Can you cook microwave popcorn in the oven?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you cook microwave popcorn in an oven?” with an in-depth analysis of how we can make microwave popcorn in an oven. Moreover, we will also discuss how making microwave popcorn in an oven can affect the nutritional value and texture of the microwave popcorn.

Can you cook microwave popcorn in the oven?

Yes, we can cook microwave popcorn in an oven but it is not a conventional method to cook microwave popcorn in an oven as your popcorn can become dry or can even burn, but still, if you want to make popcorn in the oven, you can go ahead and do so.

So what you gotta do is to simply add the microwave popcorn to the aluminum foil pouch. Now cook them at about 450 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. The popcorn will roughly pop in about 8-15 minutes.

Structure of popcorn kernel:

Popcorns are corn kernels. These are harvested in winters so that the product contains optimum qualities for producing tasty and healthy products. These kernels possess a strong outside shield in which moisture and starch are encapsulated. This moisture is the water content of the kernel and is essential in popping. 

Moisture within the popcorn kernel:

Popcorn kernels contain at least 10 to 20% water. Upon heating, this water turns into steam and melts the starch that is present along with it in the kernel. If the moisture content of the kernel is low, it dries out easily and also the kernel remains small in size. It is suggested that 14% water content is most suitable for popping corn kernels into good microwave popcorn. This percentage of moisture is appropriate for melting down all the fellow starch to liquid.

Starch content within the popcorn kernel:

Starch that is present inside the popcorn kernel turns into a liquid when the heat turns water to steam. This steam builds up pressure within the shell of the popcorn kernel. As the inside pressure exceeds the threshold capacity of the kernel, it ruptures. As soon as the kernel ruptures, the liquid starch pours out. When it gets cooled down it takes the solid shape and becomes that white soft portion of the popcorn.

What gives microwave popcorn its voluminous size?

The starch content of the microwave popcorn which erupts from the inside of the microwave popcorn shell, after becoming a liquid, turns into a white cloudy structure after cooling down. This structure of popped microwave popcorn is 40-70% of the size of the original microwave popcorn kernel.

The heating process of the oven and its relation to the cooking of popcorns:

In an oven, direct heat is applied to the food being cooked. The temperature within the oven is quite high. It cooks food by generating dry heat in the form of dry air. 

If you pour oil into the cooking container, then put it in the oven, you are unable to stir it regularly because of the high temperature. As a result, oil does not spread evenly to all the popcorn kernels. Air alone is not a good conductor of heat. When hot air comes in contact with the oil layer above kernels, it transfers the heat evenly to all portions of the kernel via an oil in which they are immersed. So using oil is a must when making microwave popcorn in an oven.

If the quantity of oil is less or the number of popcorn kernels is more, as if stacked in layers than oil present in the container, all kernels would not receive balanced equal oil coating. The portions without oil will get dry or burn out. 

Similarly, if the temperature of the oven is kept high, it will aggressively heat the oil coating which will eventually burn the microwave popcorn.

Because of too much uncertainty of the process and a higher ratio of not getting the desired product, it is not advisable to cook microwave popcorn in an oven. Although this does not restrict someone from doing so.

You can read about air-popped popcorn vs Microwave popcorn here.

How to make caramel popcorns in the oven?

In the case of the classic caramelized popcorns, what you have to do is to make popcorns in the oven at about 450 degrees Fahrenheit by using 50 grams of puffed corn.

Now in a saucepan add 3 tbsp of oil or butter to the saucepan and once it gets hot on high flame, add sugar in it and caramelize it with constant stirring. Now once the sugar gets caramelized and attains a somewhat runny consistency, add popcorns in the saucepan and shake the pan vigorously with the lid on the pan.

Afterward, with the help of a wooden spatula, mix the popcorn again so that if some sugar is sticking to the bottom of the pan it can also get coated on the popcorn.

Afterward, add the caramelized popcorns to a bowl and enjoy.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you cook microwave popcorn in an oven?” with an in-depth analysis of how we can make microwave popcorn in an oven. Moreover, we also discussed how making microwave popcorn in an oven can affect the nutritional value and texture of the microwave popcorn. 

If you’ve enjoyed ”Can you cook microwave popcorn in the oven?”, take a look at ”Can you cook microwave popcorn on the stove?” too.

Citations:

https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/21325/make-microwave-popcorn-in-the-oven
https://www.livestrong.com/article/463340-can-you-cook-popcorn-in-the-oven/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.