Did you know – Microwave popcorn was the first ever food cooked using the microwave? Yes, those first kernels of corn were popped way back in 1946 by a man named Percy Spencer using a crude microwave oven he’d made out of parts from radar equipment! Click here if you like to read more about the history of the microwave oven.
Today we don’t need radar equipment to make microwave popcorn in our kitchens, just a bag of popping corn, a dish and some oil. The popping takes 4 minutes and is really, really easy. In fact I was surprised at how easy it worked out and how many of the corn kernels got popped compared with popping them in a saucepan over a gas stove.
Making DIY microwave popcorn at home is much, much cheaper than buying it when you’re out. You save money on transport (since you don’t have to go anywhere). You save money on the popcorn since un-popped popcorn costs around £1.20 for 500 grams which is £2.40 per kilo. Popcorn bought at the cinema costs around £3.95 for a small portion which works out to be a extortionate £65.83 per kilo which is more than the most expensive fillet steak you can buy!
The other bonus is that you can serve the microwave popcorn straight out of the same dish that you cooked it in which saves washing up.
- A microwave safe glass or ceramic dish with a lid. I prefer clear Pyrex glass so I can see the popping action.
- A bag of popcorn kernels or popping corn / un-popped popcorn
- A tablespoon of cooking oil. I've only used olive oil but any cooking oil can be tried.
Select your microwave oven's power to get the correct timing
Total Cooking Time = 4 mins, 0 secs
- Pour a tablespoon of cooking oil into the dish.
- Put a layer of popping corn into the dish and mix the corn around so that all the corn gets a coating of oil.
- Put the lid on the dish and place in the microwave at full power for 4 minutes or until the time between each new pop is more than 4 seconds.
To Serve Microwave Popcorn
Your bowl of microwave popcorn will be quite hot so leave it in the microwave for a minute and then remove it using oven gloves. Take the cover off the dish and if you like, sprinkle in a little salt or sugar. The microwave popcorn can be eaten straight out of the dish it was cooked in.
Microwave Popcorn Tips
Salt or sugar or both can be added to the oil before mixing in the popcorn. This will allow the microwave popcorn to get a more even coating of the flavouring. Another sweet topping which works really well is maple syrup. It seems to crystallise well when added to the popcorn, giving it an extra crunch. When making microwave popcorn you'll always be left with a few kernels in the bottom of the dish. Don't be tempted to leave them cooking in the microwave for extra time to ensure that last kernel gets popped. If you do so, the already popped corn will start to burn. The trick is to wait until all of the popped corn has been eaten or remove the popped popcorn then cover the dish again and put it back into the microwave at full power for around 2 minutes. That will pop 99% of the remaining corn.