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DIY microwave popcorn


Fat Guy
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I use the method found here, changing the flavorings as my tastes dictate.

That suggests stapling the paper bag. Doesn't that cause sparking? I know I've gotten sparks off of a chinese takeout container before where the people had stapled it closed.

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
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I use the method found here, changing the flavorings as my tastes dictate.

That suggests stapling the paper bag. Doesn't that cause sparking? I know I've gotten sparks off of a chinese takeout container before where the people had stapled it closed.

I've never had an issue with sparking.

Edited by avaserfi (log)

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've microwaved popcorn in paper bags, but it always seems like I'm abusing the microwave-- it's not quite like running it empty, but close. I also began to get concerned about the scorch marks that appeared on the white bags I was using. They never caught on fire, but clearly they were getting too hot, at least too hot for my comfort. (I never found it necessary to staple them; just folding the top 2 or 3 inches over kept them closed thru the popping cycle.) Incidentally, I think popping proceeds better if the bag is collapsed when you start, probably because it concentrates the heat a bit more.

Now I use a Presto "poplite" air popper, and really like it. It's quick, gives me the oil-less popcorn that I want, and doesn't need to be cleaned very often (and then it's just to brush off some of the bits of hull that accumulate).

My current favorite popcorn is, of all things, Centrella white popcorn. Previously I've used Redenbacker's, but I'm put off by the price, and I didn't think it popped any better or tasted any better than Walgreen's "Deerfield Farms" house brand, which comes in a Redenbacker-style plastic jar at about half the price. That was unavailable for a while and so I started trying other brands. For a while I was using Goya yellow popcorn, which I thought maybe had a little more flavor than some of the others. I tried a bag of the small kernel corn (like that we used to grow at home when I was a kid) from a farmers' market, and it tasted very good and popped well, but was even more expensive than OR. Finally I tried some of the Centrella yellow, and it was okay, but seemed to leave a lot of unpopped kernels. Then I tried the white and found it popped better, with fewer half-popped (tooth-breaker) and unpopped kernels, and I've been using that for a while now. It's somewhat lighter in flavor than the others, but that goes with the no-oil, no salt style the I like.

With the poplite, I've found that the heavy yellow kernels stay in the popper well, but the lighter white kernels and the tiny heirloom kernels have a tendency to get blown out of the popper as other kernels pop. But with the simple expedient of propping up the popper at an angle, that is easily controlled.

Dick in Northbrook, IL

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I just remembered that brown paper bags have changed. Most of them are now made with some recycled paper content, and that content can contain random quantities of various inks, dyes, metal fragments, plastics, perfume chemicals from those samples in magazines, etc. They aren't considered safe to cook in any more. (My family makes turkey in a big grocery bag for Thanksgiving and finding a non-recycled bag has been a big project for the past fifteen years or so.) The scorch marks can be due to the various bits of contaminants burning, which isn't good for the food, or your lungs.

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I have devoted more time and energy to popcorn than I probably should.

I own a microwave popping gizmo that sucks*, an air popper that sucks**, and a Whirly-Pop.

Whirly-Pop all the way for me.

* The kernels that pop first invariably scorch. Or I have to cancel cooking when 1/4 of the kernels are still unpopped.

** Unpopped kernels fly out of the machine into my bowl, then pop, resulting in popcorn EVERYWHERE. I still find kernels around the kitchen, and it's been two years since I've used the thing.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Whirley-Pop for me, too. Perfection! Look no further.

The air popper toughens the popcorn, and flings it about as Scoop noted. I do not care for the chemical soup in prepacked microwave products, and did not like my mw 'popper' either.

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I just got a sunbeam air popper and tried it for the first time with Rancho Gordo red pop corn, works great!

Watching a movie with the kids requires popcorn, and I got tired of the fake flavors of all the microwave stuff, and I've tried them all over the years. (still wondering what the difference between "real butter" and "theater butter" is by the way).

I'll have to dig for my old bag or regular popcorn and then get some new kernels if I continue liking the machine. It's a bit larger than I expected, my inlaws have a similar machine (30 or 40 years old) that's a bit smaller, but I'll just move the never used orange juicer machine to the back of the closet :-)

I never tried the paper bag in microwave way, not sure I'd trust those bags to be microwave food safe, same goes for plastic containers.

Oh, and the air popper is fun to watch, an added benefit :laugh:

finishing up my bowl right now :-)

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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  • 1 year later...

While cleaning out the garage for a yard sale I unearthed a Catamount glass microwave popcorn popper that I picked up at a flea market for $2 a few years ago. I never used it. The brand was briefly mentioned uptopic.

Determined to leave commercial microwave popcorn behind I started playing around with the Catamount. The sleek design with chem-lab look appealed as well as being able to see the corn popping. In order to avoid burning, at least in my microwave, I have to use more kernels than needed and end up with quite a handful of completely unpopped ones. I tried both Orville and generic kernels so far. I like the firm texture.

What got me excited yesterday was reading back through the topic and deciding to play with some flavored oil. I had a basil and garlic chive infused olive oil and shook a bit of that with some salt and freshly ground pepper. That transformed it. Not just the flavor, but it was enough to make the sort of cardboard boringness of it no longer an issue. I will be playing with flavored oils.

For clarity mine is an older one and the lid is solid. When you go tho their website they are all about the slotted lid that you can put butter on and let it drip on the corn as it pops.

I still want to nail good old fashioned stovetop popcorn but for now this is simple, clean and tasty.

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I had a catamount that broke. Besides flavored oil, try good olive oil and a pinch of granulated garlic, a healthy (unhealthy) dose of salt, and a pinch of sugar. In my microwave, I need to use 3/4 power. I have found that JollyTime yellow works best for me using this method. Better than generic or Orville Reddenbacher.

While cleaning out the garage for a yard sale I unearthed a Catamount glass microwave popcorn popper that I picked up at a flea market for $2 a few years ago. I never used it. The brand was briefly mentioned uptopic.

Determined to leave commercial microwave popcorn behind I started playing around with the Catamount. The sleek design with chem-lab look appealed as well as being able to see the corn popping. In order to avoid burning, at least in my microwave, I have to use more kernels than needed and end up with quite a handful of completely unpopped ones. I tried both Orville and generic kernels so far. I like the firm texture.

What got me excited yesterday was reading back through the topic and deciding to play with some flavored oil. I had a basil and garlic chive infused olive oil and shook a bit of that with some salt and freshly ground pepper. That transformed it. Not just the flavor, but it was enough to make the sort of cardboard boringness of it no longer an issue. I will be playing with flavored oils.

For clarity mine is an older one and the lid is solid. When you go tho their website they are all about the slotted lid that you can put butter on and let it drip on the corn as it pops.

I still want to nail good old fashioned stovetop popcorn but for now this is simple, clean and tasty.

012.JPG

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