Back in the Olden Dayes, we made popcorn on the stove. If we were good, then Sunday night before The Wonderful World of Disney, mom would heat some oil in a skillet and pop the corn. It was delicious. Then, of course, came the microwave, and with it came popcorn in a bag. It’s all so very convenient. But sometimes I miss the Olden Dayes.

Here’s an old AskMetafilter question (found via frykitty): “Is it really possible to make microwave popcorn?” The answer is a resounding YES — it’s possible to enjoy the convenience of today with the fun of the Olden Dayes!

None other than Alton Brown, food scientist extraordinaire, has documented this cheap and easy snack:

Popcorn’s freaky architecture makes it perfect fodder for the microwave. Quarter of a cup of quality popcorn into a brown paper bag, put a little oil, a pinch of kosher salt, shake on some hot stuff if you like, and, uh, seal up the bag with two staples to keep the steam in. Into the microwave on high for two to three minutes or until there’s five seconds between the pops.

Here are those instructions in recipe form:

Alton Brown’s Plain Brown Popper

  • 1/4 cup good quality popcorn
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or popcorn salt
  • Sprinkle jalapeno seasoning mix
  • Paper lunch bag
  • Stapler

Toss the popcorn with the olive oil, salt, and jalapeno seasoning mix in the paper bag. Fold the top of the bag over and staple the bag twice to close. Place the bag in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes to 3 minutes, or until there are about 5 seconds between pops.

(NOTE: Popcorn salt is a super-fine salt that is designed especially for sticking to food such as popcorn. It has the taste of regular table salt, but its granules are much finer.)

Apparently, there’s all sorts of stuff you can do with homemade microwave popcorn. Add parmesan and garlic! Add a tablespoon of sugar with the oil to make kettle corn! Also, many commenters in the AskMe thread noted that you don’t even need to use staples — simply fold the lip of the bag once or twice and you’re good to go. They also recommend placing a paper towel under your bag because the oil can get messy.


[AskMetafilter: Is it really possible to make homemade microwave popcorn?]