You might have noticed while making popcorn at other people’s places, the microwave automatically spins the bag around 360 degrees while cooking. When you get home though, your bag just sits there in the middle, doing nothing. So, is it better to spin your popcorn bag while it’s in the microwave?
Popcorn does not need to spin to cook in a microwave, although it does enhance the cooking process. You can manually rotate your microwave popcorn bag every 20 seconds until it starts to pop. If your bag of popcorn does rotate, it will help disperse the heat more evenly, making your microwave more effective.
Keep reading to learn how you can get the best bag of popcorn from your microwave, every single time.
Can You Make Microwave Popcorn That Doesn’t Spin?
You can make popcorn in any microwave, regardless of whether it spins or not. The heat applied to the popcorn bag will create enough pressure to cause the kernels to start popping, even if the bag isn’t spinning.
All popcorn needs is a heat source and an enclosed space in order to pop. As long as there is enough pressure being created by the heat, you will end up with popcorn. Spinning isn’t a requirement in this process.
Older models of microwaves don’t have a turntable that allows your popcorn to spin 360 degrees. You don’t need to buy a new microwave that has a turntable in order to make popcorn.
Many people end up buying their own kernels because they have bad experiences with microwaves that don’t spin, cooking the bag unevenly. You can use your stovetop or transfer your kernels to a different container to make your popcorn more efficiently.
We’ll cover these methods in more detail later in this article. Although these methods are more efficient, they aren’t required to make a good bag of popcorn.
Why Would You Want Your Microwave Popcorn to Spin?
You want popcorn to spin in a microwave so that it cooks evenly and you don’t suffer from burnt or unpopped kernels. Your popcorn doesn’t need to spin to pop, but it’s a more efficient way of cooking.
When your popcorn is sitting on a microwave turntable, it will heat more evenly because all sides of the bag are equally exposed. When the kernels are not heated evenly, the ones that receive more heat will pop while the others do not.
As you’re waiting for the remaining kernels to pop, your ready-to-go popcorn is still receiving more heat and has a greater chance of burning.
The combination of burnt popcorn and a lot of unpopped kernels will lead to an unenjoyable experience and a wasted bag of popcorn.
To get your money’s worth in popcorn, try to keep your bag spinning while it’s heating in your microwave.
If you like hot sauce, you might enjoy the article Can I Put Hot Sauce On My Popcorn?
Will Microwave Popcorn Burn if it Doesn’t Spin?
Popcorn will burn if left in the same position for too long while heating. The same amount of heat will be applied to the same area of the bag, causing certain kernels to burn while others may not pop at all.
A typical modern microwave oven has several vents inside that produce heat when they are on. These vents are always blowing heat in the same direction. If your bag of popcorn is not spinning, the heat will constantly be applied to the same area.
This can be good because it causes the kernels that are receiving the heat to pop faster than normal. But if the position never changes, those kernels that have popped will begin to burn from too much heat.
If your microwave doesn’t have a turntable, you can avoid burning your popcorn by manually moving the bag yourself. Every 20 seconds or so, turn your bag 180 degrees so that all sides receive the same amount of heat.
Once you start hearing a pop every second or two, you can stop turning your bag. The more you open the microwave door, the more heat you allow to escape. This can create large fluctuations in the pressure inside the bag.
If there isn’t enough consistency with the heat and pressure during the cooking process, your bag could go through the same burning issues as before.
Are There Alternative Ways of Making Popcorn?
You can use the stovetop or an air fryer to make popcorn if you can’t use a microwave. Both methods require sealing any openings in your popping container so you can create enough heat and pressure to make the kernels pop.
If you have a pan big enough to hold all of your popcorn, you can use it to pop your kernels. You just need to put a little oil or butter in the pan and then put a lid on top once the kernels are inside.
Shake the pan from time to time to prevent the popcorn from burning. If you have a microwave that doesn’t spin, this can be a more effective method for getting all of your kernels to pop. You’ll just have to transfer the kernels from inside the bag into your pan.
Another popular method is the air fryer. All air fryers come with a sauté setting you can use to pop your kernels. Use the same process as outlined for the pan method, except this time you will be using the air fryer lid to seal the opening.
You’ll want to listen carefully to determine when to stop the air fryer.
When the popping slows down to about two seconds between every pop, you know it’s done.
If you are looking for ways to flavor your popcorn check out the article 11 Simple Ways to Flavor Your Popcorn
Making Popcorn Without a Spinning Microwave
You can make popcorn in a microwave that doesn’t spin but you will want to take a more hands-on approach to get delicious tasting popcorn. By manually turning your bag, or using an alternative method to cook your popcorn, you can avoid burning or unpopped kernels. This will ensure you get as much bang for your buck as possible from every bag.