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How to Microwave Popcorn Without Oil – Best Way

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Are you looking for healthy ways to enjoy microwaved popcorn? Even though popcorn is a fat-free snack and naturally low in calories, when you microwaved with oil or butter, the calories instantly increase. 

Popcorn with butter contain more than 42 calories in a single cup, which is almost one-third more than plain air-popped popcorn. Microwaving popcorn without oil is a sure fast way to keep the calorie and fat count down so that the snack remains healthy.

How do you microwave popcorn without oil? Place ¼ cup of popcorn kernels in a paper bag. Fold the opening of the paper bag several times to close, then microwave on high heat for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. 

Listen for the popping sounds to slow down to once every 2 to 3 seconds, then take it out of microwave and let it sit for few seconds until the popping sounds completely stop. Transfer the popcorn to a serving bowl to enjoy plain popcorn without oil. 

Watching your calorie intake might mean restricting snack eating habits. However, plain popcorn is a great option if you are on a diet. 

One cup of air-popped popcorn contains very few calories compared to its volume. One cup of popcorn only has 31 calories and is very high in fiber.

In addition, it has a minimal amount of natural fat. Each tablespoon of kernels contains about ½ gram.

Learning how to microwave popcorn will go a long way in keeping your calories intake low, especially when making it without oil. However, if you are not on a calorie-restricted diet, a few drops of oil should do little to no harm.

In this article we will discuss how to microwave popcorn without oil. Answered below are frequently asked questions about microwaving plain popcorn so that you do not need to add oil.

Can You Cook Popcorn Without Oil?

Yes, it is relatively easy to prepare popcorn without oil. There are different ways to cook using a stovetop or microwave method. 

If you are strictly watching weight, oil intake may be restricted as part of the diet. Any amount of oil you consume might end up interfering with the weight loss effort depending on the type of diet you are following. 

It’s much better to avoid oil or butter entirely if you are on a restricted diet. As a result, air-popped popcorns may be the best choice for you.

Is It Safe to Microwave Popcorn Without Oil?

Yes, it is safe to microwave popcorn without oil. Just because you aren’t using oil, it won’t necessarily burn the popcorn

All you need to do is pour the popcorn kernels into a paper bag and fold the top enough times to secure tightly. The bag should be large enough to provide space for the popcorn to heat and expand.

In between the cooking time, give a quick shake as it heats in the microwave to evenly distribute the heat. Listen to the popping sounds; when you hear a pause longer than 2 seconds between the pops, then it’s time to remove the air popped popcorn from the microwave.

Once microwaving popcorns without oil is complete, go ahead and season to taste for a delicious and unique snack.

How Do You Microwave Popcorn Without Oil?

Measure one-quarter cup of popcorn kernels and pour into a paper bag that is not coated with any plastic or wax lining. The bag coating may contain nonstick chemicals that are potential microwave popcorn dangers that may not be suitable for your health. 

Alternatively, opt for a glass popcorn bowl that is more efficient as well. Cover with a microwavable lid to secure the top and keep the steam inside the bowl.

When microwaving popcorn in a bowl, high heat setting for a maximum of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The popcorns should start popping after 45 seconds and slow as you approach the two minute mark.

When the popcorn slows to popping once every 2 seconds, take the bowl out of the microwave. Don’t open the lid immediately; trap the heat inside for a few seconds and allow the remaining popcorns to pop as well.

Transfer the popcorn to a serving bowl and put a wire cooling rack on top of the bowl. Turn the bowl upside down as you hold the cooling rack over the top to shake the bowl and let the kernels that aren’t popped fall out.

Place the fallen kernels that are not popped back into the paper bag and give another go. Microwave additional time to make them fluffy and popped by recooking them.

Season with herbs and salt and shake them well to serve.

How Long Do You Microwave Popcorn Without Oil?

The standard time for microwaving ¼ cup of popcorn kernels is 3-4 minutes for a 1000-watt appliance. Give attention to how the popcorns pop; when the sound slows down to 2 or 3 second intervals, the stop microwaving and remove the popcorn from the microwave.

The exact time might be different depending on the type of microwave and bowl or bag method being used. To determine how long it will take to microwave popcorn, you may have to conduct some trial-and-error testing with a few batches in your appliance.

Tips to Microwave Popcorn Without Oil

Making oil-free microwave popcorn is healthy way to satisfy your snack craving. Whether you use a bowl or bag to make popcorn in microwave, you don’t need oil to make it pop.
When there is too much oil, the kernels won’t pop properly. On the other hand, without oil and precaution, the popcorn may burn quite easily. 

To avoid this incident, here are some tips to help you make popcorn in microwave without oil:

  • Stay near the microwave and listen to the popping sounds. If there is 2-3 second pause between each pop, then take it out from the microwave immediately to avoid burning.
  • Always use a bowl that is microwave safe. The bowl should be large enough to hold all the popcorns after popping. A ¼ cup of kernels will yield about 6 cups of popped popcorns. If a glass bowl is not available, ensure it’s tempered and that it can withstand the high heat like these microwave popcorn poppers.
  • Use a vented microwave cover. If you are using a microwavable bowl instead of a bag, ensure the lid is vented. Failure to use a vented lid can result in intense heat building up inside the bowl causing it to explode. However, you can decide to cover the bowl with parchment paper and tighten it with a rubber band. Then poke vent holes with a knife on the top.
  • Microwaving popcorn time varies. Adjust depending on the age and water content of the kernels, amount of popcorn and microwave wattage. 
  • When using paper bag, use any size brown paper bag that comfortably fits in the microwave. Depend on how much popcorn you are microwaving, a lunch sack size is good for one portion and bigger size is great for family portions.

Best Way to Microwave Popcorn Without Oil

Healthiest way to consume popcorn is without oil. It brings down calorie and make a fat-free snack to keep weight loss under control. In this case, best way to microwave popcorn is without adding oil prior to and after cooking.

Here are step-by-step instructions to microwave popcorn without oil:

  • Put a ¼ cup of popcorns in a mid-sized brown paper bag. No need to add any salt or oil. Fold the opening a couple of times to secure and tighten so no steam can escape. 
  • Set the microwave on high heat setting for 2-3 minutes, and stop microwaving when popping slows to 2 or 3 second intervals.
  • Remove the popcorn from the microwave and let it sit a few seconds until the popping sounds disappear.
  • Unfold the opening slowly and immediately transfer into a bowl to prevent from getting soggy.
  • Apply your favorite popcorn seasoning, sprinkle a layer all over for a tasty snack to enjoy.

If you see any unpopped kernels, use wire cooling wrap to turn the bowl upside down to separate the kernels and popcorns. Repeat the process with the unpopped kernels in paper bag and microwave to get the most out of it. 

How to microwave popcorn without oil

Microwaving Popcorn Without Oil: Conclusion

Prepare popcorn that is delicious and healthy without using any oil at all. If you are on weight watch and need healthy fat-free popcorn to snack on during movie night, simply not adding oil to the process is possible.

Insert ¼ cup of popcorn kernel in a lunch sized paper bag. Double fold the opening to secure from steam and hot air to escape.

Place the paper bag into microwave and run for 2 minutes and 30 seconds on high power setting.

Pay attention to the popping sound. Once the pop slows down, take it out and shake or let it sit a few second. 

Slowly open the bag and transfer popcorn into a serving bowl. Observe if there are any unpopped kernels to repeat the process.

Add any season or sea salt of your choose to enjoy the fat-free and oil-free popcorn. 

With the right storing method, you can make a big batch and keep some for a snack later on. Allow them to cool off, then store in an airtight container; the texture might not be the same, but they will still taste good.

Microwave popcorn can also be made without oil using a brown lunch bag, glass bowl or popcorn popper. So, if brown bags are not in your kitchen, then a microwave safe bowl might be the best option for you.