Popcorn became a popular snack in America during the Great Depression because it was so cheap—and it still can be!! The key to making popcorn cheaply, is not buying pre-packaged versions of popcorn (pre-popped, microwavable bags, stove-top pans, etc.). It is just as easy and much cheaper to buy plain popping corn and pop it yourself (I buy mine from the bulk bins at WinCo). It is even possible to make homemade microwavable popcorn!
I used to have an air popper, but it was bulky and took up more room in my cupboard than it was worth so I got rid of it. I can honestly say that I have not missed it once! I now pop popcorn in the microwave with the same oil-free results. This plain popcorn is the base for Kimiko’s yummy chocolate caramel corn (to be posted later).
Simply fill a paper lunch bag with popcorn kernels, fold the top down, tape it shut, and microwave!
2 Tbsp. popcorn kernels
Place kernels in paper lunch bag and tape shut. Microwave 1 minute and 30 seconds to 1 minute and 45 seconds, listening for popping to slow. Yields about 4¼ cups. Total cost: about 3¢, including the cost of the bag.
Oiled Microwave Popcorn
Follow directions for plain microwave popcorn. Drizzle desired oil over corn before or after popping. Salt as desired.
Buttered Microwave Popcorn
Before microwaving corn, melt some butter in microwave. After popping corn, drizzle with butter and salt as desired. To give your homemade popcorn more of a professional-quality taste, you can purchase popcorn salt, which has been ground to a very fine texture. Pickling salt is also finely ground and can be used in place of popcorn salt.
Flavored Microwave Popcorn
Make oiled microwave popcorn; do not salt. Add desired powdered seasoning to bag and shake to coat. Suggestions: cheese powder, parmesan cheese, taco seasoning (pictured below), chili powder, ranch dressing mix, etc.