When your popcorn bag is too big for the microwave, the popcorn has a higher chance of burning and not all of your kernels will end up popping. Burned popcorn can be so frustrating but don’t fret yet.
If your popcorn bag is too big, you can transfer the kernels to a microwaveable bowl to finish popping. You can also use a small brown paper bag and transfer your kernels to it. Alternatively, you can empty the bag into a pan and cook it on the stovetop or simply manually turn your popcorn bag to help it distribute the heat for better popping.
Don’t give up on your microwave popcorn bags yet as there are many ways to fix the problem of your popcorn bag being too big for your microwave.
Can You Transfer Kernels to a Smaller Bag?
You can transfer your kernels to a small brown paper bag if your original bag is too big for the microwave. You can still add any butter or oil, but you will need to fold over the bag’s opening to create an enclosed space.
Transferring kernels is one of the easiest tricks people don’t always think of to fit your kernels in the microwave if your bag is too big. In fact, if you have a pretty small microwave, it may work better to just start buying kernels and using this method.
Make sure you have a brown paper bag that is big enough to allow the kernels to pop while being closed but still small enough to fit in the microwave. The lunch size (5’ x 9’) works best for most microwaves.
- Once you have your brown paper bag, open the original popcorn bag and transfer the kernels into the paper bag. You can add a little oil, butter, or salt so your kernels have a chance to absorb some flavor while popping.
- Once all the kernels are in, start folding the top of the paper bag so the opening is closed. Leave some room between the kernels and the top of the folded bag so they can pop easily.
- Throw the kernels into the microwave like normal and you’ll have a perfect-sized bag for your microwave.
The paper bag isn’t the most efficient method to use because it doesn’t create as good of a seal as other containers, but it can be very effective.
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Can You Use a Bowl to Make Popcorn?
If you have a microwave-safe bowl with a lid, you can place your kernels inside to make popcorn. Make sure there is no air escaping from inside the bowl in order to create enough pressure to pop the kernels.
Any microwave-safe bowl will work just as well as the bag technique in the previous section. In fact, it may be better at popping as many kernels as possible because of the air-tight lid.
You’ll want to take your oversized bag and tear it open to get the kernels out. Transfer the kernels into your bowl and put them right into the microwave. You can add any seasoning or other ingredients before putting the bowl in the microwave.
If you don’t have an air-tight lid to go with your bowl, you can use a flat plate or any other microwave-safe tool that will lay flat on the top of your bowl. You want to create the same seal to capture as much air pressure and heat inside the bowl as possible.
Can You Make Popcorn on the Stove?
You don’t have to force a huge bag of popcorn into your microwave. Your stovetop will work in the same way your microwave does, as long as you create an enclosed space for the kernels.
Here is how you can make your popcorn directly on the stove:
- To start, take a big enough pan to fit your kernels and turn your stovetop to medium heat. You don’t want the heat too high or you run the risk of burning the kernels that have already popped while waiting for the others.
- Next, put a tablespoon of either olive oil or butter into the pan and wait for it to heat up. You’ll want to spread the oil or butter across the bottom of the pan once it becomes heated.
- Now you’re ready for your kernels. Place them in the pan gently in an even layer, if possible. Put your lid on top of the pan as soon as they are all inside.
Make sure your lid completely covers any openings. Once you start seeing kernels popping, you want to shake the pan every 30 seconds or so. You don’t want the popcorn to sit on the bottom of the pan in one place for too long because it might start burning.
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Should I Manually Turn an Oversized Popcorn Bag?
You should manually turn your bag of popcorn 180 degrees every 20 seconds if you have an oversized bag. This will help your kernels pop evenly instead of only popping on one side.
When people say their bag of popcorn is too big for their microwave, they usually mean it won’t spin on its own. The sides of the bag collide with the sides of the microwave and prevent it from turning fully.
This means that only a specific side of your bag of popcorn is getting all the heat. This can cause uneven cooking and some of your kernels won’t pop at all. The side that does pop might even experience burning while you wait for the rest of the bag to cook.
To help this process, you’ll need to open the door of the microwave every 20 seconds and manually turn the popcorn bag 180 degrees. Once the bag starts to really get going, you don’t need to continue turning the bag.
You’ve already created enough space inside the bag for the kernels to experience a similar amount of pressure. Although it might take you a little more time, manually turning your bag if it’s too big will help you get a better bag of popcorn.
Are There Smaller Popcorn Bags Available?
Normal bags of popcorn can be anywhere from 2-4 ounces but there are smaller bags available that are only 1-2 ounces. Smaller bags fit better into microwaves and have healthier portion sizes.
The normal size bags of popcorn are enough to fill up a couple of people while watching a movie. While great for a couple, the normal size bags are often too big to fit into smaller microwaves. They don’t turn fully or they’ll fill up the entire inside.
You can solve this problem by going with a smaller “mini” bag of popcorn. These single portion popcorn bags are much smaller and will often fit into any size microwave.