Microwave Popcorn . . . No Bag Required!

Today’s post is one of those ideas that I just couldn’t get out of my head!  It’s been driving me crazy for about a week now…ever since I spied it on Everything But The

microwave popcorn Microwave popcorn? Without the bag? It can’t be. Can it?

(Please tell me I’m not the ONLY ONE who had never heard of this idea!)

Well, of course I had to find out for myself. The curiosity was killing me!  Besides, it’s so easy…it’s almost TOO easy!

The ingredients:  popcorn.

The tools needed:  bowl, plate, microwave.

The instructions:  put 1/4 cup popcorn in microwave-safe bowl, cover with microwave-safe plate, cook in microwave oven for 2 minutes, 45 seconds.


Done.  Well, almost.  You see, I had a little trouble with my first batch.  


microwave popcorn


Yep, that is ONE popped kernel you see there. I was all ready to write this off as a myth, a fallacy, a JOKE! But something told me there might be some “user error” involved here. Believe it or not I do make mistakes once in a great while!  ;-)  I know, it’s hard to believe.

I had a sneaking suspicion the bowl and plate I used might have been the culprits behind this “FAIL”.  I wasn’t quite sure they were “microwave-safe”, and the plate didn’t seem to be a good fit with the bowl.

Let’s try this again, shall we?


microwave popcorn


This time I used a bowl and plate I was SURE were microwave-safe and the plate was a nice fit with the bowl. Ahhhh….the sweet sound and smell of popcorn popping!

(WARNING: the plate and bowl will be VERY HOT!  Use CAUTION when removing them from the microwave.)


microwave popcorn


Here is the second batch. That’s more like it. However, there WERE a fair number of unpopped kernels left in the bottom of the bowl (pet peeve #473).

But no worries….Lindsey of Everything But The…, who brought this brilliant idea to my attention, said that the unpopped kernels could be returned to the microwave and given another go-round.


microwave popcorn


Well, would you look at that!  After another two minutes almost every last kernel was popped!

Now let’s think about the implications of this for a minute!

LESS CALORIES.  No need to cook in oil on the stove.

LESS MONEY.  No need to buy the expensive microwave popcorn from the store, and even if you’re making your own in a brown paper lunch sack, you’re still having to buy the bags. No need to buy an extra appliance (ie. an air popper).

LESS WASTE.  No bag to throw away. NO KERNELS left unpopped to throw away.

I’d say that’s a WIN-WIN-WIN! :-)



Oh….and by the way….it tasted every bit as good as any brand name microwave popcorn or stove top cooked popcorn I’ve ever had. It tasted just like popcorn should taste. Fresh, crunchy, tasty.  Quite possibly the PERFECT snack!


[poll id=”8″]

Print Friendly
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter29Pin on Pinterest29.5kGoogle+0

Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. Ayshela says

    I use the brown bag, but since I’m not putting any butter or oil in when I pop it I can use the bag multiple times so there’s really little waste in it. (once I’m done it goes out in the flower bed for mulch, since our soil is hardpan and every bit of organic matter helps.) This looks like a much nicer way to add butter or oil along with the process if you wanted to. Thanks for testing it out for us! =) I love that you give us the “okay, this didn’t work so well, but I adjusted and THAT worked better.”

  2. Joan says

    I use the lunch bag method. I put three tablespoons of corn in the lunch bag, fold over the top twice and place in the microwave. I have discovered that timing is all -I used to set for three minutes, but microwaves are stronger now so I have had to adapt. Now I set on the popcorn setting and when I hear the beep that tells me the time that’s left, I add 30 seconds. The popcorn setting is for the microwave corn from the store which seems to be a different animal so the extra 30 seconds seems to be necessary for the brown bag method. I do stick right by the microwave and if the popping slows down too much, stop the microwave. I get perfect popped corn with almost no kernels left. I put the popped corn in a bag and then drip 1 T. melted butter over it, stirring a little. I salt lightly and have wonderful popcorn and not too much either.

  3. Betsy says

    A lunch paper bag works great! same amount of popcorn as well! I do it all the time. And to make it tastier I squirt the spray butter on it and then add wheat germ…sounds weird but it is delicious!

  4. Marie says

    We do this. A word of warning – make sure the bowl is revolving. Our microwave has a control for the revolving plate and once it got turned off and the bowl shattered while the popcorn was popping!

  5. Amber F. says

    Does it turn out easy to chew like storebought bagged MW popcorn or is it harder and crunchier like the kind you pop on the stove?

  6. Grace says

    I saw something similer to this on Pintrest. Just place the kernals in a paper lunch bag, fold over a few times to close and microwave til there is just a few seconds between POPS!

    • Tina says

      I tried this and it works great! Just a brown paper lunch bag and kernels! No oil or anything! And no dishes…even better! ;)

    • Sorli says

      Worked perfectly…almost.

      Bowl and Plate popped about 20 kernels.

      Paper-bag folded twice and popcorn button cooked every kernel and ran a little long slightly char popcorn. Still edible, but plan next time to use manual timer 2.5mins and paper-bag and popcorn. Thanks for the suggestions! S0rli…

      Now Kettle-corn recipe!!!