If you love the fast preparation and convenience of microwave popcorn, but would prefer to avoid the chemicals, partially hydrogenated oils, and lingering odors of the commercial product, good news: All you need to pop corn in the microwave is a plain paper bag. Simply put 1/4 cup popcorn in a lunch-bag-sized paper bag (no oil is necessary), fold the top down a few times to keep the popping corn from escaping, and microwave, say Chowhounds. Carefully pour the hot popcorn into a bowl and dress as you like. You’ll end up with more unpopped kernels than when you do it in a pan on the stove, MunchkinRedux says, but “it’s quick and easy, and you can reuse the bag.”

If you’re a frequent popper, you may want to invest in a glass microwave popcorn popper. It is “a treasure!” raves sandylc, who says it “makes really crisp popcorn.”

Discuss: How Do You Make Popcorn?

Photograph by Christopher Rochelle / CHOW.com

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