Always follow directions on package
June 17, 2020 4:06 AM   Subscribe

 
I always say that every warning like that exists for a reason. Now we know.
posted by grimjeer at 4:34 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Big 2020 mood.
posted by Mizu at 4:53 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Well, he got promoted to Kernel. That’s nice.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:04 AM on June 17 [32 favorites]


That was great.

I have a pair of pants that, in the washing instructions, says "Do not allow to lay on itself when wet." WTF?
posted by dobbs at 5:05 AM on June 17 [7 favorites]


The real question is: where did Conan O'Brien get the Time Machine?
posted by chavenet at 5:36 AM on June 17 [11 favorites]


Every regulation is written in blood. Or corn, I guess.
posted by giltay at 5:38 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


I have a dry shampoo that has a very emphatic warning about how you shouldn’t apply anywhere near someone smoking, and I’m like, “Exactly how flammable is this stuff that i’m about to put on my head?”
posted by thivaia at 5:45 AM on June 17 [10 favorites]


He is a legit snack.
posted by Frayed Knot at 5:46 AM on June 17 [14 favorites]


Did anyone else flash back to this stunningly bad Original Series Star Trek episode?
posted by jabah at 5:49 AM on June 17


Yeah. Don’t press that button. It’s a trap.
posted by amanda at 6:13 AM on June 17


I mean, you can, just don't walk away and expect it to work. I always just mashed 5 a bunch and then stood and listened until it sounded like things were wrapping up in there. Usually after only a minute and change, depending on how beefy your magnetron is.
posted by Scattercat at 6:23 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Heh.

This has bugged me for years now. Virtually every brand of microwave popcorn has a disclaimer about using the popcorn button. Every microwave I've had in the past 15 to 20 years has had a popcorn button.

Can we get the popcorn and microwave people together to figure this out already?
posted by jzb at 6:43 AM on June 17 [33 favorites]


I think the problem is that on some microwaves the popcorn button is a pre-programmed time. others you can choose a programmed time based on package size (mine does this, but the choices don't match the packages we buy). others use the steam sensor. And I have also seen some that apparently have a mechanism to listen to the pops made by the corn and can stop when they slow down.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:47 AM on June 17


apparently have a mechanism to listen to the pops made by the corn and can stop when they slow down.

This is the same mechanism that Obama used to bug the Current Occupant’s campaign, isn’t it?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:02 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
posted by neuron at 7:26 AM on June 17 [21 favorites]


I make in a pot on the stove. Fully in control. No problem. Them newfangled gadgets ain’t to be trusted.
posted by njohnson23 at 7:46 AM on June 17 [7 favorites]


Pressing "popcorn" causes a kernel panic.
posted by fnerg at 8:13 AM on June 17 [47 favorites]


This has very strong Waverly Flams energy.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:13 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


W H I R L Y P O P
       O R
     G T F O
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:17 AM on June 17 [10 favorites]


Pressing "popcorn" causes a kernel panic.

*ugh* Take your damn favorite.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:22 AM on June 17 [14 favorites]


Can we get the popcorn and microwave people together to figure this out already?

YOU DO NOT WANT THIS. You will end up with DRM popcorn bags and a microwave with a camera that identifies the QR sensor on the popcorn bag for instructions and only pops certain licensed brands.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:23 AM on June 17 [48 favorites]


I make in a pot on the stove. Fully in control.

We started doing that in this house again recently. The youngster of the family was shocked to learn that popcorn can actually taste like something.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:33 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Popcorn is one of those things where I genuinely don't get what people are doing when they say they "can't" make it on the stove. It is literally as difficult as boiling spaghetti.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:42 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


The youngster of the family was shocked to learn that popcorn can actually taste like something.

When I make it on the stove, that something is burning!
posted by Carillon at 8:49 AM on June 17 [26 favorites]


It is literally as difficult as boiling spaghetti.

Boiling spaghetti is easy. Boiling spaghetti to al dente is difficult for amateurs. Similarly, a lot people might have the wrong temperature and end up burning the popcorn as they're making it or not having the heat to get the popcorn to pop.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:50 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Right but as with boiling spaghetti, a five minute google will get you there. It's not like poaching an egg where you can know all the theory and still fuck it up because you lack the finesse (an example that is definitely not relevant to me, no sir)
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:52 AM on June 17


Just go get yourself a Whirlypop stove top popcorn popper. A little oil, some salt and butter and you've got a much better product with slightly more effort and almost no more time.

Microwave popcorn is... awful.
posted by bondcliff at 9:05 AM on June 17


Microwave popcorn is a wonderful substrate for flavours, kind of like saltines. Put some Spicy Chilli Crisp on yours and blow your mind. Eat with chopsticks to keep fingers tidy.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:17 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


My popcorn button is about 15 seconds too short. I usually start for 15 then finish with the popcorn button.
posted by ShakeyJake at 9:20 AM on June 17


Microwave popcorn is a wonderful substrate for flavours, kind of like saltines.

This works with real popcorn too.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:36 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


My popcorn recipe:

Place lidded popcorn pot (3 quart) on power burner and click on gas, turn to medium high
Add peanut oil to thinly cover bottom of pot
Add popcorn kernels to cover bottom in single layer

Wait about 30 seconds for oil to heat

Swish pot around to get kernels evenly coated in oil
Place lid jauntily askew

Wait until popcorn stops popping (This takes about 3 or 4 tries to get right, but once you nail it, you'll never have burnt corn again)
Pour popcorn into vintage popcorn bowl
Shake on Herbs De Provence
Shake on Salt
Toss to coat evenly
posted by rebent at 9:43 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


This is a very nicely made video and a fun post; Thanks JHarris. I hope the filmmaker goes on to a film career.
posted by theora55 at 9:51 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I think my problem was that the lid was not jauntily askew enough.

The best part of when most people started working from home was that there was far less microwave popcorn in the office. I have not seen any MSDS's, but that stuff has to be some sort of hazard.
posted by MtDewd at 10:09 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I don't know if diacetyl is still used in microwave popcorn, but there was a big issue a while back with microwave popcorn factory employees getting lung damage from it. I don't think a risk to consumers of popcorn was ever established, though.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:15 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Yeah I wouldn't mess around with popcorn warnings. When they say "DO NOT REHEAT UNPOPPED KERNELS", they mean "DO NOT REHEAT UNPOPPED KERNELS".
posted by AllShoesNoSocks at 10:31 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


tobascodagama, that totally happened. A person who really liked to huff fresh popcorn came down with popcorn lung.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:58 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I like to heat the oil with only 3 kernels in it to serve as temperature witnesses, because you want rapid production of steam to pop the kernels— ie the majority of the kernels need to heat quickly in oil that's at temp. also why it's important to use fresh popping corn. if you have all the kernels in the oil as it comes up to temp, they either heat too slowly if the heat is on the correct setting, or if you use a higher flame the oil will overheat and scorch.
posted by a halcyon day at 11:00 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


My way is basically the stovetop method that rebent outlines above, but lately I've been doing a modified (even lazier version of something that doesn't really take a lot of effort in the first place) PEPCORN and it is amazing.

Instead of doing all of the steps Brian David Gilbert demos in the video, I just try to get an extra-oily spoonful of LaoGanMa Chili Crisp and mix in right into the oil I'm using for popping. Gotta keep it moving because there are some solid bits in there, but you sorta have to do that to pop the popcorn anyhow.

Do dust with gochugaru after, if you have it. And I haven't done it cuz I'm trying not to add salt to stuff, but I like his idea of zipping up salt in the spice grinder to make super special fine "theater salt".
posted by cocotine at 11:38 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


> Popcorn is one of those things where I genuinely don't get what people are doing when they say they "can't" make it on the stove. It is literally as difficult as boiling spaghetti.

If you've heard the stories I've heard about people setting kitchens on fire while trying to boil spaghetti, you wouldn't lean too hard on that analogy.

As for me, I've got a thirty or forty year old Popcorn Pumper air popper that still works fine. The secret to getting the popcorn evenly coated with butter is to drizzle it over the popcorn while the air popper is filling the bowl.
posted by ardgedee at 11:38 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


> “Exactly how flammable is this stuff that i’m about to put on my head?”

Dry shampoo is aerosolized powdered starch (often rice), which frequently explodes inside of grain silos. So… pretty flammable, actually!
posted by WaylandSmith at 11:42 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Carbon steel woks with the big dome lids are excellent for stovetop popcorn. And it's a great way to maintain the seasoning of the wok to preserve the nonstick patina. Wrapping the lid in foil helps make cleaning up easier. And during popping, slightly lift the lid a few times to vent steam.
posted by dnash at 11:47 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


When I make it on the stove, that something is burning!

1 cup of popcorn to 6 tbsps of your choice of oil, plus salt. Stove on medium. The trick is to SHAKE THE POT THE ENTIRE TIME. As soon as you turn on the heat, start shaking the pot back and forth. Nothing too violent, just back and forth like 1-2 times per second. Do not stop shaking until the popcorn stops popping. This keeps the corn from burning.

Then, as soon as the popcorn stops popping, get it off the stove and the hell out of that hot pot. That's the other time it'll burn.

You do this? Popcorn that tastes like popcorn instead of plastic "butter."
posted by nushustu at 12:25 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Popcorn is one of those things where I genuinely don't get what people are doing when they say they "can't" make it on the stove. It is literally as difficult as boiling spaghetti.

Not when the glass lid of your pot has a bad seal, so when you make popcorn on the stove oil gets under the rim of the lid and is really hard to clean out. I hate that.

Wrapping the lid in foil helps make cleaning up easier.

This is a technique I have not heard of and maybe should try.
posted by bananana at 12:48 PM on June 17


Very Bob Mortimer crossed with David Lynch.
posted by migurski at 1:07 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Great video! (If we’re still talking about that.)

This thread:
Making popcorn on the stove is easy!
[40 lengthy posts about the complexities and subtleties of making popcorn on the stove]

posted by ejs at 1:09 PM on June 17 [19 favorites]


My popcorn button works perfectly. And I love microwave popcorn because my palate can't distinguish the difference between stovetop and microwave, but my dogs hate microwave so I get it all to myself.
posted by charred husk at 1:14 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


My Stir Crazy analog popcorn popper has kept me from going, well...

And don't forget to add the Flavacol to the oil!
posted by JDC8 at 1:46 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


My popcorn button works perfectly.

I have no reason to disbelieve y—

posted by charred husk

Oh.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:58 PM on June 17 [21 favorites]


Microwave: Hey here's a handy popcorn button for making popcorn. Enjoy!

Microwave popcorn: Do not believe the deceiver's lies. Every word it utters drips with poison.
posted by mhum at 6:12 PM on June 17 [13 favorites]


I am regularly incensed by the 'popcorn' 'defrost' and other options on my microwave, as they are seemingly pre-programmed shortcuts, but actually are incredibly unhelpful. Once you've pressed them it then asks you to type in a QTY amount, which, sure, is obviously Quantity, but in what units? It seems to expect a decimal point, but other than that is entirely opaque as to what it will do. Cook more powerfully if it's more....things? Cook longer? I have long since given up and operate entirely by repeated presses of the +30 button, as does everyone I know. At least my home one has words on, and not the inscrutable glyphs you sometimes see. Really they should go back to the 2 dial approach, which actually worked.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:36 AM on June 18 [4 favorites]


I have found defrost buttons on microwaves very helpful. The quantity is usually mass which can be measured with a kitchen scale.
posted by grouse at 5:59 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


> I am regularly incensed by the 'popcorn' 'defrost' and other options on my microwave, as they are seemingly pre-programmed shortcuts, but actually are incredibly unhelpful. Once you've pressed them it then asks you to type in a QTY amount, which, sure, is obviously Quantity, but in what units? It seems to expect a decimal point, but other than that is entirely opaque as to what it will do.

You didn't read the manual?
posted by ardgedee at 7:52 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]



I am regularly incensed by the 'popcorn' 'defrost' and other options on my microwave, as they are seemingly pre-programmed shortcuts, but actually are incredibly unhelpful. Once you've pressed them it then asks you to type in a QTY amount, which, sure, is obviously Quantity, but in what units? It seems to expect a decimal point, but other than that is entirely opaque as to what it will do.


Also me. I defrost by nuking things at a lower power level, because not only does my microwave want to know the weight, it wants to know, by a coded number what kind of food I'm defrosting and ain't nobody got time to look that shit up. (See also the "beverage" and "dinner plate" buttons.)
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:29 AM on June 18


I always burn popcorn when I make it on the stove and I've often burned it with prebagged microwave corn. But this collapsible silicon bowl has made it ridiculously easy for me. 40g of popcorn, some popcorn salt, and 4-5 grams of coconut oil at 2 min and 5 seconds (full power) and it's popcorn time. I've never burned popcorn with it and I usually only have 1-3 unpopped kernels (which is not something I can say for either stove or prebagged corn). Super easy cleanup too. I have one of those small GE over the stove microwaves.

(And wow, this reads like an ad. But seriously, I do like this product and use it often.)
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:00 AM on June 18


This is a very nicely made video and a fun post; Thanks JHarris. I hope the filmmaker goes on to a film career.

It's worth checking out the other videos on his YouTube channel if you haven't already. Funny, and with some fresh ideas. Echoing "Thanks JHarris"!
posted by Lexica at 1:12 PM on June 18


I used to have a microwave with 2 dials - Time and Power. It was excellent. Didn't fit in the new house.
posted by theora55 at 3:52 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I make my popcorn in an air popper and I love it. So much better than microwave and I can put real butter on it instead of whatever butter flavor is on the microwave stuff.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:54 AM on June 19


> I used to have a microwave with 2 dials - Time and Power

Ah, there's no way that could go wrong in a creepy sci-fi 1980s sort of way.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:31 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


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