Now that “Popcorn Workers’ Lung” (more formally known as “bronchiolitis obliterans”) has been found outside of microwave popcorn production factories, the suggestion that we should avoid microwaved popcorn is all over the news. Health and safety should take precedence over snack foods, but all the same, the taste and convenience of microwave popcorn is hard to match. Fortunately, you can make your own microwave popcorn at home without buying it in prepacked microwavable bags.
I heard about this technique from Alton Brown, although I’m sure it has been around for quite a while. What you do is toss some unpopped kernels (they sell these in bulk bags in the supermarket) in melted butter or vegetable oil, place them in a paper bag and seal the bag up with tape. Then, you just pop your bagged popcorn as you would with storebought, adding salt, butter and seasonings when it is ready.
Do-it-yourself Microwave Popcorn
1/4 cup unpopped popping corn
2 teaspoons vegetable oil or melted butter
Paper lunch bag
Toss the popcorn with the vegetable oil to coat and place in the paper bag. Fold the top of the bag over twice and seal with a strip of scotch tape. Place the bag in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes to 3 minutes, or until there are about 5 seconds between pops (Note: This is AB’s suggested time. I recommend setting your timer for 3-4 minutes and just watching carefully for when to stop, rather than risk underestimating the time needed. Some types of popping corn seem to take longer than others.)
Add salt or other seasonings (garlic powder, parmesan cheese, etc) to bag and shake to coat before eating.