Heat Water First For Better Microwave Popcorn

Heat Water First For Better Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn is not all it could be, at least compared to its stove-top and popcorn machine brethren. Want a likely fix? Heat a bowl of water in your microwave right before it’s popcorn time, and you might get moister, fluffier results.

Photo by grantlairdjr.

Lifehacker commenter HeartBurnKid got this tip on a microwave popcorn bag handed out as a freebie by his health insurance company—we’ll presume it was of the “light,” or at least non-buttered variety. His directions call for a cup of water, heated for one minute on high, with a quick swap-in of the popcorn after it finishes. Popcorn maker Pop Weaver also calls the water-before-popcorn method the “first step in making great microwave popcorn”. If so, at least one Lifehacker editor has to look back on 29 years of movie nights and wonder why this never came up.

Have you given the water-heating popcorn hack a try? Tell us about your results, or any other popcorn improvements, in the comments. While you’re getting hungry, consider our previous tips on getting fewer kernels in a microwave bag, and, what the heck, making popcorn with bacon fat.

Science Project #1 [Pop Weaver]


  • Just pour some butter in there, the moisture in that is plenty, and so tasty.

    Also, regarding the super-heated water, a small pyrex dish, about 200mL can get past boiling in only a little over a minute in my microwave, and microwaves are getting more powerful every day.

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