Why You Should Think Twice About Using The Popcorn Button On Your Microwave

Popcorn is a favorite snack among most Americans. According to a poll conducted by Nationalday.com, 9 out of 10 people like to munch and crunch on popcorn. Whether they are at a movie theater or in the privacy of their own home watching television and playing games, popcorn aficionados are happy to be grabbing a handful of the fluffy white popped kernels. And while popcorn has been around for centuries, the convenience of microwave popcorn didn't make its debut until the 1980s. During 2020, microwave popcorn sales really popped, raking in $848.5 million in sales, per Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery

But as much as we love to eat this microwavable snack food, there seems to be a bit of disparity when it comes to the magical popcorn button on your microwave. Per Reader's Digest, most of those buttons are set to run for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, but not all. This can make popping your microwave popcorn a bit of a guessing game. However, it might surprise some people to learn, you may not want to be using that button and instead should try using a totally different strategy when you want to pop up a bag of your favorite popcorn. 

Always read the directions

Reader's Digest explains there are actually microwavable popcorn brands that warn against using the popcorn button on your small appliance. So, what's a popcorn lover to do? Even Redditors are asking the question: "Why is there a popcorn button on the microwave if every popcorn bag says not to use the popcorn button?"

While we can't answer this very philosophical question, Reader's Digest suggests a different strategy that's actually kind of elementary. To remove the mystery of whether or not you should use that popcorn button, read the directions on your popcorn package. If it recommends not using the microwave button, don't.

The Washington Post points out that most of us don't like to take that precursory step because we want "instant satisfaction." But as Reader's Digest notes, if you read the directions on your microwavable popcorn, it can save you from half popped or burned to a crisp popcorn. Moreover, Becky Beach, a food and lifestyle expert/blogger, cautioned, "Each brand of popcorn is different, so pay close attention."

Beach also suggests that you look at your microwave manual to see if it can "detect humidity" because these microwaves are more likely to produce perfectly popped popcorn; however, she warns that you still might need to keep an eye on your popcorn if you want to ensure your microwave gets your popcorn right.