How to Make Popcorn in the Microwave

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Updated August 18, 2022

Whenever movie night happens, popcorn is a must, so you will want to learn how to make popcorn in a microwave. The best microwaves absolutely excel at whipping up popcorn on the quick. Keep reading to learn the various methods for making popcorn in the microwave oven.


  • The easiest way to make popcorn in a microwave is to simply buy bagged microwave popcorn and follow the instructions.
  • You can also cook loose corn kernels in a microwave as long as you have the right popcorn popping accessory.
  • Another option is to use a combination convection microwave, as convection heating is a great way to make popcorn.

Making Popcorn in a Microwave Oven

Before you learn how to uninstall a microwave, you should take it for a few spins to make delicious batches of freshly popped popcorn. Although, you’ll want to see the differences between microwave vs oven health when it comes to cooking in a microwave, especially if you’re using a smart inverter microwave.

To that end, a modern microwave can whip up some popcorn in several different ways. Let’s go through your options.

Insider Tip

Loose kernels are generally much cheaper than buying microwave popcorn.

Popcorn Settings

Many modern microwave ovens include a dedicated popcorn setting that will adjust the settings and time to suit most bagged popcorn. Even better? These settings can usually be implemented with just a single finger press. As always with popcorn, pay attention to when the kernel popping begins to slow down and exercise caution as you remove the bag of popcorn from the cavity. You may want to even wear safety gloves. besides, buttery popcorn bags can get super greasy, so it might be better to have a microwave handle vs a push-button release model.

Follow the Instructions

If your microwave lacks a popcorn setting or you just want to be certain you are cooking the kernels correctly, follow the instructions on the label of the microwave popcorn. This typically involves placing the bag down, face-side first, and running the microwave on high heat for two to three minutes. Keep an ear out for when the popcorn kernels begin to slow down and remove the bag when the popping has slowed to a crawl.


If you want to avoid bagged microwave popcorn and cook your kernels the old-fashioned way, there are many accessories out there to help you along. These microwave-safe containers allow you to simply place in uncooked kernels and let the microwave do the rest. Of course, follow the instructions that accompany your popcorn popping accessory. In some cases, a brown paper lunch bag is a good container for homemade popcorn.

Convection Heating

Why waste time comparing a convection oven vs a microwave when you can simply have both? There are many combination microwaves out there that include a dedicated convection-based heating element. Cooking homemade microwave popcorn with hot air, which is the method a convection oven uses, is highly efficient and results in a delicious end product. Convection ovens may not be able to handle a bag of microwave popcorn but will excel with a cup of popcorn kernels. Convection ovens do well with unpopped kernels. Alternatively, if your microwave isn’t popping all the kernels you might want to consider donating it and getting a new one.


How to make homemade microwave popcorn in a paper bag?

Follow the instructions to make homemade microwave popcorn in a paper bag. Start with one cup of kernels and then look out for unpopped kernels. The times needed for paper bag popcorn can vary.

How to season microwave popcorn?

Once your homemade microwave popcorn is finished, season with salt, melted butter, and any other favorite topping, including nutritional yeast and olive oil. Don’t forget to put homemade microwave popcorn in a glass bowl after it is finished.

How long do you microwave popcorn without a bag?

This will depend on your microwave and whatever accessories you are using, in addition to the number of popcorn kernels. Start with one cup of popcorn kernels, go for two or three minutes, and then check-in.

STAT: In 1947, Raytheon built the “Radarange”, the first commercially available microwave oven. It was almost 1.8 meters (5 ft 11 in) tall, weighed 340 kilograms (750 lb), and cost about US$5,000. (source)

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