Everyone is aware that cinema popcorn is one of the most expensive substances known to man. And so the supermarket shelves are stocked with microwave popcorn which, when compared with a $9 bucket at the movies, seem quite reasonable. But are they really? And you’d think from the way they’re marketed that there’s some sort of proprietary magic going on to be able to cook corn in a microwave rather than the purpose built commercial machines. Or are they honestly just a bag full of corn?
Tonight I found out…
First I took 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels and placed them inside a brown paper lunch bag.
I folded over the open end twice and secured it with a little tab of sticky tape. The rationale here is that I want to contain the steam, but allow for some venting should the bag over-expand.
I placed the bag in my microwave and cooked it on high power for 90 seconds. Popping began and the bag swelled satisfyingly.
And inside was perfectly cooked corn! This technique delivers a popcorn which is identical to an air-popper (only you don’t have to buy an air-popper). Unlike traditional microwave bags the corn isn’t greasy – which is an advantage for people that don’t like greasy corn, but can also mean that your regular table salt won’t stick very easily. So if you like seasoned/flavoured corn you’d need to explore the solutions that people come up with for air-popped corn. I think I might look into getting my hands on very fine milled salt (like used on potato chips) which will stick better than coarse table salt [EDIT: solution here!].
But yeah, at something like 10c a bag, you can’t really go wrong with DIY microwave popcorn!