From the Kitchen

Easy Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Yes we’ve been making homemade microwave popcorn and it really works! I was skeptical at first how easy it was, but it’s so simple, we make it all the time! Plus, there’s no harmful additives from regular microwave bags, yay!

Easy Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Lisa, from Snack Girl, is sharing her how-to for Homemade Microwave Popcorn with us, lucky!

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

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Homemade Microwave Popcorn Recipe

(SCROLL DOWN TO PRINT RECIPE)

Supplies:

  • popcorn kernels
  • paper bag
  • tape
  • microwave
  • flavorings – butter, sugar, spices, etc

Method:

Put 1/4 cup popcorn in a brown paper bag. Fold top over a few times and tape it.

Place in microwave folded side up for 2 to 3 minutes or until there is 5 seconds between pops.

Eat plain or add flavors (such as salt, butter, sugar, etc.)

Easy Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Benefits of homemade microwave popping:

  • control the amount of salt and butter
  • reuse the paper bag again and again
  • save money from buying the corn kernels, which yields a lot more popcorn
  • pop popcorn fast, without getting out the heavy machinery

I just can’t get enough of this popcorn, we make it all the time! It’s been a great after-school snack. Thanks, Lisa!

Homemade Microwave Popcorn Recipe
Ingredients
  • popcorn kernels
  • paper bag
  • tape
  • microwave
  • flavorings – butter sugar, spices, etc
Instructions
  1. Put 1/4 cup popcorn in a brown paper bag. Fold top over a few times and tape it.
  2. Place in microwave folded side up for 2 to 3 minutes or until there is 5 seconds between pops.
  3. Eat plain or add flavors (such as salt, butter, sugar, etc.)

Recipes with Homemade Popcorn

Backyard Movie Night with S’mores Popcorn – We combined our favorite movie night snack with our favorite camping treat for a delicious S’mores Popcorn. Yum!

S'mores Movie Night Popcorn Recipe

Salted Caramel Cashew Popcorn – This Oscar’s-worthy popcorn is super simple to make.  It sounds fancy, but in reality, there’s just a few additional steps that need to be taken to bring an ordinary snack to a new level.

White Chocolate Popcorn With Valentine Candies – Pour melted white chocolate on top of this homemade popcorn. Toss in your m&ms, and mix it all around for a delicious treat!

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146 comments

  1. I’ve been doing this for years. Got tired of store pop corn that has “stuff” in it, and tried this
    method. I just staple the end once, using lunch size bags, and it turns out great! Sometimes I melt butter and pour over the top when through popping with a little salt.

  2. To keep butter from making the popcorn soggy, you need to melt it (this is called clarifying). The butter will rise to the top, and the water will settle to the bottom. Use only the top part and your popcorn will not be soggy. The water that settles to the bottom can be wasted. If cooled, the butter will harden and you can separate it easily. Then use the butter, remelted, on your popcorn.

  3. I have been using this method since I saw it on the show the Doctors, using lunch bags from save-a-lot and never had a problems with them catching fire. but need a cheap way to add butter to the popcorn without it getting soggy, any tips?

    1. I have been making it like this for about five years. You use a lunch size bag. Fold the top over and I pop for two minutes in a 1000 watt oven. After I open the bag I spray with a good butter spray and salt it. Very low in calories and tastes great. Have to make for my wife at least four nights a week.

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  5. If you decide to do this, in spite of the fire hazard, be very, very careful to use bags that do NOT contain recycled content. Only “virgin” paper bags should be used

  6. WARNING!!
    Using a plain paper bag in the microwave is a fire hazard! I know from experience.
    The bag used for commercial microwave popcorn is special made just for that purpose.

  7. I was searching for ideas for a pirate party and came across your lovely site (lots of ideas here!). Stumbled upon the popcorn … This is also the way we are making popcorn, just folding the top of the bag twice. So brilliant and an easy way to make just a little bit of popcorn :)

  8. I need ideas of how to get the salt to stick to the popcorn. I have been making popcorn in the microwave for about a month now, and I can do without the oil but miss the salt.

    1. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on after popping then add your salt. Mmmm! Healthier then butter or other commercial bags and delicious!

    2. Pop the corn plain, then while it’s still hot from the microwave mist lightly with cooking spray (I like the canola or olive oil type, kids seem to prefer the “butter-flavored”.). Shake in your favorite seasonings quickly and they will cling nicely to the popped kernels. Some healthier seasonings we like are butter-flavored salt, ‘Molly McButter’ flavor granules and plain old Kosher salt.

  9. A huge popcorn gal I”ve been making homemade micro popcorn for a few years. I travel as a comic and find on the road as long as a microwave is handy I have the ability to make myself a healthy snack. One tip of note. Keep your corn kernels in the freezer. They tend to pop of bigger and whiter. I think the bit of moisture from the being frozen helps.
    Glad to see the homemade micro pop idea catching on. There are so many unwanted additives and preservatives in corporate stuff that is not needed :-) happy popping!

  10. Any suggestions to get the butter to actually adhere to the popcorn? I usually make 2 batches and place it in a fairly large bowl. I pour the butter over the first batch, add salt and then toss like crazy. I then add second batch to bowl and add more butter and salt, toss again like crazy. The popcorn ends up either bland or soggy and most of the butter winds up at the bottom of the bowl. Help!

  11. I agree that this is a very easy and inexpensive way to make popcorn. No mess and that is great only problem I have is that it reminds me of the air pop corn. NO TASTE! Without the oil it does not have much flavor and the salt does not adhere to the corn after popping. I have at times recycled the salt left over as it does not stick to the corn as with the use of oil.

    1. You can add oil. I sometimes add olive oil to the popcorn bag before popping. Love it! just drizzle a tablespoon or two over the kernels in your brown/white paper bag before you seal it. You can also add seasoning at this time too. Sprinkle seasonings over kernels after adding the oil. I’ve added different spices like pepper, tarragon, dill, parsley, black/white truffle salt. Not all in the same bag mind you :-) at different times. You can add anything. Lemon salt/pepper. Suit your taste. enjoy!

    2. I too add olive oil to my popcorn, but after it’s popped. (I found adding oil to the bag doesn’t do much but make a mess.) I cook it like Marie mentions and then shake it into a bowl, drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on and sprinkle a bit of salt. Perfection! I can’t wait to try microwave popping in a bowl with a lid.

  12. I think I will have to stock up on paper bags and bulk popcorn as my boys will love this… well so will I…. We love popcorn as a snack around here.

  13. I would encourage you to try a glass bowl and lid. Brown paper bags are meant to carry food, not cook it at high temperatures. USDA: “Do not use brown paper bags … for cooking. They are not sanitary, may cause a fire, and can emit toxic fumes. Intense heat may cause a bag to ignite, causing a fire in the oven… . The ink, glue, and recycled materials in paper bags can emit toxic fumes when they are exposed to heat.” It’s the same principle as not boiling an omelet in a plastic ziploc or cooking in plastic storage containers. They are fine to store but at high tempuratures the chemicals change and leach into your food. There are several natural microwave pop corns on the market with just corn, oil and salt in the ingredients, but my guess is it that the bag is lined in BPA, which is a reason why many want to try a new method to begin with. Plus, it’s more money.

    1. I was taught this method years ago, but was told to wet the paper bag first, so it won’t catch fire in the microwave. I cook the kernels for 3 min. on high, and it turns out great! I think I will sell my popcorn popper. It’s noisy and takes up space, and most of the time, half of the kernels don’t pop.

      1. There are special bags on the market for cooking turkeys etc. in, I wonder if they would be safer to use for this purpose, as they are meant to be heated? I’ve never used them myself, but was just thinking about them. Seems nothing is “safe” anymore.

        1. I keep my bag of popcorn kernels in the freezer and I think the small amount of moisture in the kernels help them pop up bigger and whiter and fairly quick. I use brown lunch bags and white deli bags. No problems at all. Love this method.

  14. I forgot about this way of microwaving pop corn. If anyone reads what is added to any of the microwave pop corns, no matter who packages them- the ingredients alone are reason enough to use this method. Now to get some brown paper bags.

    I love your blog by the way. Found it on Pinterest. I re-pinned your blog.

  15. I just tried this recipe, and nearly caught my house on fire…..the bag literally caught on fire! I’m not sure what went wrong…..

    1. Ahhh! So sorry. I’m not sure what went wrong. I’m wondering if it was something about the type of paper bag you used or how long it was in there. Did the popcorn pop at all? Did the fire start right away?

      Again, so sorry for the fire. Crazy. Hope you were okay!!

      1. I tried it today,, and the bag caught fire, oh i was standing near by so I managed to put the bag in sink

  16. Thank you for sharing this…I just tried it and it worked great! Plus, the popcorn is much better tasting and healthier without all the unnecessary fat and sodium that the pre-packaged stuff has.

  17. o my god! I am home sick from an allergic reaction last night… long story… anyway i just made myself some popcorn, i just put it in the microwave without taping it and i added some salt and butter! It is sooo good!!! I also had some pink lemonade with it… MY LIFE IS COMPLETE!

  18. Nice trick–I’m glad you shared! And for less than $3, you can buy a pound of popcorn kernels and 50 lunch sacks–snacks for at least a month, cheap and DIY!

  19. I have been buying popcorn like this from various supermarkets in England for years. Costs 99p for 3 bags from Lidl, nothing new.

  20. My roommate and I just tried this in our dorm! Regular store bought popcorn is so expensive for a college student’s budget and I was craving the homemade stove top popcorn my family makes at home. We usually used seasoned salt or old bay with it…so delicious!

    We were bracing ourselves to set the dorm on fire, or at least set off the fire alarm (which sets off the fire alarms for the 4 buildings around us and is a $50 fine) but it worked beautifully! I can’t wait to experiment with adding butter afterwards or my roommate’s homemade onion and garlic salt!

  21. You cannot imagine how super it is to learn about this. I have recently been put on a very restricted diet and can’t have any types of acid in my food. The store-bought microwave popcorn has acid in it — probably because of the butters. Now, I can have a snack and not worry about what I’m eating. Thanks so much!

  22. I love this healthy, easy and economical way of popping popcorn!

    I remember when my family got our very first microwave back in the early 80s. It was a major family event, and my brothers and I were so excited to start “nuking” things. We felt like we were living on the edge when we made popcorn using the paper bag method. We always braced ourselves, thinking that we might be running the risk of blowing up the whole contraption. Now, as a parent, I’m really excited to share this technique with my kids (and not having to worry that we’re going to blow a hole in the kitchen).

    Best,
    Jenn

  23. Along with the benefits you suggested- is the SUPER benefit of not getting all the chemicals you get with regular microwave popcorn- it is pretty scary stuff!!

  24. Can’t you just use your.. oh wait, my parents are the only people in the universe who have a popcorn machine.
    Anyway: my favorite topping is the white cheddar stuff (made for popcorn, comes in a little shaker, they even have it at the movie theater..) with juuuust a little garlic powder. With lots of butter of course.

  25. I make popcorn “from scratch” in the microwave almost every night. But I skip the paper bag and just use a small glass casserole dish with a lid. Works brilliantly. My hubby’s fave is when I drizzle the fresh pop with melted butter combined with brown sugar and a dusting of freshly ground salt. Hungry now!

  26. I just love popcorn. Well this is much like the ready popcorn bags you can buy around, but I like the DIY approach here. Good idea!

  27. You know, a popcorn maker is about 20 dollars. It requires no cleaning and it’s certainly NOT “heavy machinery”. I’d much rather avoid microwaving foods that I definitely do not have to. Augh.

  28. This is great idea and saves you money too!!!I tried another recipe with vegie oil but it’s way to much for the amount of popcorn. 1 tablespoon is more than a enogh for 2 pounds of popcorn or even 4 pounds but in all great idea! Im going to try it with no oil one of these times.I also like the fact that I control what goes in it not the company’s!!!!!

  29. This was so easy and delish!! We know exactly what is in it, and when you melt the butter in a small bowl and pour it over the popcorn it taste soo good. Thanks so much.

  30. I’ve always done the same as Evil1 – I use a pyrex dish and then i can see it whilst it’s in the microwave, making it easier to judge when it’s done.

  31. This is simply smashing. Can’t wait to have the children make their own bag. We’ll have a topping bar. Any more such snacks?

  32. I’m known as a popcorn connoisseur among my circle of friends & family, and the best way to cook popcorn is on the stove. Get a pan, pour some oil in the bottom so the kernels don’t stick, then pop! I’ve had a lot of microwave popcorn, but stove-top popcorn (and not that Jiffy crap either) is by far the best popcorn I’ve ever had!

  33. FYI- DON’T use a grocery sized bag. I just tried it and it caught fire in my microwave and melted the roof! Thankfully I was right there and put it out quick!

    Going to try it with a bowl next time…

  34. I’ve tried it the Food Network way with the oil and salt added to the kernels in the bag and the oil just soaks into the bag leaving no flavor on the popcorn. Pop it dry and add it afterward.

  35. This is an AMAZING idea, especially considering the growing evidence of how DANGEROUS and CANCER CAUSING store-bought microwave popcorn can be (due to the plastic in the inside lining). Thank you!

  36. To the people who didn’t know to use a lunch sack or grocery sack–just how big ARE your microwaves? :P Also, I find that the bottom of my bags always get holes from the trapped steam and pressure, so I can’t reuse them. Could just be that the ones I have are super cheap, though.

  37. Amy – We’ve just used regular popping corn from a store bought bag or jar. I’ve not tried any other corn, but if you do and it works, let me know.

  38. We used to do this all the time when I was a kid when microwave popcorn first came about, don’t know why we stopped. I know microwaves have the instructions to only use “microwave popcorn” only, but probably for the popcorn button, and is a just disclaimer.
    I will have to start it again. I don’t like what they put on the microwave popcorn, smells good but way to salty.

  39. Not to mention that the stuff in the butter flavoring in microwave popcorn is a known carcinogen. Yet they still put that stuff in there. Stop buying microwave popcorn and feeding it to your kids. It’s chock full o’ poison.

    Thanks for this, I’ve been popping it on the stove since I learned what’s in the microwave stuff. I’m gonna try this tonite!

  40. what is the corn thats used? is it dried, or could you use sweetcorn from a tin?? i so want to try this though!!

    1. are you serious?! What kind?! Sweet corn? This is worse than that girl who didn’t know you could make brownies w/o a mix. dried popcorn kernels.

  41. We love popcorn! Can’t wait to try it and so simple! This would be fun for the kids and they can try different toppings- sugar and cinnamon, etc.

    Jen
    Creative and Curious Kids!

  42. This is amazing! I am so grateful for this recipe; we have used it a dozen times at least in the last few months. Thank you!

  43. Okay, now I KNOW I’m old! I remember when Daddy bought our first microwave oven, and that was the ONLY way you could make popcorn in the microwave! Thanks for the reminder!

  44. Thanks for posting this; apparently I was one of the few people in America who didn’t know you could make popcorn in a brown bag in the microwave without any oil. So much more healthy, and no bulky air popper to store. I’ve made brown bag popcorn almost once a week since I saw this post last month.

  45. This method works fine. But I found when the paper bag was reused more than once or twice, it tended to catch fire, so I stuck to one use only. (After melting the inside of the microwave door.)

  46. STAPLES OKAY TOO …. you can also use 2 staples to hold it shut. I saw this idea on GOOD EATS (on food network), and that is what he used. I’ve used it for years with no trouble. Thanks for posting such a great explanation!

  47. Thank you for this. I love popcorn but hate that stuff that microwave popcorn leaves on the roof of your mouth and tongue, I mean, what is that stuff? So, I normally make it on the stove but if I can save myself a few more calories by not using oil, grrreat!

    1. I LOVE stove topped “popped” but use coconut oil. It is fantastic (and good for you)!!! Tastes like movie theatre popcorn…

  48. My mom found something similar to this at a Farmer’s Market – only it was on the cob still – but same idea, cooking it in a paper bag in the microwave – and it was the best popcorn I’ve eaten! We’ll have to try it this way as well. :)

    1. As a Girl Scout, I’ve been doing it this way for years. Also, there is a farm about 2 miles from me that grows the popping corn so I’ve done it on the cob as well. Each cob yields about 1/4 cup of corn, seriously though it is easier to pop it on the cob than trying to remove it.

  49. You can also staple the bag with top staples instead of using tape. Yes, I know you are freaking out metal in the microwave, but I have done it many times with no firework shows yet.

  50. I use both microwave bags and the old fashion on the stove top method (when I have more time), but this method is pure genius! Thank you for sharing!

  51. Wow! What an awesome idea…sometimes I think we let modern conveniences make us forget about doing it the plain ol’ simple ways! I had a roommate once who didn’t even know you could make brownies without a brownie mix. ha ha. Anyhow, this looks fun…my family and I will have to give it a try. YAY!

  52. Wow. Who knew that it was that easy! I will have to try this at home. Unless its full of fattening, buttery goodness, I rarely like the kind from the store.

  53. I’ve been doing this for over a year now and we love it. We don’t use tape though. Just make sure the crease on the folds are really tight and you should be good!

  54. I’ve always added oil to my kernels before popping, but this would save me the calories and make the bag reusable. I am so doing this for my son’s snack today. Thanks!

  55. We’ve been doing this for almost a year and like you said, it’s so nice. I send as a last minute snack with my husband to work all the time. Just keep a close eye on it so you don’t burn it. We have done that once or twice.

    I don’t comment much, but always read. Thanks for the great blog!

  56. I have a recipe for microwave caramel corn…my Mom used to make it for us as kids. Delicious and easy clean up! I’ll have to try making buttered popcorn this way…my kids go through it like crazy!

      1. Microwave Caramel Corn

        2½ poppers popped corn
        (this means air-popped, and I think the poppers hold about 1/4 cup of kernels–check your instructions)
        1 cup brown sugar
        ¼ cup light Karo syrup
        1 stick margarine (½ cup)
        ½ teaspoon salt
        ½ teaspoon soda
        1 teaspoon vanilla

        Pour popped corn onto large paper grocery sack. Bring next 4 ingredients to a boil in microwave and boil two minutes. Add soda and vanilla; stir and pour over corn. Shake and “knead” well. Microwave 1 ½ minutes on HIGH. Shake well and open bag to cool. Shake again later.

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