DIY Microwave Popcorn

Whether you love microwaveable popcorn or are a stovetop aficionado, you’ll want to learn why popcorn kernels pop into the light yumminess. Plus, learn how to make your own microwave popcorn bags.

Make your own sure-pop bags and you’ll never have to buy a box of microwave popcorn again. That’s going to save you money, in addition to teaching you all about exploding vegetables. One pound of regular popping corn is enough to make 50 bags of microwave popcorn. The dried kernels sold as “popping corn” come from a special variety of corn cultivated to explode into large, crunchy-soft pillows. You can find bags of it in the same part of a grocery store that sells the microwavable stuff. Just make sure the corn you buy is fresh (check the date on the bag). Kernels of old popping corn tend to crack with age. Once that happens, pressure can’t build up inside the kernel and the corn will fizzle, like a dead firecracker.

Makes 1 single-serving bag


  • ¼ cup regular (bulk) popping corn (not prepackaged in individual bags)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (you can also buy popcorn salt, which is ground finer than regular salt)
  • Any other seasoning you want, such as garlic powder, cinnamon,
  • chili powder, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Brown paper lunch bag
  • Microwave oven


Set Up

  1. Put all the ingredients in the bag and fold the opening of the bag over twice.
  2. Shake gently to mix everything together and press on the bag to force out the air.

Get Popping!

  1. Set the bag on its back (unfolded side) in the microwave and cook until the pops dwindle down to one every 10 seconds. For most microwaves, this will take approximately 4 minutes, but if yours is high-powered, it could take as few as 2 minutes, so listen to what’s going on.

Dig In

  1. Open the bag carefully so you don’t get hurt by escaping steam.
  2. Pour into a bowl and dig in!

How Did That Happen?

Popcorn is made from a variety of corn with a tough hull that dries while leaving some moisture in the center of the kernel. Once it’s heated to 212°F, steam builds up inside the kernel. When the temperature reaches approximately 380°F, the built-up pressure explodes the tough hull and turns the kernel inside out. The steam puffs up the grain’s mixture of protein and starch into a light, flaky exterior.



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