The biggest mistake people make in life…

I firmly believe that the biggest mistake people make in life is using the “Popcorn” button on the microwave.

Don't do it!

It just never works the way its supposed to.

My experience with the button is that, for regular sized bags of microwavable popcorn, it results in a half to two thirds popped bag of corn with a bunch of unpopped kernels. For miniature sized bags, it burns the popcorn.

Yes I know this is 2011, but I need to instruct those of you who do not know how to use a microwave to pop any bags of popcorn designed for the microwave. Also, a variation of these instructions should be printed on each bag of microwavable popcorn that you purchase, so c’mon guys, follow directions and skip the dumb button.

  1. Remove the cellophane wrapper from your bag.
  2. Open microwave door.
  3. Place it in your microwave with the side labeled “This side up” facing up.
  4. Close microwave door.
  5. Set the microwave to something greater than 3 minutes. 4 minutes is a safe number
  6. Hit “Start” or “Go” or whatever button your microwave has to make it begin the microwaving process.
  7. Listen carefully; You’ll hear nothing for a while, then you’ll hear a lot of popping. When the popping subsides to 2 or so seconds between pops, hit your “Stop” button.
  8. Let the bag sit in the microwave for about 15 seconds.
  9. Open the microwave and proceed to enjoy your unburned popcorn and minimal unpopped kernels.

Nine steps seems like a lot, but it is a small price to pay to not need to heat oil in a large pot and pop your own kernels.

But seriously, though, buy an air popper, and stop using that stupid button on the microwave.


6 thoughts on “The biggest mistake people make in life…

  • Daniel B.

    The problem isn’t the button.
    The problem is the microwave.

    Making popcorn in a pot with oil is crazy easy and super delicious. Those who opt out of making it for real get what they deserve.

    Here’s the technique from Bittman:

    • derryX

      Very true, but this is mainly intended for those who prefer relying on scientists engineering bags of ready-to-go popcorn. The message is that even though the work (admittedly crudely measuring popcorn and oil into a pot and heating) is being done by scientists and by the microwave, so the very least people can do is stand by and listen.

      If you think about how simple the task of popping corn in a pot is and how much time and brainpower goes into getting around this process, it almost seems like wasted effort…

  • Darth

    Only once have I owned a microwave where when I pressed the popcorn button, that it came out PERFECT. Not burnt, and maybe 3 or 4 pieces weren’t popped. It was freaking amazing there man. It was also the most expensive microwave i’ve ever owned, I believe it was around $300 – but you can cook a turkey in the damn thing if you really wanted to.

  • JoJo

    Serious love for this post! Although, I’m with Daniel B. If you have the time, make popcorn the right way.

  • Andrea

    I have to say I love this post!! When we moved to our new office in Latham I was furious to find out my desk was directly in front of a kitchen. Not a single on of my coworkers can appropriately cook a bag of popcorn. Every day I get the joy of burnt popcorn.

    I’m printing your instructions and taping to microwave!!!!!!!

  • Steve from Bloomington

    I had a Japanese room-mate who couldn’t stand the smell of microwave popcorn. Actually he told me you could take over Japan by making a microwave popcorn smell bomb. Because I generally like Japan and Japanese people plus their unfortunate history with newly invented bombs, I’m not going to act on that knowledge.


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