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Posted February 9, 2022 in Popcorn

How to Pop the Best Microwave Popcorn

Microwave showing a popping time of 3:00 minutes.

Not all microwaves are created equal, and without the right tools you may end up with a burnt bag or a bunch of stubborn un-popped kernels. But it doesn’t have to be that way! We have a few simple tips to help you learn how to make the best microwave popcorn every time.

Ditch the Popcorn Button

Don’t push the popcorn button; seriously don’t do it. Although it may seem convenient the popcorn button is not your friend. Microwaves that have a preset time may not have a humidity sensor and therefore can’t tell when something is burning! Since the power of microwaves all tend to vary, it’s hard to predict how your popcorn will turn out with the preset popcorn button – barely popped, deliciously fluffy, or scorched.

So, how do you know when it’s done? Just listen. Gary and Carlton, owners of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, recommend using sound rather than time to pop your microwave popcorn. As a 5th generation, family-owned company you know they know what they’re talking about. If you are down to about two seconds between pops, it’s time to stop.

Throw in Some Water First

Learning how to microwave popcorn without burning shouldn’t be tricky, and there are a few simple steps that can help you avoid a kernel catastrophe. Try microwaving a glass of water first to help create a humid environment for your kernels. This will help the kernels remain tender, rather than tough. Then let your microwave work its magic, but make sure not to leave your microwave unattended when popping!
cup of water in the microwave

Get Crazy – Eliminate the Microwave Bag Altogether

How to make microwave popcorn without the microwave bag, you may ask? It’s easier than you think. Simply locate a microwave-safe glass bowl and empty the kernels into it. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe cover or dish (preferably ceramic, but the microwave-safe part is the most important). If you want to get real fancy, you can purchase a microwave-safe food cover that has vents in it. That way, you won’t have too much steam build up in the bowl.

The heat from the popping kernels will create moisture in the covered bowl, and you’ll get a glorious bowl of fluffy popcorn. Be sure to use oven mitts or a dishtowel when taking it out—the bowl and plate will be very hot!
dumping microwave popcorn kernels into a bowl

Make Sure Your Popcorn is Fresh

You may ask yourself, “How long is microwave popcorn good for?” Typically, microwave popcorn is good for about a year and we recommend always checking the expiration date before popping up your favorite flavor of JOLLY TIME. Popcorn past its expiration date won’t perform as well and may taste stale or chewy. Although expired popcorn isn’t bad for you, it may not meet popping expectations because kernels need a certain amount of moisture to pop. Some kernels will most likely pop, but you will have many more “old maids” (un-popped kernels) with older kernels than with fresh popcorn.

Now that you’ve learned how to create the best popping experience, now you just need the perfect popcorn. Check out our JOLLY TIME shop for all of your popcorn needs. They call us the Official Snack of Happiness for a reason!

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