Healthy Popcorn in the Microwave


We have an unhealthy obsession with popcorn poppers on board Shadowbeast (our nickname for our 1998 Foretravel U320). Though we love an old-fashioned Jiffy Pop popcorn tin over the campfire, we also like our popcorn on days and nights when we’re tucked up inside, for weather or other reasons. Our daughter, Elizabeth the foodie, likes to make gourmet popcorn by adding a variety of additional ingredients such as cracked black pepper, garlic powder or onion powder, or even cinnamon and sugar to the typical melted butter and salt combination. Are you hungry yet?

We’ve had popcorn poppers that go on the stovetop, grill or campfire, and poppers that go in the microwave. We used a giant covered wok when we lived in our sticks and bricks. We have had Whirly-Pops and we have done low-tech popped corn in a paper bag (works great, btw!). We have had a glass microwave popcorn popper with a silicone lid that melted the butter over the corn as it popped but it, as was inevitable, broke. What were we thinking with a glass popcorn popper anyway? Anyway…

Silicone Microwave Popcorn Popper

When that last popper broke, we were in the market for a popper suitable for an RV kitchen. It needed to be lightweight, easy to clean and easy to store. We found one that met all those requirements and which makes the perfect bowl of popped corn for our family. Meet the Chef’N Silicone Microwave Popcorn Popper. Bonus: it comes in red!

Chef’N Popcorn Popper Popping

It’s really simple as can be. You don’t even have to measure the popcorn kernels because the bottom is designed to hold just the perfect amount in the recessed cup at the base of the popper. Fill to the edge of that cup and you’ll have the perfect amount of popped corn – about 8 cups! I’d like to say this is enough for the whole family, but uh…I’d be lying.

Then simply fold the tabs in to close up the popper and it’s ready to go in the microwave. I like to overfill the popcorn reservoir a little and live on the edge, so following internet advice, we put a damp paper towel over the top of the popper which delays its opening just enough to let you pop an extra cup or so of popcorn at a time. Without popped kernels flying all over the microwave!

In our 1500 watt Sharp Carousel Microwave/Convection oven, it takes between three minutes and fifteen seconds (3:15) and four minutes (4:00) to pop fully, depending on how full the popper is. Listen to the sound of the popping and stop the microwave when pops become as few as one every couple of seconds – you can tell when it’s slowing down, and you don’t want burned microwave popcorn. What a stench. If I’m using a melted fat for the topping, I often throw it in in a small silicone pinch bowl next to the popcorn in the last 30 seconds, but be quick!

Healthy Microwave Popcorn

How healthy is popcorn? Even microwave popcorn can be healthy, but it can also be doused with saturated fat and tossed with copious amounts of salt, so watch out! If you make your popcorn from kernels, not from a pre-packaged bag, you’ll have much more control over not just the ingredients, but the process.

healthy-popcorn-001This Chef’N popper doesn’t use any oil in the popping process which saves added fat up front. It also saves on cleanup for both the popper and the microwave…winning.

We use about 1/4 cup of organic kernels, the fresher the better, and often spritz with olive oil, sprinkle with dried Italian herbs (or chopped fresh!), cracked black pepper and kosher salt. The popcorn alone is about 240 calories, and you add about 40 calories with a teaspoon of atomized olive oil, plus sodium in the form of salt. You also get about 3.6 grams of fiber, so that’s a positive. Keep in mind any potentially unhealthy saturated fats you top your popped corn weaken the argument of this being a healthy snack, so choose wisely. Enjoy popped corn!

How do you pop your corn?



: Check out their website



Cost: Free!


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