Homemade Microwave Popcorn – Do You Even Need A Bag ??


I thought I was pretty clever when I figured out how to make my own microwave popcorn using a brown paper lunch bag.  All you have to do is put some unpopped popcorn kernels in a brown bag, fold it over, and stick it in the microwave.  Pretty darn easy and cheap too.

And then I saw instructions for something that might be even easier.  You just skip the bag completely.

Hmmmm. . . . really??

The instructions said to just put your popcorn kernels in a microwave safe bowl.  Then you put a large plate on top of the bowl like so . . . .

popcorn kernels

. . . . because if you didn’t you’d have popcorn popping all over the place.

Then you just run the microwave for a couple of minutes or so and just like that . . . .

popcorn popped

You’ve got popcorn!

OK, that all looks pretty cool in the pictures but let me give you the real story.

The bowl gets hot.  Really hot.  Like scary hot.

I had quite a few unpopped kernels too.

If the point is to be able to have your popcorn all ready to go in the bowl so you can just sit down with it in your lap, well there’s no way you can do that with this kind of a hot bowl.

So this method does sort of work and it’s helpful to know in case you’re wanting to make popcorn in the microwave but don’t have any bags around.  But brown bags conduct the heat much better and are certainly a safer and friendlier option if kids are helping.

When it came time to eat my popcorn I put it in some nice little bowls  –  That were room temperature.




And honestly . . . do you know what method I still like best for making homemade popcorn?

I good old fashioned Hot Air Popper   It’s almost as quick as the microwave and every batch turns out great with nearly every kernel popped.    I {heart} my hot air popper!


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  1. I’ve been doing this for several months. I experimented after failing Paper Bag Popcorn 101 5 out of 10 times. Burned, Yuck. I’ve only burned bowl popcorn once! I find that my plastic mesh microwave bowl covers work better than plates to cover the bowl, but not everyone has those. If I had the bowl in my lap, (I usually eat popcorn at the desk while I use the computer) I’d just wrap it with a towel!

  2. I agree that your paperbag method works better than the bowl, I also agree that the #1 method is the hot air popped. We’ve been shopping for a new one…any tips on the best make/model?


    1. I’ve been using the same hot air popper for probably 30 years now and it has worked like a charm. It’s the Wear-Ever Popcorn Pumper and if you google them, you can still find them on Ebay and Etsy believe it or not. I even found a video on YouTube of somebody making popcorn with the Wear-Ever Popcorn Pumper. Ha! So I’m not of much help when it comes to the new stuff on the market. We’re still using the vintage machine at our house.