How Long Do You Put Popcorn In A Microwave? Popcorn Making Tips

How Long Do You Put Popcorn In A Microwave

Popcorn is one of the easiest snacks to prepare. It also fits into the group of healthy snacks, provided you’re preparing it at home and not consuming the calories or preservatives-filled ones sold at the supermarket.  

The reason people enjoy making popcorn is the time it takes to prepare them. Regardless of the method you chose, you could get your home-made popcorn ready in a few minutes. 

If you’re using a microwave, you could get the popcorn ready in less time. Now, let’s be more specific. Check out the response to the question below.    

How long do you put popcorn in a microwave? 

Popcorn making with a microwave takes roughly about 2-5 minutes. Usually, the time it takes for your corn to pop is dependent on your microwave’s wattage. However, it won’t exceed a few minutes (5 minutes at most). 

Keep reading for more details on this topic!

What Microwave Popcorn Is 

Microwave popcorn is a popular convenience food sold in many stores and supermarkets. It is unpopped corn in a sealed paper bag containing salt, additional seasoning, flavoring and oil. The oil must have enough saturated fat to pop the corn in a microwave. 

Is Microwave Popcorn Bad For You? 

Generally, popcorn is a healthy snack to consume. It has a high fiber and low-fat content. 

However, microwave popcorn isn’t particularly healthy, especially the store-bought ones. Medical researchers have connected some of the chemicals used in making the packaging to cancer and other severe lung conditions. 

Can Microwave Popcorn Cause Cancer? 

The microwave popcorn bags contain a series of chemicals, one of which is perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). The packaging alone contains these chemicals, and not the unpopped corn. 

Perfluorinated compounds are grease resistant chemicals, preventing oil from leaking from the packaging. 

Surprisingly, these chemicals (PFCs), connected to cancer, are major components of many food packaging. For example, pizza boxes, Teflon pans, sandwich wraps and many other consumable products packaging. 

Alone PFCs won’t harm you. The problem with it arises when it is broken down. When broken down, they produce perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is supposedly the harmful, cancer-causing chemical. 

So, your store-bought microwave popcorn is harmless until you try to prepare it with a microwave. The chemicals from the packaging gain access into the popcorn when you heat them. 

The chemicals saturate the microwave popcorn, and PFOA automatically enters your bloodstream as you eat. These chemicals can stay in your body for extended periods. 

After much research, the use of PFCs for the packaging of food products got banned by the FDA. This ban was before a study showed that microwave popcorn accounted for about 20% of the PFOA found in the blood of Americans. This percentage is out of the 98% of Americans who had these chemicals in their bloodstream. 

How To Reduce Health Risks From Microwave Popcorn? 

The chemicals that posed major health risks from microwave popcorn got banned and replaced with new chemicals. Researchers haven’t linked these new chemicals to any specific diseases yet, but it is still better to err on the side of caution. 

One of the best ways to reduce the risks of harming your health is by trying homemade popcorn. Here are a few alternatives to store-bought microwave popcorn:

Use a stovetop:

The good thing about making your popcorn at home is that you can control what goes into it. To make popcorn with a stovetop, you would need a pot with a lid, popcorn kernels, some oil and seasonings of your choice. 

Try Air popping:

With an air popper, you can make homemade theater popcorn. Get an air popper if you can and try it. This homemade air-popped corn contains fewer calories than theater popcorn, making it healthier. 

Try homemade microwave popcorn:

Don’t despair if you prefer making popcorn with your microwave. And this choice maybe because of its speed or your belief that it tastes better. Whatever reasons you may have, you can still make your popcorn at home with your microwave. 

You don’t need to buy the already packaged ones. You can make healthy popcorn and flavor/season it to your satisfaction. 

Homemade Microwave Popcorn 

Since you would still have to put your store-bought microwave popcorn in a microwave and monitor it for a few minutes, why not make homemade microwave popcorn that would take roughly the same time. 

Warm, freshly made popcorn is healthier. It contains fewer calories and preservatives than those you buy in sealed bags from a supermarket. It is also easy to make. Probably the least time-consuming homemade snack you would ever prepare. 

You can rest assured that you’re not breaking any major healthy-eating rules with homemade microwave popcorn. It is natural. Who doesn’t like natural and easy-to-make snacks? 

What Are the Ingredients For Homemade Microwave Popcorn? 

To make your microwave popcorn, you need the following:

Popcorn Kernels:

You can use any popcorn kernels of your choice for your homemade microwave popcorn. You have the option of going organic. Organic grains are available in many stores these days. 

Butter and Salt:

You don’t need to use these two ingredients, but you may want to try them. They can easily take your popcorn’s taste from zero to a hundred. 

Cooking oil:

You can use almost any type of cooking oil. Most people prefer olive oil and avocado oil for their homemade popcorn. The oil you use is completely up to you. You may also choose not to use oil. 

Different Ways To Make Homemade Microwave Popcorns

The most common way to make microwave popcorn is with paper bags. This method gained popularity because almost all, if not all, store-bought microwave popcorn were in paper bags. 

Now there are more options available for you to try. Here are a few: 

Use a Paper bag:

The most common method involves putting popcorn kernels in a paper bag. Tightly fold the top of the paper bag twice. Then place it in the microwave to pop for 2-5 minutes. Turn off the microwave when popping slows down to seconds between pops and remove the bag. 

Use a Bowl:

A glass bowl would be best. Put your preferred popcorn kernel in a moderately sized bowl. If the bowl doesn’t have a lid, you need to place a flat ceramic dinnerware on it. Then place it in the microwave to pop for 2-5 minutes. 

Turn off the microwave when popping slows down to more than one second between pops. The bowl would be hot, so be careful so that you don’t drop it. Allow the bowl to cool before eating, or transfer the popped corn to a different bowl. 

Use a stasher bag:

Put popcorn kernels in a stasher bag and close it up. Repeat the same process used for bowls and paper bags. 

Is It Safe To Use A Paper Bag For Your Microwave Popcorn? 

Paper bags are one of those things that we get advised against putting in a microwave. The USDA says that paper bags are unsanitary and may cause a fire outbreak. According to them, the recycled materials release toxic fumes when exposed to heat, making them unsafe. 

So, it is better to use a bowl or any other method for your microwave popcorn, as paper bags become harmful when exposed to heat. Protect your health. 

Seasoning Your Homemade Microwave Popcorn 

There is nothing wrong with the plain old popcorn (kernels, oil and salt). But wouldn’t you want to spice things up a little? There are so many ways you can season and add flavor to your homemade popcorn. Here are a few seasoning combos to try out:

  • Parmesan cheese with a dash of garlic powder
  • Butter (melted) coating and a pinch of salt 
  • Freshly squeezed  lemon juice and chilli powder (a dash) combo 
  • Italian seasoning on parmesan cheese
  •  Cinnamon and sugar 
  • Little honey and butter 
  • Cayenne powder with salt and butter 
  • Chili powder with salt and butter 
  • Caramel and chocolate chips 
  • Cheese and seasoning 

Is Oil Compulsory For Homemade Microwave Popcorn? 

Some people don’t use extra oil for their microwave popcorn. You could choose to go that way, but you should know that adding those little drops of oil makes a huge difference in the taste of your popcorn. 


Microwave popcorn doesn’t take a long time to fix, whether you’re making it from scratch at home or you’re using store-bought microwave popcorn. 

You can make healthy microwave popcorn conveniently at home with your popcorn kernels, cooking oil, butter, salt or any other seasoning of your choice. 


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