How to Pop Popcorn in a Paper Bag

  • Author: Sue Dorrens
  • Published: September 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Popcorn is a delicious treat that offers so much variety. There are lots of different ways to make popcorn. You can pop the kernels using a stove, a popcorn machine, or even an air popper. However, do you know how to pop popcorn in a paper bag? Well, this is one of the easiest methods that will save you time and money!

Can Popcorn Be Popped in a Paper Bag?

Yes, popcorn can be popped in a paper bag! In fact, this is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make popcorn. Fortunately, you only need a few popcorn kernels, a regular paper bag, and a microwave. This easy recipe will produce perfectly popped popcorn within minutes

Popcorn kernels are harvested from a special variety of corn called zea mays everta. Unlike other types of corn, which become soft and chewy when heated, the kernels of zea mays everta explode when heated to produce beautifully popped popcorn.

This amazing quality is even captured in the name itself. Zea mays refer to the maize family of crops, while everta comes from the word evert, which means to turn inside out.

What Makes the Kernels Pop?

Popcorn kernels have a hard outer shell called the pericarp and a soft starchy interior called the endosperm. Furthermore, the endosperm is made of starch and a small amount of moisture.

When the kernel is heated to above 180 degrees Celsius, the moisture turns to steam, which exerts pressure on the outer shell. Meanwhile, the starch also begins to expand when heated. Eventually, the entire endosperm grows to about 40 or 50 times its original size.

Subsequently, the incredible force causes the outer shell to burst and produce a popped kernel.

Ideal Conditions for Popping Popcorn

There are many different ways to pop popcorn. For instance, you can use an air popper, a popcorn machine, a grill or even a microwave. So, what are the similarities between these different methods? In summary, here are the main conditions for producing popcorn:

  • Popcorn kernels: According to an article by the Illinois Science Council, the ideal moisture content for popcorn kernels is about 13.5% – 14% within the endosperm. If the kernel has too much or too little moisture, it will not pop. For this reason, popcorn companies usually package the kernels in air-tight wrapping so that the moisture remains constant.
  • Heat source: The kernels must be exposed to heat above 180 degrees Celsius. You can do this by placing the kernels in a microwave, a stovetop or even an air-popping machine.
  • Time: Most kernels start to pop after one to two minutes of heating.
  • Space: When kernels start to pop, they jump off the surface with alot of force, which can be potentially dangerous. Hence, this means that the kernels need to be enclosed in a safe environment where the kernels have enough space to pop without accidentally hurting anyone.

How Do You Pop Popcorn in a Paper Bag?

Do you want the convenience of microwave popcorn without having to contend with harmful chemicals? Luckily, here is a quick and easy guide on how to pop popcorn in a paper bag:

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients

First, you will need popcorn kernels, a paper bag, and a microwave. Depending on the size of your microwave, a medium or large paper bag should be sufficient for one serving.

Step2: Measure the Popcorn Kernels

Secondly, you should measure about a quarter cup of popcorn kernels, which would be enough for one person. You can use either white or yellow kernels. The type of kernels you choose will affect the shape and texture of the popcorn.

White kernels tend to produce small soft pieces of popcorn, while yellow kernels produce larger and sturdier pieces.

popcorn being made in a paper bag being displayed on a table

Step 3: Place the Kernels in the Bag

The next step is to pour the popcorn kernels into the bag. To add some extra flavor, you can sprinkle some canola oil or coconut oil into the bag.

Step 4: Seal the Bag

Fold the top of the bag twice to seal it securely. You can shake the bag to ensure the popcorn kernels do not pour out.

Step 5: Place it in the Microwave

The last step is to place the bag in the microwave for two to three minutes. Once the popcorn stops popping, remove the bag and place it aside to cool.

How Do You Pop Popcorn in a Paper Bag Without Oil?

There are many different ways to make popcorn without oil. One of the easiest options is to use a regular paper bag and a microwave.

Place the kernels in a paper bag and seal the bag without any oil. Next, place the bag in the microwave and the kernels will begin to pop spontaneously within one to two minutes.

Benefits of Oil-Free Popcorn

Once you learn how to pop popcorn in a paper bag without oil, there is simply no going back. Here are some of the amazing benefits of oil-free popcorn:

Fewer Calories

The USDA states that three cups of oil-popped popcorn contain approximately 165 calories. On the other hand, three cups of oil-free popcorn contain only 93 calories. Hence, if you want to reduce your oil intake, you can choose to pop popcorn in a paper bag without any oil.

Suitable for Pets

Most pets cannot tolerate oil in their diet. For this reason, oil-free popcorn is a great occasional snack for some pets, such as birds, hamsters, and mice.

Check our article for more information on pet birds and popcorn.

Saves Time

Oil-free paper bag popcorn is extremely fast to make since you only need popcorn kernels and a microwave. This makes it the perfect snack for busy mornings or late nights when you have no time to find extra ingredients or toppings.

The Cheapest Way to Make Popcorn

If you are looking for a quick, easy, and affordable snack, paper bag popcorn is the best option. All you need is a few popcorn kernels in the pantry, a paper bag, and a microwave. So the next time you’re craving something crunchy, simply follow the easy recipe, and you’ll have fresh homemade popcorn in no time!

Sources

https://tools.myfooddata.com/nutrition-facts/170247/wt1/3
https://www.illinoisscience.org/2016/01/why-does-popcorn-pop/#
https://knowledge.carolina.com/physical-science/the-science-of-popcorn/#
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/corn/growing-popcorn-plants.htm#

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