3 Dos & Don'ts for Microwaving Popcorn

Microwave guru chef Matt Abdoo has his three tips for making the best, fluffiest and perfectly cooked popcorn.

3 Dos & Don'ts for Microwaving Popcorn

Microwave popcorn is one of the best snacks! But sometimes it's difficult to get that perfect bowl. So microwave guru chef Matt Abdoo has his three tips for making the best, fluffiest and perfectly cooked popcorn.

DON'T USE THE POPCORN BUTTON

As tempting and easy as it may be, don't fall for the "Popcorn" button on your microwave. Not all microwaves are made the same, so they won't cook your bag the same way either. And there's no sensor to determine when the bag is ready, so it'll just keep cooking your popcorn until the set amount of time finishes.


Instead, manually set the microwave and don't remove the bag until you hear the kernels popping 2 seconds apart. That's when it's just right.

NEVER LEAVE UNPOPPED KERNELS

Don't you hate when there's a bunch of unpopped kernels in the bottom of your bag? The problem could be the kernels themselves.

Each grain or kernel has three parts: the hull, the germ, and the endosperm. Popcorn differs from other corn in that it has a thicker hull. And that hull allows pressure from the heated moisture inside to build, until the starchy endosperm bursts open through the hull. So the thicker the hull, the longer the kernel takes to pop. But the problem is that a microwave is constantly cooking what's inside, so the kernels with thinner hulls that have already popped will continue to — and burn — while you wait for the other kernels to pop.

So refer back to the first tip, and listen for kernels to pop 2 seconds apart. Don't wait for those stubborn kernels, or risk a whole bowl of burned popcorn.

TRY A MICROWAVE POPCORN POPPER

To really take the stress out of microwaving popcorn, try a fun gadget that can give you the chewiest and fluffiest popcorn every time.

A microwave-safe popcorn popper doesn't absorb and trap heat from the microwave. That means there's more heat for those other kernels at the bottom to pop! There's more flavor and fluffiness and even less mess! Just toss it in the dishwasher after you're done with it.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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