How to Microwave Popcorn without Oil? 

It’s a long-awaited weekend and a new episode of your favorite show is up. In such a scenario, a bowl of popcorn, yes, please!

But you don’t want the inconvenience of popping them in a stove pan. Here’s some good news! You can easily microwave popcorn without oil. 

Simply fold the paper bag to close it completely and then microwave it for 2 to 3 minutes and voila! You’re all done!

Popcorn itself is a low-calorie snack but adding butter or oil to it instantly raises the calorie count. Buttered popcorn contains 42 calories which are approximately one-third more than the calorie count of popcorn with oil. 

Therefore, it is recommended to air pop your popcorn instead of adding butter or oil to it. And if it is for taste, there are various seasonings you can try. Start with table salt! 

Read this article further to know the correct way of microwaving popcorn without oil so you don’t burn them and ruin the entire vibe. 

Can You Pop Popcorn Without Oil?

Whether on a stove pan or in a microwave, it is pretty easy to pop popcorn without oil. There are various ways of cooking popcorn, but the microwave is a safer option since you don’t come in contact with heat at all. 

To lead a healthy lifestyle, you should restrict your calorie intake. And in such a case, a snack with a high-calorie count is a big no. 

Moreover, if you have a goal to achieve for your weight, you should limit to light snacks such as air-popped popcorn. 

Moreover, when it is so convenient to microwave popcorn, why would someone add a generous amount of butter or oil just to have an unnecessary calorie intake? You need to sit and think about it!

How To Microwave Popcorn Without Oil? 

Take one-third to one-quarter cup of popcorn kernels and either pour it into a paper bag or a microwave bowl. Then, you should put it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, 2 minutes 30 seconds would generally do. 

Popcorn would start popping around 45 seconds and the popping will slow down when the time reaches 2 minutes. Your popcorn is done when the interval between popping is 2 seconds. 

While putting popcorn kernels in a paper bag, make sure you are not opting for one having a plastic or wax layer. This can be dangerous for health. 

Moreover, you need to avoid paper bags with non-sticking chemicals because they are not microwave friendly. 

In case, you can’t choose the right paper bag, you can always go for a glass bowl that is microwave friendly. However, don’t forget to cover it with a lid while putting it in the microwave. 

Moreover, don’t unfold the bag or uncover the bowl immediately after taking them out of a microwave. Waiting for some time would let all kernels pop as well. 

Now it is time to transfer the popcorn into a serving bowl. There can still be some unpopped kernels in the bag or microwave bowl. You can put them back into the microwave to pop them. 

You can give them additional time to recook and pop out into fluffy popcorns. 

Can You Microwave Popcorn Without Oil Safely?

You might be thinking that you would burn the popcorn if you don’t use oil to cook them. However, it is wrong. You can safely microwave popcorn without oil as well. 

You need to be vigilant while microwaving them and we suggest you don’t leave the microwave unattended so you can know when the popping interval reaches 2 seconds. That is the time when your popcorns are done. 

Also, be it a paper bag or a microwave bowl, make sure it is large enough to give kernels the required space to pop. You will have unpopped kernels if you miss this step. 

So, give the popcorn kernels sufficient space to pop fully to enjoy fluffy popcorn. You can add seasoning of your choice to have an enhanced taste. 

How Long Can You Microwave Popcorn Without Oil? 

The maximum time you can put your popcorn in the microwave without oil should be 3-4 minutes. However, the time between popping is the critical factor to determine if your popcorns are done. 

Once the popping interval reaches 2-3 seconds, stop cooking the popcorns further. 

The time for cooking popcorn varies from 2 to 4 minutes depending upon the container you are using. If the paper bag is thick or the microwave bowl is taking long to heat, you might have to give it more time. 

Nonetheless, you need to be particular about the time between the popping. That is your sign to catch to know if popcorns are cooked. 

Tips to Microwave Popcorn Without Oil

While it is true that you don’t need oil to make popcorn pop, you have to be attentive at the same time. It is because you don’t want to burn your popcorn just because you were not vigilant. 

Below are some tips to follow so you can avoid burning popcorns: 

  • Don’t leave popcorn unattended. While it is convenient to air pop popcorns you have to keep a track of time and see when the popping interval reaches 2 seconds. You need to stop cooking them once this happens. 
  • If you are opting for a bowl to pop the popcorn, you need to ensure it is microwave friendly and tempered. If you are careless about this, the bowl might break while heating. This can waste your popcorn kernels as well as it can affect the functioning of your microwave as well. 
  • The cover you are using to cover the bowl must be vented. If you aren’t allowing any air into the bowl, the popcorn won’t pop. 
  • The time for cooking popcorn in the microwave can vary from material to material so give it more time if there are still some kernels unpopped left. However, you need to check before putting it in for the extra time. 
  • Always go for bigger containers to let the popcorn consume the space they need to while popping. 

Paper Bag or Bowl – Which One is the Best? 

It is your choice which one to choose, but if you want to let go of the risk of breaking the bowl in the microwave, you should go paper bag. However, make sure it doesn’t have a plastic lining inside. 

  • Fold the paper bag several times so it is completely closed and can trap heat inside to cook. 
  • For one-third cup, a mid-sized bag would be sufficient. However, you can opt for a bigger bag as well but it is not necessarily needed.
  • Put the bag in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes while your microwave is on high heating. Let it cook while you are vigilant about the popping interval. 
  • Once the gap between popping reaches 2 to 3 seconds, take the bag out of the microwave. However, don’t unfold the bag until you stop hearing the popping sound. 
  • Empty the bag into the serving bowl and if there are any unpopped kernels left, you can put it again in the microwave. 

Final Thoughts 

You can always enjoy your snack and maintain healthy standards at the same time. Popcorn microwaved oil is one of the best examples in such a case. 

It is better to go for low-calorie popcorn on your movie night than to munch on heavy, buttered, and high-calorie popcorn. 

Moreover, microwaving popcorn without oil at home is super convenient. All effort it requires is to be attentive for 2 to 3 minutes. 

If you are particular about the popping gap and stay near the microwave, you shouldn’t be worried about them burning. 

Therefore, here is your chance to switch to fat-free and healthy popcorn without being guilty of having a midnight movie snack anymore. Happy healthy eating!

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