2013
May 08

DIY Microwave Popcorn

by Hannah Holt »

13 comments


You don’t need a popcorn machine or expensive prepackaged bags to make popcorn at home. All you need are popcorn kernels (I buy them in bulk for super cheap) and a paper lunch bag.

diy microwave popcorn

It’s soooo easy. Just take a handful of kernels (about 1/4 a cup) and pour them into the bag. Fold the top of the bag three or four times and cook them in the microwave until the pops are one second apart. The “popping time” will vary depending on your microwave’s power. For my microwave 1 min and 30 seconds is the perfect time. DO NOT USE THE POPCORN BUTTON.

Other options:

Lightly Buttered Popcorn: Before placing the bag in the microwave, drop a pat of butter into the bag with the kernels. Most of the butter will end up on the bag, but the popcorn will have a buttery aura. Yum!

butter butter bag

Caramel Corn: Melt 2 Tbs of butter and mix in 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Chill the mixture in the fridge until it’s solid (about 30 minutes). Place this with the kernels in the bag and pop for slightly less than the above method. For my microwave this is about 1 minute and 15 seconds. Some kernels will be left unpopped, but if you do it for the full length of time the caramel will burn. If it burns, it will taste very, very bad. When in doubt, under cook it.

Why DIY popcorn?

Making your own microwave popcorn is cheap and easy. Also most prepackaged microwave popcorns contain TBHQ (or a similar preservative). In small doses TBHQ has no observable side effects, but in larger doses it is linked to stomach tumors and all sorts of other nasty stuff.

Will eating a bag of store bought popcorn give you stomach cancer? Probably not. But these added ingredients have no nutritional value and making your own microwave popcorn isn’t any more difficult than throwing a store bought bag in the microwave. So why not skip the mystery ingredients all together?

Happy snacking!


  1. Catherine Johnson

    Wow, we are always eating store popcorn even thoughcwe have kernels. Thanks for the tips, Hannah

    • Hannah Holt

      Go kernels, go! Thanks, Catherine.

  2. Romelle

    Now why didn’t I think of this? Where do you buy your popcorn in bulk?

    • Hannah Holt

      We buy our popcorn at Winco. Winco has a wonderful variety of foods in bulk for reasonable prices. I also buy peanuts from them and make my own peanut butter. It’s cheaper than any other kind of peanut butter and has none of the fillers.

  3. Erik - This Kid Reviews Books

    Cool! 😀

  4. Tina Cho

    I’ll have to try this. I have some kernels in the cupboard. Thanks, Hannah!

  5. Joanna

    Super useful tip, I’d no idea. Thank you.

  6. julie rowan zoch

    Thanks for spreading the word. My kids have been doing this for some time, though I prefer to use the designated popcorn pot. I can get more kernels to pop that way. In any case, I’m always happy to find more ways to avoid packaging, esp. plastics.

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill

    Wow! Who knew it was this easy? Even I might be able to manage cooking at this level :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. grandma weight

    just tried this–turned out great!

  9. Carrie F

    Yum! We have a stovetop popper with a hand crank that’s pretty fun, but this is definitely quicker and easier. I love the idea of adding the butter.

  10. Tina Cho

    Just tried this, Hannah. Worked! My son likes it..after I poured some butter on it. Thanks, again!

    • Hannah Holt

      Butter always helps. :)