelleeBee2009-06-10

Maybe you could try Chili powder, or Cayenne red pepper also?

adidame (author)2007-08-03

You rock! The worst part about microwave popcorn is the gross butter! Study snack--here we come!

crapflinger (author)adidame2007-08-03

BLASPHEMY!!! gross and butter should not be mentioned in the same sentance...unless you're saying "hey...i bought a gross of butter sticks....wanna come have a snack?"

How about "gross FAKE butter"? Most of the flavouring in microwave popcorn didn't come out of a cow.

Real butter = mmmmmmmm....

Braeburn (author)xenobiologista2008-06-05

It is butter flavored grease

Derin (author)Braeburn2008-08-15

oh,grease,of course:)

JoeBearPA (author)Derin2009-06-10

As the musical says, Grease is the word... sorry I HAD to... LOL

klee27x (author)crapflinger2007-08-04

Hahahahah! LOL! ummm, 144 stick of butter.. I luv it.

Crash2108 (author)crapflinger2007-08-03

I usually buy butter lovers, then melt a cube of butter and pour that over the popcorn.

mikedrazenhero (author)2007-09-08

my brother says the brown bag is not clean, it should not be used for food but good instructable, i'll make some anyways

4 minutes in microwave will kill any small germs on the bag......u can buy food grade paper sacks too....not sure where but i've seen them when my inlaws had a resturant

JoeBearPA (author)plzspoilme25 2009-06-10

True, even ONE minute will do it. As an example, they tell you to take your kitchen wiping sponge, lightly wet it, and microwave it for 1 minutes, and that will kill ALL bacteria, and virii, even if you used it to wipe counter with meats.

calicos (author)2009-03-05

I love making popcorn like this. Here is what I do when I want to add butter to it. I put about 1.5 tsp of butter and but it in a small bowl. If I want, I'll salt - sometimes I add garlic powder, etc to the butter and mix. Then, I pour the raw popcorn into the bowl and mix it together (I don't melt the butter). I put that "glob" of wonderfulness into the brown bag and continue as usual. Works great for me! I've even done this with garlic and herb butter --- NUM!

James Longpaw (author)2009-02-27

it worked quit well except I couldn't get the butter to cover the popcorn in a way I liked but i think maybe I didn't have enough butter. any suggestions?

fireblast_1212 (author)2009-02-01

I'm sitting here now eating it!

bethmaceachern (author)2008-12-14

This is fantastic! (and delicious!!!)

jacko622 (author)2008-07-19

you know, couldn't you use this with the kettle corn recipe

lawizeg (author)2008-02-18

Sweet. I'm actually making it right now, i bought some Jolly Time kernels at ShopRite, and i had paper bags at home. But i don;t reallly understand the flavoring process. COuld someone explain it to me?

Braeburn (author)lawizeg2008-06-11

you sprinkle it with water and seasoning when it is done

Big Bubba (author)2008-03-16

αυτο ειναι χαλαρος. Θα πρεπει να κανουν περισσοτερα πραγματα

doobuzz (author)Big Bubba2008-06-04


kowala159 (author)2008-01-26

I put some canola oil in a pressurizer spray can and spray it lightly over the popcorn, along with salting it lightly. I know this sort of ruins the not greasy aspect of it, but I think it's a little too dry, and how greasy it is depends on how much you spray on.

SpinWard (author)2007-11-04

I love this idea! Nice and cheap!! Great instructable, simple! My dad didn't believe me, so I showed him last thanksgiving. Worked like a charm!

Ayce (author)2007-08-17

Hey so does anyone know how to make this with a Kettle Corn flavor?

Lextone (author)Ayce2007-09-10

Take a coffee cup and throw in one or two tablespoons of sugar, a splash of water (enough to make it clump up) and a drizzle of corn syrup(pancake syrup will do in a pinch). Micro wave it on high in 30 second intervals, mixing it between blasts until it runs off the spoon. Careful it will be hot. Then drizzle it on your already popped corn. Add as much or as little as you want. The more you put on the more PopCornBallish it gets. OR you can throw the syrup mixture in a pot, add popcorn and a little oil and pop it on the stove top for authentic kettle corn (very messy and if you don't keep the mixture moving continuously it will burn real fast).

canida (author)Ayce2007-08-23

Add a bit of sugar.

Ayce (author)canida2007-08-23

Is that all it is?

canida (author)Ayce2007-08-24

I think so. Scary, isn't it?

Ayce (author)canida2007-08-25

I'd say!

bmmurphy (author)2007-09-08

I feel so stupid for never having tried this. This is wonderful! Thanks for the post.

wolfybrie (author)2007-09-06

Ooh, this is genius. Most of the time I don't want much popcorn at all, so about 3/4 of the bag goes to waste, and there is no way that I'll ever waste my money spending extra on those 100 calorie packs that burn so fast. I'll try this maybe tonight...

lagrande2tall4u (author)2007-09-04

reusing the brown paper bag isn't beeing cheapie it's only beeing ecological. It's called beeing with your time.

noremakk (author)2007-08-31

it actuaaly works! But buttering the side of the bag doesn't. No biggie, just add butter afterwards.

valsquek (author)2007-08-13

I just tried this yesterday and it works great!!

345138 (author)2007-08-08

great im gonna go try this l8r!

funwithfire325 (author)2007-08-08

hey whats the point of this??

mailkd7 (author)2007-08-07

Well, I tried this like 5 minutes ago, and I popped it (pun not intended.) in the microwave. Half-way through, I see, what looks like, a burn on the bag. Is this what happens when you make too big of a fold?

Well, Other than that, I'm gonna go snack-out.

spandox (author)2007-08-07

If you add grease: A) it tastes better B) Put it on a plate (I use wax paper truthfully) so that WHEN the grease leaks through there is minimal cleanup

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