Easy Microwave Popcorn (safer, cheaper, easier)

easy microwave popcorn: no chemicals, cheaper than buying the bags

We have used an air popcorn maker for years after reading that microwave popcorn in a bag contains hydrogenated oils and the chemical, PFOA, in the bag lining. (PFOA is a known carcinogen that has been shown to cause cancer and birth defects in animals.)

Sometimes when I pull out that hefty appliance, I grumble that it’s taking up a lot of space for something only used one or two times a week. With a click of the finger, I found a few alternatives that might mean our popper is headed for a new home.

Easy Microwave Popcorn

Add 1/4 cup of organic corn kernels to a large glass dish.  Put a microwaveable “lid” on it. I used a glass pie plate.

Cook for 2.5 – 3.5 minutes (just watch the kernels popping, every microwave is different).

Be careful: both dishes will be VERY HOT and steaming.

If there are any unpopped kernels, feel free to run them through the same process. No waste!

Makes 4 cups.

caramel corn

Easy Stove Popcorn

For those of you that don’t use microwaves,  here’s an option for the stove.

Put 2 tbsp of butter or oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Add 1/4 cup of organic corn kernels and coat the kernels with the melted butter/oil.

Cover with lid.

Within 1-2 minutes, you’ll hear the corn popping. As soon as it slows down, pull the pan off the stove and immediately pour the popcorn in a bowl so it doesn’t burn.

Makes 4 cups.

Cost Comparison

Orville Redenbacher’s Microwave Popcorn is about $4 for 10 single serving bags. They make 1 cup each. You get 10 cups of popcorn for $4 or $0.40 per cup of popcorn.

Organic popping corn from Trader Joe’s is $2 for 3.5 cups of kernels. 3.5 cups of kernels will yield 14 cups of popcorn. You get 14 cups of popcorn for $2 or $0.14 per cup of popcorn.

Organic popping corn is half the cost of bagged microwave popcorn.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing my favorite way to make caramel popcorn without using corn syrup (that’s a photo of it above). Yum, that’s all I can say!

How do you pop your popcorn? What are your favorite toppings?


  1. Cool. I do something similar by putting the kernals into a brown paper bag and folding the top over a few times. I can reuse the bag a few times too. Also there seems to be something old timey and nostalgic about eating the popcorn out of the paper bag. I like it classic with butter and sea salt. I have gone sweet though before with coconut oil and some trail mix in it.

  2. Buffy Miller says

    I use brown lunch bags to pop my corn in. It takes a little less than about 1/4 cup of corn kernels.

  3. emaliah82 says

    I LOVE to make my own popcorn! I usually use the brown bag microwave method but this way looks great as well. My absolute favorite topping would be honey butter. Just put a little honey and a little butter in a dish and melt in the microwave then poor over the already popped popcorn and sprinkle with a little bit of salt if needed. Mix it all well with a spatula and DELISH! 🙂

  4. I tried the microwave and my popcorn burned before it ever popped, maybe just b/c it isn’t organic? The paper bag trick works for me, but I was hoping to ditch the waste and stick w/ a washable dish. 🙁

  5. Hi Joleigh! What did you use to cover the dish? I used a plate once and it did a similar thing. I found using a glass pie plate created a much better seal.

  6. Paper bag fans…yes cute and nostalgic but pls research the resins, glues and other chemicals used in the paper manufacturing of your bags. Be healthy and happy! 🙂

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