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.

4.4 from 16 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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280 comments to Recipe: The Popcorn Trick

  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi there. Lisa uses 1/4 cup of kernels at a time. You can store popped popcorn in an airtight container. ~Amy

  • mswt

    I’ve made this twice already and love it! I’ve tried popping popcorn on the stove and it works well enough. I just don’t like my kernels sitting in butter/oil. This version helps me control the amount of butter/oil to use. If it’s just me eating, I will use 1/8 cup of kernels because 1/4 cup is a lot for me :)

  • nattie

    It’s funny – I’ve seen this now twice in one day..I’ve been doing this since my mom taught me after buying her forts microwave – haha! My kids have only known this…My boyfriend bought me a mack daddy popcorn popper I don’t use, because it requires oil and I still have most of my 100 bag pack of recyclable paper bags to boot! :)

  • Lisa, I love your blog! I am just beginning to transition to all natural eating. I have been reading about canola oil and the need to stay away from it. Can you talk about this some, or point me in the right direction? How is canola oil different from vegetable, olive, peanut oil, etc. Is is all the same, all bad, whats the deal?

  • Mellissa

    So i am wondering, i gave up the microwave a while back. i have an air pop popcorn maker but it tends to overheat quickly. do you know of any way i could do this in the oven. or otherwise without oils?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Melissa. I make popcorn on the stove top all the time but have never tried doing so without oil and I have never heard of oven popped popcorn. :) Sorry I can’t be of more help. ~Amy

  • Dawn

    We have an ancient air popper for our popcorn, which includes an optional spot to put butter on top, which drips over the popcorn as it flies out the chute and into the bowl. This really cuts down on the amount of butter each piece gets (a teaspoon of butter coats a whole lot of popcorn). It could also be used with another solid fat like chilled coconut oil, I suspect! We love our air popper and would never pop corn any other way, but if you don’t have one or don’t have the space for yet another kitchen gadget, this brown bag trick looks like the next best thing!

  • Esra

    How do you place the bag in the microwave? On it’s side or sitting up?

  • Denise

    My accupunturist told me that using the microwave changes the structure of food and that it’s not healthy for me, although I love the idea of no oil, I cook mine in a pan on the stove and use coconut oil.

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