Recipe: The Popcorn Trick

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When I first heard about microwaving popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag I could not imagine that something so simple would Popcorn from 100 Days of Real Foodreally work. A blog reader actually shared this suggestion with me, and it took me a while to work up enough courage to try it out. I am so glad I finally did because approximately 3 minutes and 15 seconds later I had fresh, fluffy, whole-grain popcorn that hadn’t been touched by a drop of oil, salt, sugar, or any other additives. And after lightly seasoning it myself with a tad of oil and salt it was delicious! I will never waste my money on those store-bought microwave bags ever again.

4.3 from 18 reviews
The Popcorn Trick
Serves: 3-4
  • ¼ cup popcorn kernels, preferably organic
  • Brown paper lunch bag
  • Optional: Melted butter, oil, and/or salt
  1. Pour the kernels into the brown paper bag.
  2. Tightly fold over the top three or four times. No tape or staples are necessary.
  3. Put it in the microwave and start it on high for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
  4. Listen for the popping to slow down to 3 or 4 seconds apart at which point you will take it out of the microwave. This usually happens for me around the 3 minute and 15 second mark.
  5. Pour popcorn into a bowl and drizzle with melted butter or spritz with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt. If you don’t use oil or butter the salt won’t stick.

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306 comments to Recipe: The Popcorn Trick

  • Laura McWright

    I have read that you shouldn’t cook in paper bags because no one knows what chemicals are released, especially if they are made from recycled materials.

  • Sara

    Would love to see a response to Laura’s question above about the chemicals in paper bags. I just read something similar and now it’s got me paranoid to try this popcorn paper bag thing.


    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Sara. If you are concerned about its safety, many readers have used a microwave safe bowl with a secure fitting plate on top for their microwave popping. I can’t find anything definitive outside of not using paper bags with ink printed on them. ~Amy

  • Kelly

    You can use a glass bowl with a plate on top if you are wary of the paper bag. Make sure the plate is bigger than the bowl opening.

  • Kelly

    Using the glass bowl method did not work for me. My kernels never popped

  • Britt

    What method do you recommend to keep the popcorn fresh and not chewy if you prepare a day early?

  • […] option to go with, but did you know that it’s just as easy to pop your own kernels using the popcorn trick? I compared a box of 10 bags with a large jar of kernels plus the plain brown bags. Not only will […]

  • Pam

    My tip to really increase the “healthy” factor of this snack: after adding the melted butter, skip the salt and sprinkle it with Nutritional Yeast! TONS of B-vitamins and a slightly ‘cheesy’ taste.

    I’m a 56 year old Grams to 7 Grandkids and find it refreshing that a new generation is embarking on the Real Food journey. My husband and I raised 2 kids on Real Food, either we grew it or got it through the Co-Op. Our parents (he came from a family of 8 kids and my parents put 3 kids through Catholic School on just my Dad’s income at a factory – I milked our cow before school each morning), plus Helen and Scott Nearing were our inspirations, the GRAS poster lived on our ‘fridge. I was making “Greek-style” yogurt to substitute for cream cheese and sour cream before I knew it had a name. We had a hand-crank grinder mounted on the wall for grinding down whole grains into delicious combos for hot cereal in the morning and a host of other things. My kids LOVED freaking out their friends at school with the stuff in their lunch boxes … miso soup, fried tempeh (they would tell their friends it was moldy soybeans). These same, now married kids, continue the Real Food way of eating and teaching it to the next generation (Seven Grandkids!) Thanks to the Food Network, we have 14 and 7 year old Grandsons, from different families, who desire to be a Chef, mostly because they want people to eat Real Food. All 7 of them know how to cook basic foods, make yogurt and like the taste of strange things like miso, feta, seaweed, tempeh, etc. and have rarely eaten cereal that comes out of a box from the grocery store. For those of you who are thinking that we are a bunch of “hippies” …. I suspect you think we are crazy-liberal, believe in only non-competitive sports and think Socialism is a good thing. You would be completely wrong. Most of us lean toward the Republican side, with a couple of Libertarians thrown in.

  • Brian

    How do you keep the popcorn from burning? Mine is done at just shy of 2 minutes, but I’m not sure if the power is set too high or if I need to go with a smaller amount.

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