If you’re one of those people who think that the microwave oven is evil, if you’re among those who are convinced that anything cooked in the microwave turns into an inedible zombie, skip this post. This is for the rest of us who aren’t scared of the microwave.
If you’ve bought and cooked microwave popcorn before, if you’ve bought and cooked regular popcorn before that, if you’ve compared the price of regular with the price of microwave popcorn, you’d know that microwave popcorn costs twice as much as the regular kind. You’d think that microwave popcorn comes from a special corn variety to justify the price. But it seems not.
The packaging and the artificial flavors jack up the cost. Any old popcorn can be cooked in the microwave. All you need is a microwave-proof bowl and plate. No need to add oil. Isn’t that neat? The real attraction of microwave popcorn is NOT having to wash an oily pan afterward. If regular popcorn can be microwaved without any oil, then, washing anything oily is eliminated.
Plus, who wants artificial flavoring? Microwave popcorn is full of it. Ditch the artificial flavoring, ditch the oil (every piece of popped corn has enough grooves, nooks and crannies to catch salt anyway) and you get better popcorn.
Measure 1/4 c. of regular popcorn.
Dump the popcorn into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate. That’s to make sure that when the corn kernels pop, they don’t fly out of the bowl.
Microwave the popcorn on HIGH for two to three minutes. The cooking time depends on the quality of the corn and the wattage of your microwave oven.
And you have ready-for-the-salt popcorn.
Now, here’s a tip from Sam, our resident popcorn expert. Shake the bowl first so that the kernels that did not pop fall to the bottom of the bowl. Specific gravity, right? The unpopped kernels are heavier so they will fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Using your hands, scoop out the popped corn, leaving behind the unpopped ones.
Cover the bowl with the plate and microwave the remaining kernels for another two to three minutes.
And here’s a photo to show you how much popcorn you can get for a quarter cup of kernels.