Make Your Own Microwavable Popcorn

microwavable popcorn savvyhousekeeping
I don’t snack as a general rule, but I will eat popcorn from time to time. I used to use an oil popper for making popcorn, but I recently switched to a bag method that works just as well as the microwavable bags from the store. In fact, it’s so easy and cheap that I can’t help wondering if there is some sort of popcorn conspiracy out there. Why, exactly, do we need special poppers or bags full of chemicals when popcorn is so incredibly easy to make on its own?
First, of course, you need the kernels. I bought unpopped popcorn kernels in the bulk section of the grocery store for $.99/pound. You will also need an ordinary paper bag.
unpopped popcorn savvyhousekeeping
To make the popcorn, I took 1/3 cup of kernels and mixed about 1 tsp of vegetable oil with it. Then I added the popcorn to the bag and sprinkled some salt on top. If I had wanted to I might have added other seasoning at this point, including curry powder, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, cheese powder, and so on, but I was feeling basic. So I mixed it all together and folded down the bag, like so:
microwavable popcorn savvyhousekeeping
Next step, I put the bag in the microwave and cooked it on high for about 3 minutes.
microwavable popcorn savvyhousekeeping
The key here is to listen. Don’t leave, don’t walk away, just stand by the microwave and listen to the popping. You want to wait until the popping slows down to about a second between pops. As soon as that happens, open the door.
It took my kernels exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds to be completely popped.
This is certainly the lowest calorie snack I know of. According to my calorie calculator, 1/3 cup of unpopped kernels is about 31 calories, 1 tsp of oil has about 36 calories, and salt has no calories to speak of. So 1 bag of homemade microwavable popcorn has about 67 calories. A bag of the low-fat stuff from the store doesn’t go below 96 calories per bag–believe me, I’ve checked. On top of that, mine doesn’t have any weird chemicals in it.
But the real savings here is in the price. One box of microwavable popcorn costs $4.29 for three bags, or $1.43 per bag. My popcorn kernels cost $.16 and the vegetable oil was under $.05. Together, my microwavable popcorn cost $.21, meaning a savings of $1.22 a bag. If you consume popcorn in any capacity, those are savings you can’t ignore.
Cost of Dish: Popcorn: $.16 for 1/3 cup of kernels; oil: $.05; salt: so cheap it’s not worth mentioning.
Total Cost of Dish: $.21
Cost in Store: $1.43 per bag
Total savings: $1.22 per bag of popcorn

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7 thoughts on “Make Your Own Microwavable Popcorn”

  1. Troy has a hot air popper he purchased in the early 80’s. We use that and I love it. Here’s to another 25+years faithful popper!

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  2. Hey! I’m a new lurker here and found this recipe just when I had decided to give up my micro-pop addiction for the sake of my health & the environment & my pocketbook. Boo. Just tried this and it was perfect and and you have helped to bring the joy back into my life!! Thank you!

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  3. Is this a gift paper bag?.. can you do this on brown paper bags? Im confused, I’ve been told you are not suppoused to put paper in the microwave because it will get in fire, actually I saw this once when someone put food wrapped in a napkin..

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  4. Yup, I’ve def. done it in a brown paper bag. I used to do this quite a bit, but we wound up getting an air popper for super-cheap at a thrift store and as a family of 5, it’s a lot faster to make enough popcorn with that than the microwave. Plus, for some reason, we were getting spotty results microwaving, I’m really not sure why.
    You don’t have to put the oil in, either; you can more or less air pop your popcorn if you want to.

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