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472 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 115001 9-Mar-2013 21:01
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Lately, I seem to be having trouble cooking that Act II microwave popcorn you get from the supermarket.
I follow the instructions on the packet - putting the correct side down etc, but if I leave it until the suggested 1 or 2 seconds between pops, it ends up a bit overdone and scorched tasting.

I think I can smell when it's good (smells like at the cinema) but when I take it out then, only half the corn is popped so it's a waste.

I've got a 1200 W microwave, so tried turning down the power but it doesn't seem to make much difference.

Anyone else got some tips?


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421 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 777496 9-Mar-2013 21:13
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Suffer the same issue myself.  Resigned myself to not getting them all popped if you want good tasting popcorn.

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  Reply # 777498 9-Mar-2013 21:16
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On a microwave that high it should only need 2 minutes max. You're better off with less popping but not having it burnt.

Try the Pams popcorn. i find it pops far better than the ActII stuff.

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  Reply # 777502 9-Mar-2013 21:39
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Yes, don't do it in a microwave. Buy a zip popcorn maker, about $20 when on special at briscoes. Then buy the corn loose, for a couple of dollars, makes a huge amount, and almost all will pop.

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  Reply # 777508 9-Mar-2013 22:14
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Act II Popcorn is what I get, and I always put in for 3 minutes, don't really have any problems with it myself

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777509 9-Mar-2013 22:15
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No-no-no-nooooo peoples (((wagging finger))) the traditional method is always best. Ideally a big old cast iron pot and lid if you can afford one. For myself, I have an old pressure cooker which has an unreplacable part missing on the top lid - you can pick them up on trademe for next to nothing....

Heat on high on the stove for about 5mins, then carefully add a few tablespoons of olive oil (or rice bran for it's high flash point - but olive tastes best IMO)... then as quickly as you can drop in your 4tbsp popping corn (cheaper than chips from the bulk bins) get the lid on and fastened down and back on the stove... giggle the pot continuously until you hear the first few pops... then toss the pot in the same motion as flipping a pancake till the popping subsides.... remove lid and sprinkle with your preferred seasonings then into a big bowl for serving. Takes about 7 minutes from thought to table once you get the knack.

My favourite sprinkle is that masterchef cajun seasoning you buy in the shaker bottle from any supermarket - very tasty indeed. And if in a really decadent mood, toss in melted garlic butter. Yummmmmo :o)

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  Reply # 777520 9-Mar-2013 22:38
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zANavAShi: No-no-no-nooooo peoples (((wagging finger))) the traditional method is always best. Ideally a big old cast iron pot and lid if you can afford one. For myself, I have an old pressure cooker which has an unreplacable part missing on the top lid - you can pick them up on trademe for next to nothing....


Using a popcorn machine eliminates the need for oil, or any of the stuff that go into the microwaves stuff. It is totally natural, You can of course add salt of butter afterwards if you need it, but it tastes just as good naturally and a lot better for you.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 777522 9-Mar-2013 22:46
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Thanks for all your replies :)
I do remember me and my brother cooking the popcorn in pots in the days before microwaves (we used to wear an onion on our belts, which was the style at the time).

I might try that again, or look at one of the popcorn makers :)


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777524 9-Mar-2013 22:55
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mattwnz: Using a popcorn machine eliminates the need for oil, or any of the stuff that go into the microwaves stuff. It is totally natural, You can of course add salt of butter afterwards if you need it, but it tastes just as good naturally and a lot better for you.

Yep, I have tried about three different model but was never impressed with the results LOL I gave two of them away and the 3rd I used as a sacrifice to the coffee gods cos I read on a coffee blog they can be used as a coffee bean roaster. That one ended up in the rubbish skip hehe

Personally, I decided to bypass the fat-free generation. Olive oil is one of the most healthy food products in the history of human civilisation. I use gallons of the stuff in my diet for decades, I am in my mid-50's and I have never used moisturising products on my skin which is youthful and smooth from being moisturised from the inside out.

I could go on and on, but..... :o)

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  Reply # 777527 9-Mar-2013 23:16
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We have an inverter microwave and those Act II come out beautifully at a lower watt setting. Non inverter microwaves are rubbish IMO and I'd never consider buying a microwave without a proper power setting

Also note that there is meant to be some un popped ones.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777529 9-Mar-2013 23:32
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khull: Also note that there is meant to be some un popped ones.

Actually no, unpopped corn means poor quality or a bad batch. I used to return bad batches to the store. I only buy organic now and find very few if any duds. Slightly higher price, but also a richer cornier taste and guaranteed to be GE free.

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  Reply # 777530 9-Mar-2013 23:35
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I don't use a timer and the instructions for Act popcorn says wait till you can hear only 1 or 2 pops per second or something, that has worked for me. There are always say 20 kernels at the bottom or something, but no-where near half.

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  Reply # 777533 9-Mar-2013 23:39
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The pams ones i find generally pop so well the bag is bursting to open when i take it out.

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  Reply # 777544 10-Mar-2013 00:36
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I have found putting the bag on an upside down cassarole dish helps a lot.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 777569 10-Mar-2013 10:01
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Have you ACTII ites tried logging feedback to the manufacturer/distributor?
Remembering all microwaves deteriate with age... I havent used ACTII for ages but I can remember we used to just wait until the 1-2pops per second just commenced etc. Your always going to get unpopped kernels.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 777575 10-Mar-2013 10:53
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I know there is a lot to read here but i'll add my 2c.

Before cooking the popcorn in the packet I press it down to have a more even single layer of kernels spread across the base. Then I unfold the ends and press 3min and wait. Sometimes I need to stop it early, but most times it's about right.

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