Homemade Microwave Popcorn in Two Minutes (Maybe Three)

Homemade Microwave Popcorn: 1 minute, 37 seconds to clean popcorn| Home is Where The Cookies Are

Before we talk about this, let’s do this:

Let’s set up some ground rules.

Namely, one ground rule.

Let’s be civil.

I know some people out there think the microwave is the devil incarnate, or the devil in-kitchenappliance-ate.

That’s ok.

I respect you.

I’ve got no beef with you if you choose to live your life sans microwave.

I applaud you for your ability to ditch the tempting convenience of it. I admire your willpower and follow through.

I also know there are those out there who are totes okay with their microwave. You use it occasionally for some things or often for many things.


There are bigger fish to fry, er, zap/nuke.

We can all love each other regardless of our differing microwave oven opinions.

If you are a microwave user, then stick around and check this out.

If you’re not, come back for the next post (or check out some former ones), and we’ll talk about things not heated in a freaky space-age box.

Are we ready?

Let’s do it.

Popcorn → ♥.

Yes ma’am/sir.

I heart me some popcorn.

I don’t so much heart me messes, or digging out the air popper, or the noise of said air popper at 10pm, or giant hand-wash only popcorn bowls, or the questionable health value/detriment of commercial brand microwave popcorn and their unnecessary ingredients (Again – peace not war. We need not fight, friends). 

If I’m going to go the route of microwave popcorn, I’m going to go as clean and convenient as possible.

DIY microwave popcorn was floating around the web a while back. Maybe it still is?

I tried it then – with oil, and failed. It burned and seemed to be a pointless venture.

I gave up on it at that point and stuck with the air popper.

Then, the other day, coincidence visited me as I flipped through Cooking Light Magazine and saw a letter to the editor that suggested this cooking method. At the same moment, my little guy asked for popcorn (a request that caused a secret inner cringe because, you know – digging out the air popper, annoying gargantuan hand-wash popcorn bowls, etc., and I was having such a lovely, slow, coffee-sipping morning).

The letter suggested this: popcorn kernels, a paper bag, and a quick trip through the microwave.

Serendipity, Little Guy. It’s a real thing.

So we tried it.

And, our reaction was much like that of the two-minute scrambled eggs:

“No. Way. It actually works?!”

After we slathered our mid-morning popcorn (don’t judge) with deliciously real butter and salt, my next thought was whether or not I should share it here.

Surely everyone must know this already, or enough people know it that it’s not interesting anymore. . . right?

But then I told my husband – who hadn’t heard of it, and he told a co-worker (who hadn’t heard of it), who told seven other people ((she kept track)– who also who had not heard of it) and texted me later, “Put it on the blog!”

So here it is.

Super convenient, cleaner than commercial brand, DIY microwave popcorn.

And yes, it’s just buttered popcorn. No fancy spices, no caramel topping. Just salt and butter.

But the basics are where we all must start. As in: how to boil pasta, how to scramble an egg, how to make a roux, and: how to microwave popcorn. . . . Amiright?

I love you.

Thanks for not fighting with me.

Homemade Microwave Popcorn in Two Minutes (Maybe Three)

Total Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings

This portion should serve two people. We like butter on our popcorn, but of course, you can play with this and try another kind of oil, or if you are avoiding fats, you can eat it dry - with or without salt. I found 2 tablespoons of butter to be a satisfactory amount, but, you know - 😉 You can always add more (*sigh*, or less. . . ).


  • 1 paper lunch bag
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • table salt


Pour popcorn kernels into paper lunch bag. Fold top over two or three times.

Microwave for 1 1/2- 2 minutes, stopping when kernels slow down their popping and there is a "one thousand one" second lag between pops.

Melt butter in microwave.

Shake popcorn in bag while drizzling with melted butter, then shake salt over top and shake popcorn well. (be careful when pouring the hot butter, that you do not pour it where you are holding the bag - ouch!)

Serve imediately.


Sara|Home is Where the Cookies Are, adapted from Cooking Light Magazine (Letters to the Editor, April 2014 edition).



12 thoughts on “Homemade Microwave Popcorn in Two Minutes (Maybe Three)

  1. This is cool! I do mine in a regular pot on the stove, with the kids watching through the glass top… But this sounds like zero cleanup. I believe I know who you were talking to at the beginning, too 😀

    • It’s great! I only will go back to the air-popper when I need to pop mass quantities – like 32 cups for caramel corn. Which actually does happen at least twice a year.

  2. Yeah! This way is awesome. You can actually staple the bag, if you want (no, it won’t flame up. It has to do with the size of the microwaves themselves–the wave, not the appliance– and how small the staple is. Alton Brown proved it), but I got sick of searching for my stapler and just folded it over like you. I also enjoy it drizzled with garlic or chipotle olive oil (or perhaps cilantro oil for you, sis?) and salt. Or some Parmesan cheese. Or even Old Bay. Or salt and vinegar powder… The possibilities are endless….

  3. People have really attacked you because of using the microwave?!

    Poor fools don’t know what they’re missing!!

    This looks awesome, I had never heard of it, and am totally going to give it a try.

    Thanks! xo

  4. I do this occasionally too! I don’t even butter or salt, mostly because I’m lazy and hate messes but also because it’s SO PURE. Pure popcorn bliss.

    I don’t feel strongly pro- or anti-microwave, but I do feel strongly about not being a jerkmuffin. So I’m with ya–live and let live, man!

  5. You know what? I WANT to fight with people. Because the microwave is so convenient and so amazing and is absolutely the best way to melt chocolate (and pop popcorn!) and if anyone tells you differently, you just send them to me, ya hear?

    I loved this post! I’ve heard this method before but have never tried it because I never have popcorn lying around. Obviously time to change that!

  6. I used to make pop corn this way. A lot. A LOT!
    Now I use a microwave compatible salad bowl covered with an IKEA PRICKIG (cost me a euro). Far easier, less messy and just as tasty.

    My favorite one has always been the one with a little garlic butter

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