Cooking With………A Stapler?

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You know what this blog needs? Is more brown paper bags! I’ve enjoyed baking fish in a brown paper bag and I’m satisfied that there are no health risks to using them for cooking purposes.

Let me assure you that brown paper lunch bags are not made of recycled paper, the cooking time (2.5 minutes) will do nothing to the paper and the use of one staple is not dangerous, it will not spark in your microwave and no damage will be done to you or your appliance.

I also recently tripped upon Alton Brown’s method of “make your own microwave popcorn” and I’m very pleased to say that the method works, kinda. I found his recipe when I was concerned about the recent news of commercial microwave popcorn being not that good for you (albeit still tasty).

I first tried his recipe with fine sea salt and olive oil but sadly it didn’t taste that good as the olive oil was too heavy and the sea salt fell to the bottom of the bag (rather than adhere to the kernels).

My second attempt was marginally better with the use of more sea salt and corn oil.

My third, final and most successful attempt was achieved when I finally found popcorn salt at my local bulk food store.

Alton is right (again), this fine popcorn salt adheres better to the popcorn and it tasted as good as any other microwave popcorn that’s out there. You may also add a dash of any of the popcorn flavourings that are out there. So long Orville Redenbacher!

Microwave Popcorn at Home

1/4 cup good popping corn

2 tsp. of corn oil

1/2 tsp. of popcorn salt

paper lunch bag

  1. In a bowl, toss the popcorn with the oil and salt. Slide the contents into a brown paper lunch bag.
  2. Fold the top of the bag and staple once.
  3. Microwave on “High” for 2.2 minutes (no burnt popcorn).
  4. Carefully take the bag out of the microwave, pour into a bowl and add any other flavouring you desire.

© 2008,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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12 Comments for “Cooking With………A Stapler?”



I usually cook popcorn in a normal pot with olive oil and low to medium heat. And the pot covered, of course! I love the sound of popcorn when they explode. The salt is added afterwards.

You forgott two main ingredients here, Peter: A confortable sofa and a good movie!!!!!

Peter M


Kevin, it’s easy and you know exactly what’s in your popcorn.

Val, add popcorn to your shopping list.

Proud Italiana, the microwave is once again worthy!

Nuria, you forgot one last ingredient, a mamacita!

Sylvia, popcorn is a healthy snack.



Too bad we neither have the brown paper lunch bags nor popcorn salt so I’ll stick to the old fashioned way!



The fine powdery-ness of the salt is what seems to make the difference – I wonder if you could use regular kosher salt run thru a grinder?

Peter M


Vicki, you can certainly try that. I tried fine sea salt and most of it fell stayed in the bag and on the bowl bottom.

Let me know how it turns out.

Laurie Constantino


Thanks Peter, I’ve always wanted to know how to do this, and mixed the Alton Brown show. Besides, you’re better than Alton!