Try This Trick For Removing Unpopped Kernels From Your Microwave Popcorn

In a single lifetime, people have walked on the moon and created handheld devices that talk back to us. And yet, one stride has yet to be solidified: How do we get unpopped kernels out of our bag of microwave popcorn? Brace yourself, folks — we may have the answer.

There doesn't seem to be a set microwave setting that pops every last kernel perfectly. A mere 30 seconds can be the difference between buttery popcorn with a few unpopped kernels or burnt popcorn with some unpopped kernels. Luckily, a simple trick may get them out. After you've microwaved your bag of popcorn, open it up ever-so-slightly, just wide enough for the unpopped kernels to escape. Place a bowl underneath and shake the bag, allowing the hard kernels to fall through.

While a few full-formed pieces of popcorn may enter the bowl, many kernels should be gone from the bag. Of course, this method isn't 100% foolproof and you may find that a few unpopped kernels are lingering in the bag. Still, the method works well enough to at least reduce the amount of unheated kernels that typically make their way into your popcorn bowl.

What can you do with the unpopped kernels?

You may be tempted to throw away the unpopped kernels in your popcorn bag, but just because it wasn't their time doesn't mean they don't have potential. The kernels can easily be popped in the microwave. Place them in a paper bag and fold it a few times to keep the kernels in. Then heat it for around two minutes to get all the kernels to pop.

If you'd rather have a larger amount of popcorn, you can also squirrel away the kernels until you have enough for a regular-sized batch. With every bag of popcorn in the box, place the unpopped kernels in a jar or designated container. When you've reached the last bag, heat the popcorn in the microwave, stovetop, or even oven. With the latter two methods, you can customize the flavor of your popcorn, transforming it from just buttery morsels to something more delectable.

Heat the popcorn on the stove and toss it with Calabrian chile oil and the zest from limes and lemons for spicy citrus popcorn. If you're craving something a little sweeter, heat Nutella, butter, salt, brown sugar, and corn syrup on the stove to make rich Nutella popcorn. Or, mix the kernels in the sauce and bake them in the oven until they've popped.