Microwave Popcorn: Home made, cheap and easy

Picture of Microwave Popcorn: Home made, cheap and easy
Go to the supermarket and look at the boxes of microwave popping corn. $1.99 to $3.00 a box and the odds are you won't find one seasoned to your individual taste. You just have to settle for what they offer.


Not anymore, my friends. I am here to liberate your palates form the work-a-day microwave popcorn. Today, you will learn that which they don't want you to know. You will learn how simple and cheap it is to make your own popping corn. Lets get started.

First you will need the following ingredients:

1/4 cup of popping corn (generally $0.99 for a pound bag. This is enough to make at least 50 bags of microwave corn)
1 Teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
To taste - popcorn salt (it has finer granules than table salt with the same taste)

And the following tools:

A stapler
A teaspoon
A measuring cup
A brown paper bag
A microwave

Step 1: First...

Picture of First...
Open the bag and pour the popping corn in. Carefully add your seasonings and salt. Shake gently. Now add the teaspoon of olive oil.
nav_lexy5 years ago
I logged in to give you 5 stars. So does butter work instead of the olive oil? I would give it a try but no paper bags...
GraceA2 nav_lexy4 months ago

I used about a tablespoon of butter in the bag- worked just fine.

Hoopajoo (author)  nav_lexy5 years ago
Thank you for your kind comments. Sometimes I use butter, but find it works better if you use it after it has popped.
GraceA24 months ago

I popped a tablespoon of butter into the bag- even better!

lmturmenne.6 months ago

Another link about brown bag microwave popcorn says to cook for 2 minutes. Here's the link to that "how-to" >> http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/01/how-to-make-microwave-popcorn-brown-paper-bag.html

laumas6 months ago

If I read your instructions correctly I need to lay the Brown Bag flat not standing up. Am I correct?

arcticgypsy8 months ago

The older microwaves are the ones that will spark a staple. As a child I put a stick of margarine (had a foil type wrapper) in the microwave to soften. Within seconds the wrapper burst into flames. Most microwaves from the last 15 years, or so, do not have that problem.

cyenobite8 years ago
Mmmmm - popcorn.
I had seen this post some time ago, and put it in the back of my head. At my last trip to the grocery store I needed to pick up some more popcorn (I usually buy Smart Balance). So this time I bought the bag of kernels, with the intent on trying this. So tonight I tried it... this may have been the best popcorn I've ever had! Simple, fast, and knowing I saved a ton of money made it taste all that much better. I modified it slightly by melting some butter to pour over top, it was a bit too dry for me with just the light Olive Oil. (I know, not that healthy, but boy did it taste good.) Thanks for posting Hoopajoo. PS> I used the staples (with the reverse) and no sparks.

Thought I'd post this follow up... I tried this project using a tuperware container in the hopes that I would not have to waste a paper bag each time. Well, it was obvious, the kernels actually melted into the plastic! And it messed up the plastic of the container. So, if anyone else was thinking of doing this... dont! :) I would like to try this same experiment with a large glass bowl though.
May be using a microwave-specific plastic bowl?
Hoopajoo (author)  Limadito8 years ago
Hmmm, I'm not sure that would work either. If you want to try it, I'd go with a Pyrex bowl. It seems that the kernels get too hot for any kind of plastic, microwavable or not.
mkslocomb Hoopajoo10 months ago

if you really want a glass option (and a uni-tasker), simply search for something like "glass microwave popcorn popper" to find one made by Catamount out of lab-grade glass. (I find links tend to disappear.)

santy224 years ago
Any chance i can use a microvave-able bowl instead of the bag?

PRobs not hey look i fixed them!!

Hoopajoo (author)  santy221 year ago
You can do that if you like. I've tried it and noticed it took much, much longer for the corn to pop.
the only problem I've found is covering the bowl - you don't want soft plastic wrap heated on your food.
HollyC11 year ago



td803 years ago
Just wondering if you can use the white paper bags?
I have a bunch of them....
As much as hubby likes to sit and eat popcorn, this should make him happy. I'll let him eat to his heart's content!
Hoopajoo (author)  td801 year ago
I don't see why they wouldn't work. The only difference should be that the paper is bleached where the ones I use aren't. Give it a whirl and let us know how it turns out.
jimisham3 years ago
Are those regular lunch bags being used in the instructions?
Hoopajoo (author)  jimisham1 year ago
Yes, they're just plain old regular lunch bags you can buy 50 for $1.
LOLRECONLOL2 years ago
Made this today - burned it. :( the part that wasn't burned was good!
Roxyskeeper2 years ago
Ok - love that this is coming around AGAIN! I was born in the 50's - when my Gramp bought the 1st microwave I had ever seen home - the first thing we made was POP-CORN! My grandmother was 'pissed that Gramps spent so much on a pop-corn maker! LOL.At the time there wasn't a huge micro-cookbook. We laughed when Mirco-popcorn was 1st out thinking NO ONE would buy such an expensive item! So happy you are all learning how to do this! :)
sunshiine3 years ago
What an awesome Instructable! Thanks for sharing your hard work! Have a splendorous day!
Javin0074 years ago
Best EVAR. Just tried this tonight, and I'm amazed at the results, though I did two bags and found that it works better if you mix the oil with the kernels before putting them in the bag. (I assume the more even coating helps them pop better.) I found that I had LESS unpopped popcorn than with the expensive microwaved popcorn, and the prep time was only slightly longer than the process of opening the purchased popcorn box, and unwrapping it from the plastic. Finally, the end result is COMPLETELY preservative free and somehow seems "lighter" than the microwaved popcorn.

I used the "fold over" method, and when the bags get too full, a corner opens to allow them to vent but it doesn't change the rate of popping at all.

Summary:  There's simply no reason what-so-ever to buy microwavable popcorn.  Seriously.  Wish I could give more than 5 stars.  Stuff like this is what this site's all about. 
I fold the bag too - no staples. I personally find the taste is better when oil or butter the corn after popping. There's a few more kernals in the bottom of the bowl but I just repop them. Let me know what you think.
Azayles5 years ago
Is the olive oil necessary for this? I want to make small batches of pop corn for my hamster.
Hoopajoo (author)  Azayles5 years ago
Only if you want to salt it. If you want to make it plain, you can skip it.
In that case, excellent :-D I just need to find somewhere now that sells the plain kernels. Thank you for the quick reply!
any grocery store has some with the other popcorn bags. I got mine at walmart. I'd suggest getting the very basic kernel bags. I've seen colored and other stuff out there, but your hampster might end up with epilepsy with multicolored corn!
It's ok, hamsters have very poor eyesight anyway. It's actually a defence mechanism against the garishly coloured hamster cages that seem to be the staple of small pet stores.
I bought a bag for $.99 at Trader Joes. It's organic, non-gmo and I didn't have to support a big box store.
I have been putting corn in a paper bag with NOTHING else and putting it in the microwave for over a year. listening to the popping and pull it out the instant 4 seconds go by without a pop. WHEN DONE EATING COLLECT THE UNPOPED KERNALS AND DO IT AGAIN! EMIL T
Over a year? Wouldn't it be burnt by then? :P
I managed to get some plain popping corn from Sainsbury's in the end. I really didn't know I could get it that easy lol. Millie loves it!
I make a version of this - I don't use any oil or salt or anything in the bag. Just plain corn, brown paper bag, hit the popcorn button. Then personally I pour melted butter and salt on it, but I've found if you're going to add fat, do it after it pops, there's much more flavor.

Here's the kicker - when you're done and there's left over kernals - pop them in the same old bag you just used. They don't take as long so listen after a minute or so for the delay in pops.
piccolo19794 years ago
Found & tried this instructable a few months ago & have not bought a single box of microwave popcorn since. So far my favorite flavor that I've attempted used lemon pepper seasoning. Mmmmmm! :)
Hoopajoo (author)  piccolo19794 years ago
Glad you liked it. Thanks for the idea on the lemon pepper seasoning. I've used IGA Seasoning salt and even Montreal Steak Seasoning, both were yummy to the max! Your imagination is the limit with this method where it comes to seasoning. My niece loves to put powdered cocoa on it.
What is Montreal Steak Seasoning? Can you buy that is supermarkets in Montreal? I live in Montreal...
Costco has it.
You are a genius! I just did this. The popcorn is yummy! I used some butter flavored popcorn oil and waited patiently by the microwave (armed with bacon soda to extinguish any crazy fires). Popcorn perfection! Thanks!
Can you get butter-flavored popcorn oil at the grocery or do you have to go to a specialty store?

P.S. It's BAKING soda. I wouldn't recommend throwing anything made of bacon on a fire!
Hoopajoo (author)  huddlehouseninja4 years ago
Genius? Nah, I'm just plain ol' Hoopajoo. But thanks very much for the kind words and thoughts. I honestly appreciate it and am happy that you like it.
dtshumaker4 years ago
My coworker knows I eat a bag of popped corn a day so she sent me an article about the carcinogens from the teflon-like lining in most commercial popcorn, etc. Nothing like Debbie Downer information, right? But then she sent me the link to this page, and WOW! Great idea! Can't leave well-enough alone, though, so I needed to come up with a way to take it to work. Packaging the ingredients in the paper bag ahead of time would leave an oily mess in my lunch bag BUT here's my solution. ... I'll try mixing all the ingredients (measured appropriately with the whole bag of popcorn) in a large mixing bowl, then measure out a 1/4 c. of it per snack-size zip-lock bag, stirring the mixing bowl often to keep the kernels coated. I can store all the snack bags in a gallon zip-lock bag. When I pack my lunch, I can toss in a snack bag of the ingredients with a brown bag, then pour the ingredients into the bag right before nuking!
qfe04 years ago
WARNING this can start a FIRE. I'd recommend doing this without the staple, find another way to secure the bag.

One of times we tried this there was oil on the spot where the staple was, and the bag caught fire in the microwave, we were fortunate that we had a fire extinguisher at hand. It could have been a real disaster.

marabiego qfe04 years ago
fold over bag twice and secure with a piece of masking tape instead of stapling it.
no fire worries.
Hoopajoo (author)  qfe04 years ago
Sorry you had such bad results. I've commented earlier that if you are nervous about using a staple, just fold the top of the bag down about an inch, then fold again and press the folds.

What do you think made the bag catch fire? In all the times I've done this, the staple never sparks or even gets warm.
How do you make Kettle Corn in this fashion?
For kettle corn, after the corn is popped immediately sprinkle in about 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar. re-fold bag and shake vigorously. if not sweet enough add a bit more sugar and nuke for 30 seconds longer and shake again. Enjoy.
budloove4 years ago
Interesting idea, I always thought the paper bags would not be suitable for the microwave.Dunno why.:D
myles1365 years ago
A suggestion was made to put a soup dish inverted, under the bag. My wife destroyed her favorite classic soup dish by doing this. The dish exploded, most likely from the hot oil.
Did you think that maybe that the dish was not microwave safe? I really doubt that it exploding was caused by the oil at all.
bholton4 years ago
I'm a popcorn junky and have been taken advantage of by Orville Redenbacher for years until now.
I now have the ability to just say no to all the preservatives that our beloved FDA forces on our nations food industry.
I can add all I want or I can not, "MY CHOICE"!
Fantastic. I tried something very similar to this a few years ago, but couldn't remember exactly how to do it. The video is a great time saver!
Mmmmmmmmmmm. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. I use cinnamon on my popcorn or toffee and mix in some nuts. Not very healthy but who cares!!!!!!
Hoopajoo (author)  bobbelsekwol4 years ago
That do sound yummy!
mahdifargai4 years ago
Looks good. I'll definitely have to give this a try. I'm allergic to preservatives so I can't eat store-bought microwave popcorn.
kcls5 years ago
That's pretty cool, I didn't know you could make your own microwave popcorn. I've always wondered what made some popcorn microwave and some not, and now I know! 5 Stars!
From what i can tell the only thing that makes it "microwave" is that the corn is put in a bag that's coated with a non-stick chemical that's similar to the coating on a non-stick pan (and that's not considered that good for you-then it's in the microwave!) then there's the powdered oil that's in the bag, then there's that awful microwave popcorn smell that never comes out of your microwave. This is a great alternative. Saw my mom-in-law do this without the oil and she would take a bag of it with her to keep in the car while she shopped. Kept down on impulse buys when she got hungry.
account3r2 kcls5 years ago
I opened up a bag of popcorn before, and thats in there is a little bit of popcorn kernels and a big chunk of butter.
teslafan1005 years ago
step 1 cut a hole in the box! lol
Step 2: Put your junk in the box. lol
Step 3:Make her open the box
Step 4: Profit?
You can't sell something that people give away for free! lol
does water count by that?
lurk moar
stifle it more
RaNDoMLeiGH5 years ago
I used some oil infused with habaneros... oh man, good stuff.
minimalista5 years ago
Thanks! it works very well||
nikhilmn5 years ago
You Deserve 5 stars... Excellent...tried it and it works! :)
Hoopajoo (author)  nikhilmn5 years ago
Thank you, very much.
PyromanX5 years ago
I've been doing this for months now, and here's what I've found. Skip the olive oil, just use a tablespoon or so of butter. To get the best taste, mash the butter down until all the kernels are in it. A bit less healthy, yes, but very tasty. Also, don't use staples, just fold the top of the bag 3 times.
dulciquilt5 years ago
with fall coming up, if you can find the dried decorative ears of corn ( and know they haven;t been treated with anything) you can slap some butter and salt on the ears, put them in paper bag then nuke. Much of it pops right on the cob. If you don't want to use use butter, see if you can find bowl made just for microwaveing popcorn.... it will have a small well in the bottom. Mix a tsp or so of water with some salt and put that in the well before adding the corn. It will lightly salt the corn, but if you really like salt, you'll need to add more after it's cooked and still steaming a little
jwbiz5 years ago
I have been making this a couple times a week for over 2 years. I have always put the the sink faucet on trickle and waved my popcorn in a 1/4 cup measure under it 2 times so it's moistened. then I put it in the bag, fold it over 2 or 3 times and scrimp it sideways like an accordion fold. No need for a staple (which I use to do til I thought of this) You have to cook it according to your own microwave, I do mine 3 minutes. I am going to try the hint some one gave about pausing the cooking to prevent unpopped kernels (old maids?) I do add some olive oil and salt when I empty the bag into a bowl! The paper bag makes too much noise if you're watching tv with anyone)
Capt Fritz5 years ago
You can use basically any oil though. I've been using Canola oil and it has a nice buttery flavor with sea salt. use a 1/2 a cup of kernels for 2 1/2 minutes after mixing the oil/kernels well. I found that the salt doesn't stay with any of the popcorn when applied before popping. So just apply afterward, There is a way to do it without oil, but i've lost the recipe over time. Nice little recipe, and save a heap of money.
This is such a good sensible recipe! My only concern is for the staples - I managed to destroy my elderly microwave rather dramatically trying to soften some thickened chocolateandnut spread in it; I thought there wasn't any silver foil sealer left on the rim of the pot when there was, and it sparked about quite a bit. (I was afraid the butter knife would snap off in the hard spread.) The next day there was a very impressive Northern Lights show in the oven (the whole oven area was full of undulating blue light curtains) and a loud and scary electronic hum - it also stopped microwaving. An expensive and silly mistake - better not include metallic objects, on the whole! On the other hand, it was all very electronic and exciting looking when it all went wrong - just not very useful as a domestic cooking appliance. If you want a bit of Doctor Who kit in your kitchen, go for it, but don't expect the show to last very long!
If you have difficulty getting most of the kernels to pop, I use the following technique (good no matter whether you microwave, air pop, or use a conventional popper): start the application of heat until the first few of the kernels pop then turn off the heat. Wait about 1 to 2 minutes for the heat build up on the outside of the kernels to work in to the core of the seeds (that's the theory) then turn the heat back on to finish the job. Result should be that most of the kernels pop and produce larger (hence, less dense) popcorn. Enjoy.
Why won't the staple sparks? I though any metal object cannot be placed into a microwave machine? Anyone have answer to that?
Contrary to popular belief, you can put metal inside a microwave. I've even tried putting a sheet of metal under and over a strip of meat to make it crisp (I'm not recommending it; the meat did become crisp, the rest of dish remained lukewarm and related or not, the oven broke a week after warranty ran out). Metals reflect the microwaves back to the oven (eventually bouncing back to the magnetron or whatever it is called which produces the microwave radiation), heating it (and possibly overheating it), as well as starting to resonate and heat up. Thin objects such as the paper clip of mf70, forks and such heat up faster than spoons and sheets of metal. Metal objects can also create an arc if they get close enough to another metal object. This works even with the oven walls, which are metallic to reflect the microwave radiation back into the wood. And unlike lightning, the arc is sustained, because as long as the oven is on more electricity is produced to contain the arc. This will damage the oven. And if the metal object reflects enough of the radiation, it can create a standing wave which will eventually wear out the oven itself.
The metal won't spark providing there's something else in the cavity to absorb the microwaves. In this case popcorn.
Wonderful! Here is God's recipe for popcorn seasoning (She appeared before me as a burning checkbook one night and laid it on me)... Buttah, a few drops of sesame oil, as much Tabasco Chipotle sauce as you like, and a little kosher salt (not so much!). Now go be fruitful and multiply (God doesn't like division!).
SeaLion5 years ago
That's brilliant...just one question though...staples in microwave??? I thought metal and microwave annihilate each other...=/
ourmoneypit5 years ago
All hail the God of Snacks, Hoopajoo.
I bow in humble respect, oh beneficient Hoopajoo, you who have liberated us from the overpriced, over-salted store-bought microwave popcorn with chemical fats and preservatives.
I shall name my first-born child in your honor, oh wise One! (actually, I'm well past child-bearing, so no worries there, but will someday name a goldfish after you, I promise)
Hoopajoo (author)  ourmoneypit5 years ago
Awesome! Nicknames for children are cool too ;D
zascecs5 years ago
Hmmm... you could start your own business with this stuff...
cljack1235 years ago
I have been making my own easy-popcorn for years, instead I use a glass serving bowl that I mix two tbsp of butter and 1 tsp of olive oil and about two handfuls of corn kernels and a few dashes of Lawry's seasoned salt. Put a towel over the top and let her nuke for about 5min. and you're good to go.
Mmm yum, I'll try throwing some kernels with a tiny bit of oil and some seasoning and tell you if I manage to not burn the house down. One pop every 5 seconds prob means you've overcooked the popcorn... just guessing from my experience at burning popcorn when microwaving cook-in-the-bag popcorn until there was a pop once every few seconds rather than a few pops every second like the bag told me to. I don't think I'll be using staples either, since mine are coloured so there's the risk of the colouring killing us all. Speaking of colouring... anybody game to try some edible dye in their oil mix?
silverrowan5 years ago
There really is no need for a bag and stapler. you can do this in a bowl with a plate over it :)
just put a thin layer of kernels in the bottom of the bowl and microwave away! (and any seasoning you want too, i suppose!)
Oh, thank you SO much for mentioning that!  I wanted to try this method and didn't have any paper bags.  Glass bowl with a plate over the top worked great for me.  I also want to thank whoever suggested some sugar...yummmm :)

I bought this bag of popcorn a couple weeks ago and have cooked it on the stovetop 4 or 5 times.  For some reason I always end up with soggy pieces. This microwave popcorn was BETTER than that cooked on the stovetop.  Crisp and delicious and I used just one teaspoon of oil instead of the couple of tablespoons it takes to coat the bottom of a pan when I cook it on the stove.

Only word of caution is that the bowl and plate were too hot to touch with bare hands...ymmv.
Hoopajoo (author)  silverrowan5 years ago
True. However, if someone is trying this as a snack in a dormitory or an office, a bowl and plate might not be available. This also serves as a light snack that can easily be prepared while staying in a hotel. You might need to adjust the times though as most hotel microwaves are notoriously under-powered to discourage their theft.
this may sound weird but try using a little icing sugar instead of salt. popcorn makes a delicious sweet snack. it also tastes nice with maple syrup but is sticky and a little soggy .
strilby5 years ago
I used a flavored olive oil, added butter flavor "Pam" type spray when done....awesome!! Thanks so much!!
Geogfree5 years ago

I first tried this technique a year ago. I experimented a bit with it and have been using my version of it for a year now with great results.

I don't remember the addition of any oil as part of the original technique. I do not add oil to the bag. Instead, I melt olive oil based margarine separately and pour it over the popcorn after popping and add either salt or a lemon pepper seasoning.
I wanted a bigger serving than 1/4 cup provides. So I usually add about a teaspoon more. Through experience, I've determined that 1 minute 55 seconds works every time with my equipment. I always ensure the kernels are massed together at the bottom of the bag and stay that way when I lay the bag in the microwave. I use a microwave with a turntable.

I use two staples on the bag. After popping I tear the top of the bag between the staples to let the steam escape and then rip off each side of the folded top to make sure the staples are disposed of and then pour the popcorn into a bowl.

I've used this technique 60 to 70 times over the last year with no mishaps. The results have been excellent, fast and cheap!

skmemailid6 years ago
That's a great, simple and inexpensive of making popcorn. I following the method for a whole week now every day and you know what - I even improvised it. To make it more eco-friendly and eco-nomic, I tried using newspapers and toothpicks instead of brown paper lunch bag and staples. I took one page from my old newspaper and two wooden toothpicks, made a sort of bag of the newspaper page and fasten it with the toothpick. It worked fine and made great popcorn. You can take the corn right from the microwave to your TV couch and start munching. Totally hassle free and you can reuse the toothpicks again and again. I am just worried that the newspaper may not be polluting my popcorn with harmful substances emitted due to heating. However, it did not found any difference in taste or color of the popped corn made this way. I will post some pictures soon to show you all my technique.
i woulndt use newspaper chip shops were banned from using it to wrap chips (fries) as the condensation made the ink run and it posioned the chips .. they now have to put a piece of paper before he newspaper
They stopped using ink containing lead on newspapers a couple decades ago. Should be pretty safe.
Its not just lead in the ink its still pretty poisonous
NZ, years ago Fish & Chip shops got banned from using newspapers for wrapping food, because of hygiene issues, you could never be sure where the newspaper came from. Now, they use brand new unprinted news print paper, already cut to size by the supplier, with one piece of grease proof paper. I suspect the newsprint helps prevent the chips going soggy. And certainly there are concerns about the ink, a few times I bought bread, inside the wrapper is a prize card, the card always says it is printed with safe ink. No way newspapers could or would print that on every page, even if they switched to more costly safe ink.
At least here, in Mn, most of the papers use a soy-based ink that is non-toxic.
New Taste Alert: Jiffy Pop TM Gourmet Newspaper Ink Popcorn :)
eric m5 years ago
Thought you needed that heating element in the bag  to cook microwave popcorn.
 I have to try this. Microwave popcorn for less than 10 cents! 
Now if only I could have this process done with my Iphone. Make an app I'd buy it. adamcpennington.googlepages.com
your dog5 years ago
you probabaly dont want to want to use staples if your going to microwave it. think its a good idea though. maybe some tape?
f1dd13r5 years ago
why the oil? Does it help the flavours to stick.
I make mine plain and never use oil and the corn pops just the same.
Hoopajoo (author)  f1dd13r5 years ago
Yes, it helps the flavoring to stick to the kernels. If you enjoy plain popcorn, this this step can be omitted. Personally, I enjoy a little sea salt. Hope you liked it.
chriscc635 years ago
I am pretty sure this step is a mistake or at least, could be impproved upon..
I would highly recomend adding the oil to the kernels and mixing them up to ensure proper oil coverage prior to putting them in the bag.  This will avoid the big oil stain on the bag which could burn someone when they touch it after its been popped.

At least that is the way I have always made this when I discovered this methood in 1988.

Otherwise its a great instructabale.
note — This works, but the staple is unnecessary — just roll the top of the bag down, and scrunch it. If you put seasonings in the bag before you pop the corn, beware of the steam — a lungful of cayenne flavored steam hurts — I know from experience. If, after eating all the popped corn, you have lots of unpopped kernels left, just put it back in again - I managed to get all but 2 kernels to pop using this method. If you have a turntable, make sure the bag doesn't get stuck — it has a much lower chance of starting the bag on fire if it is moving — no hotspots.
bls75 years ago
I had minimal success. Burned in the middle. Used 1/4 cup popcorn, 1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, seasoning. Shut down at 5 seconds between pops. Wished it had worked. Thanks for the suggestions.
bls75 years ago
I was wondering if anyone did the brown bag popcorn. I tried at least 5 bags, with limited success. Tends to burn in the middle. I shut down at 5 seconds between pops. Used 1/4 cup popcorn, 1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, seasoning, pressed out all air, shook up to mix oil and popcorn, stapled twice at top. Thanks anyway.
Synthax5 years ago
I did this I put canola oil -popcorn salt -popcorn butter seasoning -popcorn kernels(auviously) -and the bag I put it in the microwave on the popcorn setting and about 30 seconds later it smelled smoky and so I thought it was just the smell of everything heating up but about a minute later after about half the kernels popped it smelled really smoky so I opened the microwave to find that the paper bag had almost caught on fire(the edge of the bag was turning black and was very hot I posted this just to let everyone know its safer(WAY safer to just buy popcorn bags)
Hoopajoo (author)  Synthax5 years ago
That is why I said to use olive oil and not canola oil, Canola oil has a low flash point and when it is diffused as in the paper of a bag, it's flash point becomes even lower. Good thing you stopped it when you did. Next time, use olive oil instead and you will have better results. Interesting note: If you have an oil lamp and run out of lamp oil, you can use canola oil instead. It will burn brighter and hotter than regular lamp oil, but it will smoke some (but the smoke will smell like baked french fries).
jbrecken6 years ago
Is there a reusable container that would work instead of the bag?
Hello, yes, there is a container. I bought one by the Catamount Glass Company it's made from Boroscilicate glass (same as lab use). Just tried it last night and it was GREAT. I just simply put the popcorn in and put it in the microwave. The instructions said 5 min, but mine only needed 2. I think I paid about 25$ for it, but still cheaper in the long run that store-bought and non of the partially hydrogenated oils, etc. I just flavored mine after cooking. Also, I don't think you can buy air-poppers anymore(?). At any rate, I really like the Catamount container.
Wehrdo6 years ago
I always just use an air popper instead. Except you can't air pop Orville Redenbachers(spelling lol) because the kernels explode a lot more than the cheap stuff, and when one pops, it throws about 5 other kernels out at the same time. I live on a farm, and we occasionally grow some popcorn. If you ever get the chance, take the entire ear, throw it in the microwave for a little while, and eat popcorn on the cob!
This is great! So much cheaper than the commercial stuff, and you can flavor it to boot! Just for sharing this project with us I'm going to share my top secret, food of the gods popcorn recipe: Season the popcorn with a mixture of a few drops of sesame oil, butter, and red tabasco sauce. Your tummy will love you for it!
soleta6 years ago
The best, best best. I love making this version for popcorns and "spreading the word" about it. Thanks for sharing, you are making the world a better place one bag of popcorn at the time :P
Hoopajoo (author)  soleta6 years ago
Really? Thanks! I do what I can. o
LittleWolf6 years ago
Absolutely brilliant. And I had a kick reading C Ed Wright s psycho-organic comments about this instructable.
irrilia6 years ago
Can't believe I never thought of microwaving "normal" popcorn! Bleh! Brilliant! :)
SinAmos6 years ago
I do this all the time, but the olive oil, that was new. ;)
cajun_blaze6 years ago
I'm gonna try this micro/bag recipe with and without staples on the bag. What we've been doing lately, short of buying Paul Newman's "Pop's Corn" (microwaved, organic & good& expensive) is Alton Brown's stove-top method using a large saute pan, oil, salted popcorn and a loose, pierced aluminum foil cover. Shake that baby over high stove heat. There are no microwave bag drawbacks, but ya gotta clean the pot. As a kid in the 50's/early 60's Jurassic age, the only way to make popcorn was on the stove in a covered pot, not that far removed from the above-described method. That makes me think about the Native Americans who taught the first Europeans who landed in the U.S. about popcorn. Hmm... what was the N.A.'s method? It couldn't be fancy! Comments?
Had to Google it. LOL

"Some Indians shoved a stick through a dried cob and held it over the fire, weenie-roast style. And in South America the Moche made popcorn poppers out of pottery." Nat'l Geo.
"Early French explorers in the Great Lakes region reported that the Iroquois Indians popped popcorn in a pottery vessel with heated sand and used it to make popcorn soup, among other things." What's Cooking America?

I would imagine the Native Americans used the kettle corn method with a huge kettle, or had lots of fun chasing the pops! Just speculation based on absolutely no facts tho ;p
kathypatty6 years ago
Just tried your method, but used melted margerine instead of olive oil. maybe that is why it took 8 minutes before it started popping and quite a few kernels did not pop. will try oil next time. Thanks, stove not working and love popcorn. I go to an Amish store where they sell many, many things in bulk including baby rice popcorn, black popcorn and just yellow and white. I love the baby rice. Try it sometime.
Tried it! It worked fine with just three small folds in the bag, and I added a few sprinkles of sugar in addition to the salt--SO delicious.
js0736 years ago
Wondering about the wisdom of advocating cooking anything in a microwave on anything but glass. If you are microwaving in plastic rethink!!! Don't be a lab rat!!! Leads me to wonder about the wisdom of microwaving anything in paper bags too. Care to look into the processes involved in paper production? What happens to the chemical residues of the bag when the bag is heated in the microwave? Volatilize? OK...the best reason not to eat ordinary microwave popcorn is right on the label. Read the label: chemicals, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, unreasonable amounts of sodium...poison!!!, all for the sake of convenience. Popcorn prepared on the range top tastes infinitely better...and you will have control of the additives and chemical input. Read the labels on everything you purchase. It is the only way to take complete responsibility for you consumer habits. Make it a habit!!! Research the ingredients and demand health natural ingredients...vote "es" for healthy food (and truly environmentally friendly products) with your wallet...the multinational food conglomerates are betting you won't...prove them wrong. Cheers! Eat well! Be healthy! Peace and Happiness!
egriff js0736 years ago
mmmm hydrogenated vegtable oils and unreasonable amounts of sodium. I would rather enjoy a short life, than despise a long life.
Hoopajoo (author)  egriff6 years ago
That is what makes this method so much better, YOU control what goes into your food instead of some factory.
egriff Hoopajoo6 years ago
agreed, I just don't like health nuts telling me, x thing is going to kill me and I should eat y thing because its good for me. I mean life is going to kill me, whats the point of living an extra 10, 20 years if they aren't any fun? But this is also how I feel about alternative fuels, I'm not afraid of Al Gore's bogeyman but I do think cleaner, cheaper fuels should be invested in.
Amen. I've been eating crap like that most of my life, and I'm still able to 1.) See my toes and 2.) I don't have to worry about cholesterol. I AM cholesterol.
heh reminds me of a buddy, kid eats more than I do and hasn't weighed more than 170, he's 6'4". Its like his body turns calories into lean muscle instead of fat, cause he's really strong too.
I have a rule of thumb when it comes to eating; if its low calories, I don't eat it. It is never going to give me enough energy to run, especially for one my age.
Hoopajoo (author)  egriff6 years ago
My dad was like that. Where the hell didn't I get THOSE genetics? Instead, I got my mom's where if I even smell sweets, I gain 5 pounds.
egriff Hoopajoo6 years ago
ha, I hope I get my mom's genetics when it comes to cholesteral, my dad just had preventative surgery to remove plaque and most of his mom's siblings had strokes.
miaspamm egriff6 years ago
But those years WILL be fun. Food doesn't determine if life is good.
Hoopajoo (author)  miaspamm6 years ago
I don't know about that. Sex is fun, and psychological researchers from The University of Virginia Medical School have determined as recorded in the Fall 1998 edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association that according to isotope mapping of the human brain, sensations from sex and a good, tasty meal are 98% identical. How can those years be fun when you live them in a constant panic that what you are eating might someday be considered by researchers that make their living traipsing from one fad panic to the next to be bad for you. Food is the centerpiece of celebrations of every culture. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, other special events all have certain foods associated with them. Food may not be the decisive factor, but it is a major one. Besides, some of the most miserable people I know frequent health spas, gyms and health food specialty outlets. It's almost as if they can't stand who the are and constantly work to be someone else. I knew a co-worker at the lab who ate right, exercised every day and dropped dead of a massive coronary 1 week after his 28th birthday. The bottom line is that genetics and family history determine more of how long we live than does what we eat. Besides, this is just an alternative popcorn recipe, not a dietary revolution.
egriff Hoopajoo6 years ago
thats true, I knew a vegetarian who also ran marathons, she was always depressed and miserable.
egriff miaspamm6 years ago
kinda makes me think you've never had any really yummy food.
High sodium is only a problem for a small percentage of folks with high blood pressure, but partially hydrogentated is toxic AND unnecessary. Best popcorn will always be stovetop, using Extra Light olive oil to pop it, then buttered using the usual Lightly Salted butter. Using Unsalted butter and adding Sea Salt results in an unevenly salted mess, so here only use regular salted butter, melted and lightly drizzled in expanding spirals. Enjoy!
Hoopajoo (author)  C Ed Wright6 years ago
Could you cite this research for me as well? A colleague of mine specializes in hypertension and says sodium is THE major factor with hypertention (high blood pressure).
Hoopajoo, your "colleague"? As in physician? High sodium is THE major factor in that subset of high blood pressure patients that have their electrolyte balance skewed by excess sodium. But high alcohol intake will also result in similar electrolyte imbalance and high blood pressure, which corrects rapidly without continued medication if & when alcohol intake is discontinued. And there are other causes as well, such as even mild obesity, edema, etc., etc. There is a natural human tendency to want to simplify everything down to one simple answer, but HBP is just not that simple, and like any other symptom it has diverse causes. Just keep in mind that modern medicine at the street practitioner level consists of identifying every disease as its set of symptoms, then prescribing drugs that mask or relieve the symptoms while the underlying causative actual diseases remain uncured. You might be interested to know that various physicians have been astonished to discover that SOME hypertensive patients become "cured" after a period on meds, and wonder how this could be possible. The answer is obvious to the open mind: The electrolyte imbalance was obviously gradually corrected by the diuretic action of the meds that allowed the body's natural systems to resolve the balance by removing the trapped excess. But only in SOME patients because not all patients got HBP from the same cause(s)...! Remember, all graduating physicials' curricula was as much as 30 years behind current knowledge, taught by profs whose own ed was up to 30 years behind 30 years ago when THEY graduated. And most physicians who are not superspecialists do not keep up with the literature and state-of-the-art research; they tend to think they learned all they need to know, then just run with it. That sodium-is-the-HBP-beast thinking was current about, oh, going on 30 years ago by now. Nowadays treatment begins with diuretics and develops from there, depending on results. But it sure sells "low sodium" foods hand-over-fist! (Most of them are foods that should generally be avoided in the first place, from coldcuts, especially ham, to manufactured Soilent Green foodah.)
You DO know Soilent Green was a movie and not reality? It's scary to note that some people actually believe the movie was fact. Can you state your source for this (and don't "just google it" me like you did Hoopajoo, that's just the lazy-man's cop out. I want web addresses and not google searches.)?
Absolutely right, except for two things: A) You either forgot to mention or didn't know that microwaving foods alters many of its molecules to produce both toxic isomers and toxic radiolytic free radicals, as well as destroying all enzymes & most vitamins and phytonutrients (while of course people don't nuke popcorn for its nutritional value); and, B) People generally use MW popcorn for its great convenience, not its not-as-wonderful-as-stovetop flavor. Bottom line: Absolute best MW popcorn is Newman's Own Organic, no partially-hydrogenated, no GMOs, and no diacetyl -- nobody seeking the convenience of MW popcorn is going to "roll their own" per the above article.
Hoopajoo (author)  C Ed Wright6 years ago
Actually, the UCLA Department of Cardiovascular Health and Nutrition has stated the best way to prepare food is by microwave as it preserves the foods nutrients that boiling and even steaming can destroy (JAMA Aug 1995 edition). I am, however, interested in looking into the research you presented. Can you cite the source for me so I may follow through with it?
Hoopajoo, just do a Search on "microwave toxicity" for the whole 411. There's some of the usual Internet plagiarism that results in redundancy, and I'm not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg, but it will open your eyes wider than the paid "expert" consultants who deliver whatever sells to those who pay.
Hoopajoo (author)  C Ed Wright6 years ago
Hm, most of the articles I've read from the google searches I've dont on this in the past read like they were written by some wingnut with an axe to grind ( and I'm not talking about you when I say that ). I can't tell you of the hours I've spent in the ER working on reversing the damage someone has done to their body or those who have died from "alternative medicine" or "homeopathic nutrition" information from the internet. Last year I had to schedule an amputation of a young girl's leg because her parent's "Internet shaman" told them to wrap her lacerated ankle in lemongrass and honey. They finally brought her in when her pain was unbearable and had become gangrenous. As much as I am sure your heart is in the right place, I'll continue to trust those with years of education and generations of science behind them before I will some blogger posting from their mother's basement.
I keep trying to post a reply but it won't work right, and I don't have time to keep rewriting/keying/whatever. Software/webmonster problem I don't have time nor patience for. Believe what works for you, you're the one who lives with the consequences. If you were about to dash across the street from one crowd to another, and ONLY ONE person yelled to you, "Hey, look out!" would you ignore the one out of the many? (Let's see if this goes through...)
You mustn't have much of a life seeing how you joined Instructables just to attack this instructable and its author. Do yourself a favor and move out of your parent's basement, join the social world, get a girlfriend/boyfriend (however your preferences go) and learn how to interact with people above a 2nd grade level. Then people won't think of you as being such an a$$h0l3.
Well, personally speaking if one person told me the gun is empty and 10 told me it's loaded, you can be fairly sure which I'm going to listen to.
<quote>but it will open your eyes wider than the paid "expert" consultants who deliver whatever sells to those who pay. </quote>
I did that and just about all of them have Google ads. looks like they are paid experts now too. So, by your own standards, we can't believe anything they say. Let me ask you, do you ever see a doctor? Do you ever take your car to a mechanic? Have you ever read a how to book? If you answered yes to any of these then you've listen to paid expert consultants yourself.
I done this ever since I first read it and tried it. It works very well and tastes awesome! I tried Newman's Own once, it's very expensive for popcorn that tastes mediocre at best. That being said, I can appreciate what it is you are saying, but I think your perceived "holier-than-thou" attitude and confrontational style are what's setting people against you. But then, live and let live.
<quote>nobody seeking the convenience of MW popcorn is going to "roll their own" per the above article.</quote>

As of my posting this, 84,863 people disagree with you on that point. God, I've never seen someone get so emo over a popcorn recipe.
Hoopajoo (author)  js0736 years ago
Actually, the whole microwaving plastics thing was debunked back in 2006 by The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as sited in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) the same year. Anything and everything can cause cancer and a whole variety of illnesses in the right amounts. Take glass containers for instance. Glass is mostly silica, which in dust form has been directly linked to lung cancer and in liquid form has beel linked to various forms of tissue cancer. Nothing is perfect, but we do the best we can in life. This instructable was written to give people a safer alternative to the pre-packaged popcorn with it's preservatives, it's lung cancer-causing butter powder and it's highly refined saturated fats.
(science joke) I think we should sign a petition to ban silicon dioxide! It has been known to cause pain, irritation of mucous membranes, and cancer; yet it is being used UNRESTRICTED by companies nationwide! We should ban silicon dioxide (sand) and control this hazardous material! (/end science joke)
Hoopajoo (author)  Sir Crapton6 years ago
Penn & Teller's Bulls#it already did this. They passed a petition around a protest and got protesters to ban Dihydrogen Monoxide (H2O or water). Goes to show how people will sign ANYTHING without reading it first.

28.martine6 years ago
works like a charm. Don't put to much popcorn in it will get burned! how I know :). I have an eco stapler. Staples without staples. Makes a hole and folds it. first is the thing, second the result. works fine.
oops here are the pics
nietjes.bmpnietjes 2.bmp
This is the best comment thread ever. Will a bit of scotch tape work in place of a staple? I'm too afraid to try the staples.
Hoopajoo (author)  Hannah Belle Lectre6 years ago
I've done a bit more "research" in the various means of securing the bag, and I have found that folding the bag twice (1/2" across the top and then another 1/2" across the top) with firm creases is all that is required to contain 1/4 cup of popping popcorn. Hope this helps.
Geogfree6 years ago
Thanks for this information. I have tried it once now. Used the simple method of only putting the popcorn in the bag. I used staples. I used Orville Redenbacher's Original popcorn kernels. Worked perfectly! The result was a bag of unadulterated popcorn that I could season to taste in a separate bowl after popping. I intend to continue using this technique and gain experience with it. I am impressed by the quality of the popcorn, the simplicity of the technique and its frugality. My first reaction was "WOW"! It was interesting to read all the previous comments and see some of the risks that are mentioned. I will keep an open mind about the risk of fire. But it seems to me that it is no more likely than having a hot air popper develop an electrical problem that causes a fire or having a stove top accident with an oiled pot. I will certainly stay by the microwave while popping just like I would using other techniques. Thanks!
kennyeddy6 years ago
mf708 years ago
Maybe staples won't but I swear that a paperclip WILL turn bright orange and ignite the bag. Guess how I know.
lol I thought I was the only one to have "opps" moments like that :)
SerialATA mf708 years ago
Hmm.. Musta been hard to explain what happened to the hot plate.. And the paperclip.
AzureEyes6 years ago
I can't believe i never thought of this. so clever!! : D thanks!
Hoopajoo (author) 6 years ago
Lately, the wife and I haven't been using the staple. How we discovered this new way was a happy accident: One night we rented a movie and wanted some popcorn to go with it. Unfortunately, we were out of staples. Being the industrious woman that she is, she folded the top about an inch down, creased it firmly and sharply, then folded it down once again creasing it the same way. It worked like a charm! Right now, I say if you want to use the staple, fine... but you don't have to with this updated way. Enjoy and thanks for all the comments (both pro and con, nice and asinine)
Bartboy6 years ago
NO NO NO!!!!!!!! Do NOT use a stapler! Staples are metal, metal slowly wrecks the microwave!
svanderw6 years ago
OMG... this is awesome. Tried this tonight and it worked awesome. Added the oil and little regular salt and it tasted great. Amazing how easy and cheap it is to make your own microwave popcorn. The bag of corn will last for ages so I will have chance to try different types of seasonings on it. Also looking to grow own popcorn in the garden this year - esp now I know an easy way to pop it. thanks so much for a great Instructable !!
millay13136 years ago
I tried this and it is really good! Thanks!
sarahliz6 years ago
I just made my first bag! It was great. I'll be making many more....after I buy a new microwave. I used a stapler and it started sparking. Now my microwave sparks without anything in it. I would suggest not using a staple. Don't bother with the oil either as it will become steam and get into your microwave's electrical components. Can't wait to make more!
Hoopajoo (author)  sarahliz6 years ago
Wow, seriously? I've been doing it this way over 20 years and have never once had it spark. I've heard it sparking once before, but that guy was using a construction staple (perhaps I should add that I only use standard office staples). Also, the oil shouldn't become steam unless it has water in it too. Steam, in and of itself, shouldn't bother the electrical components. Boiling water and steaming the inside of microwaves it the commonly practiced way restaurants sanitize and clean theirs. I do it with my weekly kitchen clean up at home too. The steam is probably from the corn itself. That's how it pops.
yea! My microwave is fried. It is possible it was just bad timing. It was 5 years old. My mother had a microwave do the same thing right before the warrenty was up and the tech guy said that happens when you make a lot of the store bought microwave popcorn. Luckly Mom has an extra microwave that she is dropping off tonight.
Wildrat6 years ago
I hope the fella talking about Alton brown does not think that he came up with all the recipe's he does on that TV show. Everything he does has been done in some form or another over decades. You get away from the city and out in suburbs, and the country the people would laugh at that guy trying to make people think he came up with those recipe's and other things he does. That show is for people who live in the city and think milk is made in china. For the others worried about paper bags, just find a different bag, or something else that will work that meets your safety and health concerns. This site is for people to post their ideas brought to life. Other people will see them and may or may not improve the idea and then pass the improvements along for others and so the world turns.
ulor7 years ago
Hey its cool. Didnt mean to be a jerk just seen lots of Food Instructables here copied directly from him without any credit to him. He does some awesome DIY stuff including a Cardboard Box smoker (someone else put it on instructables), so just wanted to make sure he got credit. If this didnt come from him then please disregard earlier comment and thanks for making this.
Venetia1 ulor6 years ago
Please take no offense but, Alton Brown is about my age and this method was invented when we were in highschool! I think it was the first thing anyone tried to do in the era of the Amana Radar range,lol. Yep, it was the first microwave I used.
Kaiven6 years ago
I just ate some. I LOVE THIS!! 5*!
ulor7 years ago
This is pretty much copied from Alton Brown. I think you should acknowledge that. Also you don't need the oil, the popcorn can totally pop without for the same reason you cant cook eggs ,they explode outward, (not sure if this is from Alton as well) but basically the steam inside the kernel from the microwave makes it pop not the hot oil, although it could add taste. I prefer it without the oil and melted butter afterwards but it is crunchier than normal microwave popcorn this way, but I actually like it. Try it and see.
Hoopajoo (author)  ulor7 years ago
Who is Alton Brown? This is the way my family has been popping corn since the mid 1980's. If this is a copy of someone then it is purely coincidental. Also, you can microwave eggs, I have an instructable on that as well. Hope that isn't a copy of this Alton Brown person as well.
Alton Brown is a personality on Food Network. Obviously Ulor feels that Mr. Brown is so much a household phenomenon, that everyone should have heard of him and know of all his work. The only reason I know of Alton Brown is through the power of Wikipedia. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have cable or satellite television as Ulor apparently is. Since Ulor thinks you should acknowledge someone you have never heard of for something you've apparently done longer than he has been on television, he should apologize to you for presuming that you were copying the same person you've obviously never heard of. I mean this in the fullest compliance of the "be nice' policy.
I know about Alton Brown, but still, its not like I sat there and watched every episode he ever made. I love this instructable, without it, I never would have known.
Hoopajoo (author)  obamafan7 years ago
Dude, chill. I'm sure his heart was in the right place in wanting credit given where credit was due. In this case, this instructable was compiled without knowledge of Mr. Brown having done this on TV. Personally, I don't watch much TV at all. This is why I haven't seen the need to get cable or satellite and probably have been in the dark as to who Alton Brown is (BTW, thanks for telling me who this man is). My family has popped popcorn this way since we got our first microwave in 1984. There was no microwave popcorn then and this was the only way to do it in a microwave. Seeing how Mr. Brown was about 20 years old at the time we were doing this, I don't think he was an influence. Thanks anyway.
ulor Hoopajoo7 years ago
I meant in the shell. If you microwave an egg in the shell it will explode. Same principle as the kernels.
obamafan ulor7 years ago
Dude, not everyone has heard of Alton Brown.
obamafan7 years ago
This method makes the best popcorn I have ever tasted! No wonder several people are stealing the idea and reposting it as their own.
butcher997 years ago
works great until the bag catches on fire. I used to do it this way all the time and then the bag caught on fire.
Hoopajoo (author)  butcher997 years ago
What kind of staple are you using? I use standard office staples and have never had a problem with fire or sparks. Also how long are you microwaving the popcorn? You are using a paper bag and not a plastic one, right? I just curious as to what you are doing different to get this result? Hundreds of thousands of bags popped here, in my house and in the homes of Metacafe users and Digg users and you are the first to report a bag fire. You have my curiosity up.
never used a staple. Although you would think it is required the bag never came apart. Probably popped it too long.
Hoopajoo (author)  butcher997 years ago
Yeah, That is a possibility. I usually until the pops are about 3 to 5 seconds apart before stopping. Also, popping corn that is old won't pop well, so it could be possible to microwave it too long waiting for it to pop. I hope you have better luck if you try this method again.
zachninme8 years ago
We stopped using bagged popcorn because of the PTFE (teflon) on the inside of the bag. Supposively, that is bad. Can someone vouch that the staples won't spark? I trust, but just want to make sure this isn't a bomb instructable :-P
On most staplers, there's a way to twist around the bottom plate. When you do that the ends of the stapler are bent outward, not inward. This should help it not spark I use to nuke the Chinese food containers with the wire bale still attached and most of the time it did not spark. Once in a while, on the ends where the wire loop was bent back upon itself, I'd get a spark and a bit of charring of the paper carton. The solution was to bend it away from itself with pliers, etc. I'm really surprised that there isn't a tiny little spark on the tips of the staple, but even if there is one, it's probably not a problem. (I will disclose that haven't tried this instructable yet)
my Chinese food ALWAYS came in aluminum tubs hmmm......
you could get a "stapless stapler" they just wrap the paper aroud itself. they are great, you never run out of staples
I like turning the plate around for fun, and having stupid people be all "wow! Its backwards!!!"
hey there, crazy conspirator!
Hoopajoo (author)  zachninme8 years ago
You probably could use masking tape if you wish, but the staples make it easier for the popping corn to breathe. I've used this method for 10 years and yet have had the first spark from a staple. Believe me, I'm trying to build a quality reputation here and I would never post anything that to the best of my knowledge is dangerous in any way without a generous number of warnings.

Also, regarding the PTFE in the microwave, there was an e-mail circulating about that several years ago. It has been disproved. you can find more info about it here:
Hope you enjoy the popcorn and thanks for the feedback!
It is PTFE in general. However, I don't really beleave it, but I'm not the one who buys popcorn :-P
babug7 years ago
I just tried this and it was fantastic. My husband told me to try tape also. I used Scotch-Blue Painter Tape. The tape did not melt & worked great.
kdom227 years ago
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... How old is too old?
Hoopajoo (author)  kdom227 years ago
Age has quite a lot to do with the popping ratio. The reason popcorn pops is because the kernel's internal moisture turns to steam and increases the internal pressure beyond it's structural capacity. The older the kernels, the more dry they are. I've heard people say that you can spritz them with water and them they'll pop. I don't know about that though, I've haven't had success with that method but once.
I have to admit, I read this and thought, "no way!" My son got a popcorn popper from his grandparents for Christmas but the popcorn is kind of greasy and the machine is a pain to clean. I found this site and decided to try it and (you all know this) it worked!! Thank you so much! I try to watch what I eat so this is perfect! Thank you.
cam000237 years ago
So, I've been making popcorn according to these instructions for several months and its working out great. However, last night one of the staples got a little too hot and a fire started in my microwave. Not a huge deal; we were able to put it out and no one was hurt and my microwave is okay, but I;ve found that you can do it without staples. Just: 1. Double bag it. and 2. Roll/Scrunch the top together nice and tight (i.e. don't just fold the top shut). I wasn't scared of putting staples in microwave at the outset, but now I am a little leary, so just thought I would add. Also, every friend I've made popcorn for this way has become a convert, so thanks!
Caya7 years ago
You can take a yarn needle (metal needle, not plastic canvas needle, is better) and thread some yarn through the end. I suppose a person could just use thread, too. Just go in & out a few times, no need to get fancy or even tie it off. I knew a guy once that tried to do this, only he used a big grocery paper bag- set fire to the microwave! Fortunately it turned out alright, no house fire. I laughed & laughed, though- what a dumb thing to do, and he was some 50 years old at the time, not a kid, so he should have known better!
Punkguyta Caya7 years ago
Reminds me of my uncle trying to make patatoe patties and something else in the oven @ 8 in the morning with a beer in his hand. In my house.
Theodora127 years ago
I eat a bag of that microwave dreck almost every night. This will save me a fortune. More importantly, it's healthier. Thanks, Hoopajoo!
ventsi7 years ago
nice thanks for puting it here
smokehill7 years ago
For those that would rather not use staples or tape, I suggest those plastic paper clips (usually sort of triangular-shaped) that they sell in office supply stores. Also, they're not likely to get hot enough to accidentally burn your fingers.
ArtemisBlue7 years ago
SO glad you put this up here. I've never known that 1 pound bags could last so long! My friend used to be a boyscout about 5 years ago. He would win all of these contests and get GIANT glass jars of popping corn. So one night we found the jar still sealed and mixed in some seasoning and oils, but we put it in a bowl so some was burnt :( Anyway, thanks for the instructable!
wow iv been doing this since i was in highschool when some girl showed me how to do it with our school microwave im so glad someone put it out there!!! one thing... if you dont have a stapler You can just Tape the Bag down and also YOU DONT NEED ANY OIL!!! the popcorn will pop regardless (and tastes mighty fine and fluffy) also i never measure, what i do is just fill the bottom of the bag in one layer and then fold it back to its normal flat shape. all the same Rock on so cool that you posted this so people can stop buying instant popcorn! also dont think of the bag as a single use (esp if your not putting oil in) you can use it to make bag after bag of yummy popcorn
implaxis8 years ago
A couple of recommendations.

When opening the bag, either rip the entire top off and discard, or take out the staples with a staple remover. Count them! You always want to make sure they don't get lost! (in the popcorn, that is)

I found that mixing the oil and the salt in a small bowl with the kernels before putting them in the bag makes for a much more even distribution.

It's also really good with up to a teaspoon of sugar (again, dissolved in the oil, with the kernels beforehand). It's tricky to get the right amount, as it tends to burn.
susie implaxis7 years ago
Ya my friend had bought micro kettle corn recently and it was foul. I bet using sugar without whatever chemicals they add would be yummy. Hmmm maple syrup experiment?
susie7 years ago
Those shorter supermarket bags are perfect for this. I had dug out a lunch bag and was like no way that would be enough popcorn! I've been making olive oil / black pepper popcorn in a pan but this will be much cleaner...theoretically.
would the normal popcorn work. (it comes in a bag and is plain)
Hoopajoo (author)  - creative name -7 years ago
Absolutely, that is what I'm using.
tz1_1zt7 years ago
Great instructable, thanks. My popcorn consumption has increaded by 1000%. I've bought a small pyrex bowl to hold the popping corn and oil/butter while in the bag. It works well and keeps the microwave a little cleaner. I tried a 2 litre Pyrex dish with lid, my brown paper envelope was getting soggy. It does not work! The dish absorbs too much heat and the corns just cook slowly in the oil. It seems as though a fast high heat is required, otherwise the corns wont all pop. Of course the paper bag is ideal for allowing maximum microwave energy to hit the corns in a short space of time.
tommy2rs7 years ago
Lol...old news, my mother was doing this when she was in her 70's and that was about 15 or so years ago. Of course she did it cause she was tight with a dollar but once again what's old is what's new.
1BadMotha8 years ago
Excellent instructable! Tasty too! This idea is go great that other users are stealing it for their own.
The original is always the best. Keep it up!
Hoopajoo (author)  1BadMotha8 years ago
I doubt his intentions were on 'stealing' it (hopefully). More than likely he wasn't aware mine was posted first. I mean, there are (as of this posting) 5,760 instructables on this site. Checking them all out is a monumental task and most people never think of searching their keywords. I'm sure it was unintentional.
Miss World8 years ago
this is a great idea :D I will try it this way! rather than buying prepacked popcorn
jazmella8 years ago
I just finished popping my own homemade popcorn, and I'm so excited!! All you have to do is pour some kernels into a brown paper bag (I didn't measure how many kernels I used, I just poured - lol), fold the flap of the bag two times, stick the bag into the microwave, set it on high for 5 minutes, and wait. I didn't need to use any oil whatsoever, any staples to hold the bag shut, etc. And the thing popped! The kernels actually popped! To some, the final product might seem a little bland, so you can add whatever flavoring you want afterwards. Yay! I'm still so giddy!! :-D
blodefood8 years ago
I will admit I hate the idea of microwave popcorn, but I realise that for some, there is no other option and some of the ideas above are awesome! I use a frying pan with a dome-like lid, half an American cup (150 ml) of popcorn and about two tbsp of oil, preferably olive on medium heat. Listen well and you will know when to shake it. Once it slows popping, dump into a big bowl, sprinkle with nutritional yeast, a bit of salt and munch away!
gragegrl8 years ago
This is fantastic! I tried it just like instructed and it worked great. Popped almost all the kernals and it tastes great! No sparks!
jac10028 years ago
just a few things 1.you don't need staples just fold the bag a couple times(and even if you did use them and they spark(i don't think they will)it will NOT brake your microwave) 2.you don't need oil it just makes it messy and doesn't add much flavor ,just add some salt and butter after it pops.
13fingerfx8 years ago
To make this work better buy a regular bag of microwave popcorn and take it apart. Inside you will find a plastic-y metallic square that channels the heat of the microwave into the kernels. Cut this out (you can use it first, it's okay) and place it at the bottom of the bag when you make your own. Yo can re-use it again and again if you clean it after use.
spttrsn438 years ago
I tried this and my microwave shut down because it got too hot. Also, I tried corning ware and it got too hot and broke into pieces all over the place.
Spacecoyote8 years ago
I just made some. I had no bags, so I made one of those (1 sheet copier paper + a whole bunch of tape). The bag broke, but thats ok, I expected the homemade bag to not work at all. BTW: Its really good and low fat!
I'm sure the melted tape added some flavour.
4sweeper8 years ago
If you are watching your fat/salt intake, I have made this without using any oil at all, only the popcorn kernels. Kind of like plain air-popped popcorn but in a handy serving container!
If you are watching your weight, try and pick up some sunflower seed oil. Healthier, and the taste difference is negligible.
I am going to try to make this tomorrow. If it tastes good, I'll try to make some money off of it. Thanks for the info, looks fun.
aklesh38 years ago
This worked out so well for me I now keep a small glass jar with the corn/oil/salt/garlic already mixed. Drop in a couple of table spoons worth in the bag and ready to go.
Ole Larry8 years ago
I just tried the home made microwave popcorn. I eating some as i type. It's great and cheap. Sorry Orville our relationships is over. I also tried the morcowaveable plastic bowl. No go. It was made of the same material as a microwave bacon cooker. The bowl started popping and chips began to fly off of it. Thanks.
soleta8 years ago
You made my day! I make my popcorn the traditional way ( a pan over the stove) but I thought I could never win the wonders of microwave popcorn (ignorance is all, I thougt they had a special treatment to work in the microwave, duh!). With a little fear (the staple myth) I ran to the kitchen and tried your recipe. And here they are: wonderful perfect popcorn with no dishes to wash after. The bag broke (it was reused and maybe I filled it to much) but it didn´t matter, the joy is bigger. Thank you very much, you have made a vegan popcorn fan happy This is my fiist day in instructables and it already has given me a great deal.
ntgrater8 years ago
Do you guys know if i can use tape instead of a staple?
Tape would either shrink or melt in the microwave. I'm not sure if you could substitute a glue stick for a sealant though...
actually i tried it with clear tape and nothing happened it was fine
eustatic8 years ago
if you don't have a microwave, you can also pop the corn (plus seasoning to taste) in a pot on the stove with a little olive oil. I prefer to use one with a clear class top. You can watch the popcorn pop and shoot!
I used to do this too, however, it requires cleanup - which is bad
You can get better popping "success" by elevating the bag!

I put my bag on top of an inverted cereal bowl for my relatively small mirowave oven. You want to get the bag about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way down from the top.

Practice for your machine.
Each individual microwave has "hot spots" where the microwave energy is concentrated. They vary from microwave to microwave, in all 3 dimensions. (This is why they have the rotating disk in the bottom)
okie2oz8 years ago
I have to say this method turns out better popcorn than my airpopper with nothing to clean up. I sprayed the kernels with the no fat/no calorie butter spray and sprinkled salt substitute as well. Put it in the bag and it turned out so yummy. This is a great munchie if you're looking for a low fat, low calorie, no salt snack.
majorxp8 years ago
I'm going to do this when I get home.
I need help... all my kernals dont pop there must be at least 30 of them in the bottom. I tried to opo it longer but it just burned badly.
Hoopajoo (author)  electronicfreak228 years ago
Hmm. Sounds like the popping corn you are using is either old (lost it's internal moisture) or not dried properly (too much internal moisture). It's the internal pressure from this moisture converting to steam that makes the kernels pop. I would try a different brand of popping corn or try adding a few drops of water to a container of the popcorn, shake to throughly distribute it amid the corn, and leave to sit overnight. then try popping it. It is ideal to store corn you wont be popping for long periods of time in you freezer. In some cases, doing this will actually increase the numbers of kernels popped. Hope this helped.
Thanks for the help I will try these
If your popcorn is too old to pop, try refreshing your corn. I've never done this, but I remember reading a long time ago that it is caused by the corn drying out. As I understand it, popcorn pops because the moisture in the corn turns to steam. Try dipping the corn in cold water for a few minutes, letting it dry, and then cooking it. What the heck have you got to lose. except worn out popcorn. Too tired to pop, that's been happening to me a lot lately.
dataphool8 years ago
Finest stuff. The olive oil is not necessary, but nice. As well as safer to people who wish to eat healthy. I guess that's all of us. I wonder if you can grind or crush salt to make popping salt? We have been cooking popcorn for 25 years in the nucke, I thought everyone knew this art. Maybe not.
Hoopajoo (author)  dataphool8 years ago
You can easily make popcorn salt by placing regular table salt in a coffee grinder. Turn the grinder on and shake while grinding. When you think you are done, grind another 10 seconds. All in all it takes about 30 seconds to make excellent popcorn salt.
This is AWESOME!!!
Wow, we used t do this when me and my siblings were younger. Never used oil though.
Hoopajoo (author) 8 years ago
**AMENDMENT** I just tried substituting the olive oil with coconut oil. Not as healthy, I'm sure, but OH...MY...GOD! The taste was exquisite! I got the idea from reading that the theaters of old used to pop their corn with coconut oil. I got a tasty treat and my house smells like suntan oil! BONUS!
I ran in the kitchen and tried this immediately. We make 'commercial' microwave popcorn all the time, so I was eager for a cheaper, customizable alternative. I overcooked it (it was still popping feebly) and it smoked like the dickens. I rushed it to the door and flung the fuming bag out on the back steps. Squirrels found it and helped themselves. I photographed a squirrel eating the burned popcorn and put it on Flickr. Let's see if I can put a link in here to the pic... I'm no good at this yet...
levit8 years ago
Very nice instructable, just a sugestion, why don't you soak the corn in olive oil before they go in the bag?.
rarcke levit8 years ago
You don't want to saok the corn in -anything- before popping. The reason pop-corn pops is becasue the outshell is tough and sealed so the water inside can build pressure. If you soak the kernels there's the posibility of busting the seal, the steam leaks out slowly and then the kernels will -never- pop. Pop-corn should be kept as dry as possible. Oil can be added just before cooking as a flavor agent but keep in mind Micorwaves work becasue they heat -water-. So unlike in pan-popping situations (where the oil acts as a heat conductor and anti-stick-to-the-pan) the oil in microwave popcorn is just flavor. Don't believe me? Air-popped corn never need any oil to pop. (In fact it's VERY dangerous to put oil in an air popper, the oil will drip onto the heating element and catch fire.)
Hoopajoo (author)  levit8 years ago
You need enough olive oil in the bag to keep the kernels moist until they pop. I tried just soaking them, but it yielded poorer results. Thinks for the idea anyway!
Could you use butter to keep them moist?
Hoopajoo (author)  Tetranitrate8 years ago
You could, but you would want to use the squeeze kind. I went for olive oil since it's healthier and has virtually no taste when used in this manner. The great thing about this is the freedom to experiment. I've even used powdered cocoa instead of the salt once. It turned out great! Later I might try powdered chicken bullion.
SmartAZ8 years ago
I studied PTFE extensively when I was in chemistry class. It is the safest material ever made by man. It has to be heated to 400 C (750 F) before it gives off toxic gases.
Wikipedia says 460 °F (237 °C)

Smoke points of different cooking oils

I cook with Olive Oil (468 °F) all the time, just not in a teflon pan.

Have you ever left a teflon pan on the stove, letting it get too hot? Ever notice that the anti-stickyness was all gone? Do you think you might have heated it past 460 °F?
NEVER let a teflon pan get that hot. It can make you sick. Nothing big, you just won't feel good... maybe kill a pet or 2...
supes8 years ago
Wow this is great. I will stick to masking tape though as I am scared to use a staple. I will try this!
techlore8 years ago
Most Excellent. Mix your butter and seasoning together first in short microwave run and add to popcorn in bag and complete your cooking. Great flavour.
Awesome! I'll try it tonight. Thanks! :)
d_fresh28 years ago
Just an FYI for anyone... You don't have to go out an buy Popcorn salt. If you have Kosher salt, you can just throw some in a food processor, and pulse it a few times. That will knock it down to finer granules, which will stick better to the popcorn...
I just tried it, and it worked better than store bought bags. More kernels were popped and there were no burnt ones. awesome instructable. mmm popcorn.
Cool, since you already have the EVOO, add some onions and draw a huge grin on the bag, voila, Rachel Ray themed popcorn.
Hoopajoo (author)  Tool Using Animal8 years ago
Somehow I knew as soon as I saw EVOO that Rachael Ray would be mentioned. Love her show 30 Minute Meals by the way. Got the DVDs.
jerbtown8 years ago
LWonderful, I can't wait to try it! Mongolian fire-oil popcorn, here I come!
canida8 years ago
This is awesome!
and no trans-fats!