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Making microwave popcorn in a lunch bag


merrybaker
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Alton Brown says we can make MW popcorn by putting popcorn/oil/salt into a paper lunch bag and zapping it as usual. I worry that there are chemicals in the bag that will be more dangerous than anything in the commercial varieties of MW popcorn. We've been told not to use large grocery bags for anything having to do with food (except transporting it, of course). Does that apply to brown paper lunch bags, too, or are they food-safe?

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I tried this and started a fire in my microwave! Some brown paper bags are made of materials that are not safe to heat in a microwave. Of course, my microwave manual says not to use brown paper bags in microwave, but a friend told me she zaps her popcorn and persuaded me to try it, too. Very dangerous.

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I have microwaved popcorn for years in brown lunch bags. I have never had any problems but I do NOT put oil in the bag. I like the freshness of popcorn made this way - none of that chemically taste I find in pre-packaged microwave popcorn. And I know exactly what I am eating...

I add butter, salt, parmesan, etc. after I cook the popcorn and toss it in a bowl. Tastes great!

"Unleash the sheep!" mamster

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I do this all the time. Popcorn in bag, scrunch top, stab a few holes in the bag, put it on a corelle bowl to raise it off the bottom of the oven. Microwave on 70% power. When the bag fills I scrape out the popped kernels and then return the bag to the microwave. Continue until done. Melt butter in pyrex cup in microwave to drizzle.

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We do this all the time too, but just be sure to not add any fat to the bag (and make sure there's not a blob of melted cheese touching the bag :wacko: ), or you'll start a fire. And the only time I've tasted anything chemically is when we've used the white small lunch bags. I think they're slightly waxy or something, but even then, whatever the substance was was on the outside of the bag, and didn't really bother the popcorn much - just a slightly plastic-y taste to it (which is what I think other microwaveable popcorn tastes like only worse).

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I do this all the time and have never had a problem. I don't add butter til after it's popped.

I thought brown paper bags were just paper - growing up we always put our chocolate cookies on paper bags laid flat. Should I be worried?

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I just use my pyrex big giant measuring cups with the nice handles -- or a pyrex bowl -- I cover it with plastic wrap--gotta watch it when you remove the wrap so you don't get a steam burn. Works great. It works even better to heat it for maybe one minute-ish & turn it off for a few seconds to make sure everything is heated well then turn it on to pop. Bags were kinda messy for me. Got my microwave too oily.

Maggie, "The brain is 60% fat." I think 60% would be the standard maybe, but my experience is that it's on a sliding scale from 60 to 100. :laugh:

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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Well, I didn't put any oil in the bag and my microwave is not of any extraordinary wattage, yet I heard a bzap-bzap sound and turned to see the whole chamber filled with orange flames. I did what I later learned I should not do: I opened the door. You're supposed to leave the door closed and unplug the microwave oven. I threw in a cup of water and that doused out the fire. Later, shamefaced, I called the customer service department of the manufacturer, Panasonic, and was told never to put any brown paper bag in the oven because brown paper bags may be made of materials not safe to heat in a microwave. I am embarrassed to say that it's all in the manual.

Now I happily pop without oil in my cheap and durable Orville Redenbacher hot-air popper.

Once you've had the fright of a flaming microwave, you'll never put another brown paper bag in!

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Oh no! Now I am going to be too scared to do this. Maybe it's time to move to a dish with a heavy lid, although the paper was great because if it did get hot, it cooled off quickly.

I did a google search, and apparently the U.S.D.A. does not approve of this practice. However, they seem to be talking about grocery store bags, as opposed to brown paper lunch bags, which seem designed to have food in them!

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Oh yeah, I've flamed up caramel before in the microwave.

I just use my pyrex big giant measuring cups with the nice handles -- or a pyrex bowl -- I cover it with plastic wrap--gotta watch it when you remove the wrap so you don't get a steam burn. Works great. It works even better to heat it for maybe one minute-ish & turn it off for a few seconds to make sure everything is heated well then turn it on to pop.

... Maybe it's time to move to a dish with a heavy lid, although the paper was great because if it did get hot, it cooled off quickly.

Pyrex and plastic wrap works great been doing it for years. The only issue is to avoid steam burns when you remove the plastic.

I've also melted dishes with heavy lids too.

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Popcorn poppers are relatively cheap - I saw the Presto Microwave popper for less than 15.00 a couple of weeks ago at either Wal-Mart or Target.

Almost all bags made from brown paper now include recycled material and they release fumes when heated. There are white "food-safe" bags available at wholesale suppliers to restaurants, bakeries and you can safely use those.

I have twice had fires in a microwave - once was a paper towel in which I had wrapped a burrito. The second fire was cheap paper plates - the kind that you need at least three for them to hold their shape.

Luckily, both times I was watching and cancelled the cycle and the fire went out as soon as the fan stopped.

Also, you never, ever want to put vintage Melmac in a microwave - it will explode if heated beyond a certain point.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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