Wow, is that a mouthful! (pun intended) You’re going to love this tip and recipe though.
I love popcorn as a snack. However, we have never been able to find a popcorn popper that we are happy with. We, like many I would guess, did the microwave popcorn thing. That always bothered me on several fronts. First, have you ever read the ingredient label on those packets? They put some nasty stuff in there, but even that aside, they plain aren’t very healthy for you in terms of fat and salt content. Second, they make popcorn quite expensive compared to what it costs to just pop the kernels. Third, I really hated tossing out all those bags just to get a bowl of popcorn!
So, we started to experiment. Alton Brown of Good Eats (TV show on Food Network) showed a method for making your own home-made popcorn bags. That solves problem #1, as you can control what goes into it. It somewhat solves #2 as it brings the price down a bit. However, it does little for #3. One day, I noticed that we had microwaved something that got pretty hot in our Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl**. It seemed to hold up fine, even the cover. I wondered if it could withstand the heat of popcorn popping with that lid on. I decided to risk it (you know, ask for forgiveness later kind of thing). It worked great! After many batches of popcorn, the lid is only slightly discolored, but in fine shape. It took a bit of time to get the timing perfected, but this makes such good popcorn and you con completely control what goes in. It is cheap and there is no waste (other than a few un-popped kernels).
- Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl
- Microwave Oven
- 1/4 cup popcorn
- 1 ~ 2 Tbsp Olive oil (and/or butter, etc., optional)
- 1/4 tsp popcorn salt (or to taste, optional)
Cold bowl: 3 min 40 sec
Hot bowl: 3 min
Put the popcorn in the bowl, then drizzle oil over it and salt.
Microwave on high for 3:40 minutes*** when the bowl is cold (there will be a few more un-popped kernels in the first ‘cold bowl’ batch). Microwave on high for 3 minutes*** when the bowl is hot (ie: making second batch)
Salt to taste, but it does seem to help to put salt in before popping if you are using some kind of oil. If you are popping dry, then you will want to wait and salt after popping.
** I guess ours probably wasn’t ‘classic’ when we got it; we’ve had it for years. We simply love this thing. It is probably near the most used dish in our kitchen. You need to get one if you don’t have one. It is good for much more than popcorn.
*** (our microwave: Panasonic Inverter NN-SD698S – 1200W …. times vary here… you will need to experiment. We basically picked a time that seemed reasonable, then increased / decreased by 15 second increments until the popcorn was perfect. Be careful not to start a fire by going too far the first run. If you underestimate and get a lot of un-popped kernels, you could increase 15 seconds and see if you get more popped, but no burnt flavor.)
*** We Now live in a home with one of those over-the-range microwaves which is 1000W. Our popping times have increased to 5 minutes cold, 4 minutes hot. It does dry out the popcorn a bit more than it did with the 1200W model above. I can see how as you get lower in power, it might start to burn the popcorn before it finishes popping it. The good news is that many newer microwaves are going to have more power… but this is a good thing to keep in mind if you have an old or low-power model. (Or, good thing to keep in mind if you are buying a new microwave. I’d guess, the more power, the better the popcorn will be.)