How to Microwave Popcorn without Burning

Microwaved popcorn, with its irresistible aroma, is a go-to snack for movie nights. 

However, the struggle to achieve the ideal balance between fully popped kernels and avoiding the dreaded burnt taste can leave many frustrated. 

Fear not, for we have the solution for you. In this article, we’ll give tips on how to microwave popcorn without burning. 

Why does my Popcorn Keep Burning in the Microwave?

There could be a few reasons why your popcorn keeps burning in the microwave. Here are some possible explanations:

  • Cooking time

You might be cooking the popcorn for too long, causing it to burn.

  • Power level

The power level of your microwave might be too high, leading to excessive heat thus burning popcorn.

  • Using too much popcorn

If you use too much popcorn, it will take longer to cook and there’s a greater chance that some of the kernels will burn.

  • The popcorn is old

Old popcorn has a lower moisture content, which means it will be more likely to burn.

  • Popcorn bag/material

The type of bag or material the popcorn comes in might not be suitable for your microwave, leading to uneven cooking and burning.

Tips to microwave popcorn without burning

Here are some tips to help you microwave popcorn without burning it:

  • Read the instructions

Different brands of microwave popcorn may have different recommended cooking times and power levels. 

Always follow the instructions on the popcorn packaging for best results.

  • Use a microwave-safe bowl

Transfer the popcorn from the original packaging into a microwave-safe bowl

Make sure the container is large enough to accommodate the expanding popcorn without overflowing. The Unbreakable Cereal Bowls will serve you well in this case. 

  • Cover the container

Place a microwave-safe lid like a Tovolo Vented Collapsible Medium Microwave Cover on top of the container to cover it. 

This helps to trap the heat inside and allows the popcorn to pop evenly.

  • Set the microwave power level

Choose a medium or medium-high power setting for popping popcorn. This prevents the kernels from overheating too quickly and burning.

  • Pause if needed

If you notice the popcorn starting to burn, hit the pause button on your microwave to stop the cooking process.

  • Pay attention to the popping frequency

Once the time between pops exceeds a few seconds, it indicates that most of the kernels have popped. This is the cue to stop the microwave.

What is the Perfect Time to Microwave Popcorn?

The perfect time to microwave popcorn depends on the wattage of your microwave and the brand of popcorn. 

Generally, it ranges from 2 to 4 minutes. 

To prevent burning, stop the microwave when the popping slows down to 2-3 seconds between pops.

Also, ensure to follow the instructions on the popcorn packaging for the best results.

5 Ways to Eat Popcorn

Sure! Here are five different ways you can enjoy eating popcorn:

  • Classic Buttered Popcorn

Prepare a bowl of freshly popped popcorn and melt some butter

Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn, and sprinkle a pinch of salt for flavor. 

Toss the popcorn gently to ensure it’s evenly coated, and enjoy!

  • Caramel Popcorn

For a sweet treat, make caramel popcorn. Prepare a caramel sauce by melting butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. The Utopia Kitchen Nonstick Saucepan Set comes in handy.

Once the mixture is smooth, pour it over the popcorn and toss until all the popcorn is coated. 

Spread the caramel-coated popcorn on a baking sheet like the Nordic Ware 3 Piece Baker’s Delight Set and bake in the oven until the caramel sets.

Let it cool and break apart any large clusters before serving.

  • Spicy Popcorn

If you like a little heat, spice up your popcorn. 

Sprinkle chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, or any other preferred spicy seasoning over the popcorn using The Original Salt Shaker

  • Chocolate-Covered Popcorn

Melt your favorite chocolate, such as Hershey’s Nuggets Assorted Chocolate, in a microwave.

Once melted, pour the chocolate over the popcorn and toss gently until all the popcorn is coated. 

You can also add some chopped nuts or dried fruits for added flavor. 

Spread the chocolate-covered popcorn on a baking sheet and let it cool until the chocolate hardens.

  • Popcorn Trail Mix

Create a popcorn trail mix by combining popcorn with a variety of your favorite ingredients. 

Mix in roasted nuts, dried fruits, pretzels, chocolate chips, or even mini marshmallows. The combination is up to your taste preferences. 

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl, and you have a delightful snack mix that’s perfect for parties or movie nights

How Do I Know When the Popcorn Is Done?

To determine if microwave popcorn is done, listen for a consistent popping sound. 

Once the popping slows to about 2 seconds between pops, it’s usually a good indicator that the popcorn is ready. 

Be cautious not to overcook it.

How to Store Microwave Popcorn

To store microwave popcorn, keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. 

Seal the package tightly to maintain freshness and prevent the popcorn from going stale.

How Long Does Microwave Popcorn Last?

Microwave popcorn can last for about 1-2 weeks in an airtight container like the Amazon Basics Square Airtight Food Storage Container

However, the taste and texture of the popcorn may start to deteriorate after a few days. 

If you are storing the popcorn for longer than 2 weeks, you may want to consider freezing it.

How to Freeze Microwave Popcorn

To freeze microwave popcorn, simply place the popcorn in an airtight container or bag like the SPLF BPA FREE Reusable Storage Bags and freeze for up to 3 months. 

When you are ready to eat the popcorn, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then microwave it as usual.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Necessary to Use Oil or Butter When Microwaving Popcorn to Avoid Burning?

No, it is not necessary to use oil or butter when microwaving popcorn. 

Many microwave popcorn brands come with pre-packaged kernels and seasoning that can be cooked without additional fats.

Can I Add Flavorings or Seasonings to My Popcorn Before Microwaving It?

Yes, you can add flavorings or seasonings to your popcorn before microwaving it. 

You can transform your popcorn into a flavor sensation using Kernel Season’s Popcorn Seasoning Mini Jars.

Sprinkle them over the popcorn, mix well, and then microwave. Enjoy!

Are There Any Specific Popcorn Brands or Types that are Less Likely to Burn in the Microwave?

Yes, there are popcorn brands that are specifically designed for microwave popping and are less likely to burn. 

Some popular options include Orville Redenbacher’s Microwave Popcorn, Act II Microwave Popcorn, and Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn.