Microwave Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag

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There are lots of articles about how to pop popcorn in a brown paper bag in the microwave.  Surprisingly, for such a basic recipe, there were lots of variables to test. Do you need a staple in the bag? How much popcorn to use? Should you soak the popcorn kernels in water? Does fresh popcorn pop better?

We tested them all, and the results are here. But to summarize, here's what worked best for light, healthy popcorn:

In a small bowl mix together:

1/2 tsp oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 tsp salt (*finely ground salt, or popcorn salt, such as Morton Popcorn Salt)

Stir in 1/4 cup popcorn kernels (any kind will do, but fresh will pop better)

Stir with a spoon until everything is well-mixed. Pour into a brown paper bag. Fold the bag over 2 to 3 times, and place upright in the microwave.

Microwave until popping slows down a couple pops per second. Everyone’s microwave is different, and will require a different amount of time. I have a 1200W microwave, and I cooked it for 1 minute and 25 seconds.

You can also read the full study, with all your popcorn questions answered.

Disclaimer: the USDA lists “brown paper bags and newspapers” under their “not safe to use in the microwave” section; they recommend food-safe bags only.

Check out my other post: Microwave Kettle Corn in a Brown Paper Bag for more easy, delicious popcorn!

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Morton Popcorn Salt