Introduction: Ultra-cheap (but Tasty) Microwave Popcorn

Do you like microwave popcorn, but hate spending a buck (or two) for one bag? Me too. This instructible will show you how to make microwave popcorn for much less than buying the microwave bags.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Gather the following:
- Popping corn
- Vegetable Oil (for cooking)
- Ceramic Mug (don't use plastic and make sure it's microwave safe)
- Seasoning (regular salt, flavored salt or even butter, but not for cooking with)
- paper towel, (not shown)

Step 2: Put in Oil and Popping Corn

Put in just enough popcorn to have a single layer of kernels at the bottom of the mug. Too many and they get stuck in the cup and are difficult to get out. Too few and you don't get a full cup. You'll have to experiment with your particular cup.

Put in a LITTLE oil, stop pouring when the oil is about the size of a quarter in the bottom of the cup (or about half a teaspoon)

Step 3: Cover the Mug and Start the Popping!

IMPORTANT! - The paper towel must be tucked underneath the cup to keep the popcorn and kernels inside the cup. If there's any way for these to get out, they will, causing a bit of a mess to clean.

Depending on the size of the cup and the microwave being used, you'll have to find the right time to cook the popcorn.

Start with 1 minute and 30 seconds and add 10 seconds for the next batch until you find the right time for you. Be aware that burned popcorn smells pretty bad.

Step 4: HOT! - Take Out the Popcorn, Season and Enjoy!

WARNING! - The mug is really really really hot! (really!)

Use the paper towel as a kind of oven mitt to pick up the mug.

You may find it helpful to have a small bowl that you use to eat out of to make it easier to get to the popcorn.

If you have butter (I don't because I do this at work), the mug should be hot enough to melt enough butter to use for the popcorn.

Try a cinnamon and sugar mix instead of salt for a sweet snack!

Step 5: FAQ

Q: My brother-in-law uses paper sacks to do this without oil, why don't you?
A: Paper sacks aren't designed to be put in the microwave, I'm not sure what's in them (chemically speaking) that may be bad in the microwave.

Q: That's not enough popcorn, I want more! How do I do it?
A: That depends... You can buy a big microwave popping container and use that to make lots of popcorn. But since I'm cheap, I'm using what I already have. You can try other container sizes and times, just be careful not to burn yourself (or the popcorn) too much.

Q: Can I just cook with butter and skip the whole vegetable oil thing?
A: I think that's too prone to burning, so I didn't try it. Also, I would expect it would be difficult to clean, so again, I didn't try that.

Q: Can I put the salt in with the oil and popcorn?
A: I wouldn't. I tried and it made a mess that was difficult to clean.

Q: Can I collect the unpopped kernels and try again?
A: Not likely worth the effort, they probably are duds anyway. (Thanks razordu30 for the info!)

Step 6: Bonus!

As a special bonus for this instructible, I'm including a set of pictures that I took while cleaning out the office fridge... Open if you dare!

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