How To Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn

It was such a tiny paragraph in the cookbook I was looking through that I almost missed it. There were just a few sentences under another recipe that started off with, “Did you know you can make your own microwave popcorn using a brown paper lunch bag?”

What now ??

And all this time I thought there was some super magical mystery coating on the inside of the store bought microwave popcorn bags and there was no other option for making popcorn in the microwave.

homemade microwave popcorn

So the next time Hungry Son was looking through the cupboards asking if we had any microwave popcorn, I jumped out my chair and asked him if he would try using a brown paper lunch bag and plain old popcorn kernels. He was up for the challenge. We tried it and it works!

Of course, you still need to melt a little butter in the microwave if you wanted buttered popcorn, and you still need to sprinkle on your own salt. But now these two additions to the popcorn are under your control and you can add as much butter and salt as you would like. The basic recipe is as follows:


You Will Need:

  • A Brown paper lunch bag
  • About 1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • About 1 Tbl of melted butter (optional)
  • salt (optional

Place unpopped kernels in the lunch bag. Fold the top of the bag over two or three times to close it securely. Place the bag in the microwave, standing it upright. Microwave for 40 seconds, or until popcorn is no longer popping vigorously. Remove from microwave and pour popcorn into bowl. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with salt if you wish.


  • Don’t worry if that bag tips over while popping. If the top of the bag is folded over securely, it doesn’t come open and so it doesn’t matter if the bag is laying on its side.
  • The popcorn can burn easier doing it this way, so you will probably want to use a shorter amount of time than you are used to using for the store bought variety.
  • You can also try the extra large size lunch bags to make a slightly larger batch.

My price calculations are that it costs about 10 cents per batch. If you buy the lunch bags or popcorn on sale, I’m sure you could save even more money.

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  1. You must have a lot of unpopped kernels. I use 3 T. and set timer for 2 minutes. I place the bag on it’s side and some still pops out into the microwave.