tcepsa: (Cake)
[personal profile] tcepsa
... FOR SCIENCE!!! XD

Today I have discovered that one can, with the careful application of microwave energy, make popcorn in a jar!

In discussing with [livejournal.com profile] gipsieee the hazards of commercially available microwave popcorn, the thought popped into my mind that, "Hey, it's just popcorn in some butter/oil/salt concoction that you microwave for about two minutes. I can do that!"

And I was right! The initial batch came out a little burned because I left it in an extra minute in a vain attempt to get better pop percentage. However, the second batch is delicious and has a reasonably (for microwave popcorn) satisfactory popped/unpopped ratio. Here's how it works:

Microwave Popcorn in a Jar
You will need:
Glass Jar (The wider the bottom, the better; you will be able to make more popcorn in a single batch)
Something That Is Not Metal And Can Safely Be Microwaved With Which To Cover The Jar (I used a ceramic plate)
Popcorn Kernels
Olive Oil
Hot Pads or some other insulative material to protect your hands as you remove the jar from the microwave

NOTE: Do not use anything that will create an airtight seal on the jar (e.g. a plastic screw-on lid) because the popping of the popcorn releases steam; if the jar is sealed, pressure will build up inside it as a result of the popping. This could cause the jar to explode, and that is a completely different experiment from this one!

Optional additional items:
Your favorite salt for popcorn
Other toppings

  1. Drizzle olive oil into the bottom of the jar until the bottom is covered, then add a bit more
  2. Add enough popcorn to get a layer 1-kernel deep across the bottom of the jar
  3. Shake it up to try to ensure that all of the kernels are oiled (the oil gets heated by the microwaves and transfers that heat to the kernels, causing them to pop)
  4. Place jar into microwave and cover with the not-metal microwave-safe jar cover
  5. Microwave for 2 to 2.5 minutes, or until 2-3 seconds pass between pops
  6. You'll have to listen closely, as the jar is much more soundproof than your typical paper bag and it muffles the popping
  7. THE JAR WILL BE REALLY FREAKING HOT. Carefully, using a pair of hotpads or other insulating material, remove the jar from the microwave and dump it into a serving bowl
  8. Add salt and other toppings as desired
  9. Consume, relishing the taste of hot, fresh science!

Date: 2010-01-10 04:57 am (UTC)
reedrover: (Default)
From: [personal profile] reedrover
Nifty!

Does it have to be olive oil?

Date: 2010-01-10 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tcepsa.livejournal.com
Probably not; that's just what I use when I'm making it on the stove, so I used it for this too. Butter would probably work just fine. Probably about a tablespoon; I'd recommend pre-melting it for about 30 seconds in the bottom of the jar, then add the kernels and swish them around a bit and go from there. I'm pretty sure it needs to be some kind of fat in order to absorb enough energy from the microwaves quickly enough, but aside from that I don't know that it matters.

Hmm... for something really decadent, maybe I'll try bacon grease next time... ^_^

Date: 2010-01-10 02:47 pm (UTC)
ext_12535: I made this (Default)
From: [identity profile] wetdryvac.livejournal.com
Bacon popcorn.

*shudders*

Brave.

Also, potentially delicious, but I'd probably end up slicing cheese on it when done.

For some reason my brain claims bacon popcorn needs cheese or will end the world.

Date: 2010-01-11 05:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] belushi81x.livejournal.com
I saw Bacon ice cream on food network once...

Date: 2010-01-11 11:27 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oy. And me only half way into my morning coffee. Blurgh.

*blinks*

And it would appear my brain, post blurgh, rather likes the idea.

Date: 2010-01-10 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adularia.livejournal.com
DO NEED.

I applaud your carefully reproducible steps. I usually make popcorn in a pot on the stove and have always bemoaned that I can't see when it's starting to burn.

Bacon-grease popcorn sounds more purposefully rustic than luxurious, but there's only one way to find out.

Date: 2010-01-10 07:17 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-01-11 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margoeve.livejournal.com
I highly recommend trying walnut oil.

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