Yesterday I purchased the “Panasonic NN-T965SF Luxury Full-Size 2.2-Cubic-Foot 1,250-Watt Microwave Oven, Stainless” — as Amazon tongue-tyingly describes it — for $150.
Why, I remember back when tiny 500 Watt microwave ovens were the price of a small horse!
$150 is a great price for a microwave oven that is bigger and more powerful than a Hummer!
The problem is I can’t use the microwave oven at full 1,250 Watt power because it konks out our electricity by tripping the outlet reset switch. If I step the behemoth down two notches — to 1,000 Watts? if each “power step” is worth 125 Watts? — I can use the monster. Beware of what you buy and be careful what you wish for because you might go into meltdown!
What is the best microwave popcorn if you prefer a healthy, but oh-so-buttery taste? Okay, forget the healthy. What’s the best tasting microwave popcorn bar none? I tried the Pop Secret Kettle Corn yesterday but it is too sweet for me: It tastes like cotton candy.

20 Comments

  1. I appreciate your tips, Clem, thanks! I remember Jolly Time from my childhood. A few months ago I was looking for the popcorn in the aluminum pan you’d cook on the stove but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I wonder if microwave popcorn is the new and only wave now?

  2. I’ve had my little microwave for a good 15 years I’m guessing…just can’t seem to give it up and it still works. I love the Jolly Time mini bag popcorn with EXTRA butter. That’s the best.

  3. Get an electician to check the wiring. It would seem that a 1250 watt microwave shouldn’t be tripping the circuit breaker at the panel or the outlet level. Maybe there is a fault somewhere that needs to be corrected.
    I’ve been cooking popcorn on the stove top using just a little bit of peanut oil in a pot with a glass top. The peanut oil horrible for your health because of the saturated fats, but it smells and tastes great — just like the movie theater. Just don’t eat it all the time.
    I think I saw Jolly Time in the aluminum pan not too long ago. It might be one of those things you have to ask the grocery store to special order if they don’t have it on the shelf.

  4. hterry! — My mother still has her first microwave from 25 year ago. It is/was a Litton and you hand-crank the timer around and around and around to set the minutes and seconds. I think it takes 8 minute to boil a cup of water. 🙂
    suzanne! — I grew up on popcorn. It’s more popular than steak and potatoes in Nebraska. My mother and her sister were crowed “Popcorn Queen” in separate years in North Loup, Nebraska when they were coming of age. Pop Secret is pretty good — even in the sugary Kettle Corn version — there were zero old maids in two popping sessions. I will absolutely check out the butter flavor. I remember Orville from the hot air popcorn popper days. Do they still make hot air corn poppers? I also bought a bag of “Act II” Super-Blubber-Butter (whatever!) popcorn today while I was out. Act II claims to be the “best tasting” popcorn out there but I’ve only seen it sold at discount stores and to students stuck living in dorms. 🙂 I love it that popcorn was a good bribe for your student! Heh!
    Chris! — I thought the same thing: There’s something wrong with the wiring, because the entire kitchen is on a 20 AMP circuit and there’s nothing else plugged in but a toaster and a coffee maker and they aren’t on when the microwave is working. Then I read the instructions for the microwave Hummer and, it seems, these newfangled microwaves require “a circuit of their own” for full power use and that, we don’t have. The instruction guide explains deftly and clearly exactly what will happen exactly as it happened — you’ll trip the reset switch and you’ll have to run in lower power if you aren’t on a dedicated line. Harumph! That ticked me off! The requirement for a dedicated circuit should have been spelled out in the selling spiel on Amazon. I love stove-popped corn and I do it just like you — open flame, big stew pot, some hot oil and some kernels, cover it all with a cookie sheet and start a shakin’ that pot ’til I could shake no mo’! Special Order in grocery stores does not exist out here because people are too fickle to make it worth the store’s effort. One of my favorite grocery store managers in the Bronx gave me the most polite reply of all my request attempts when I asked him to special order a fake meat lunch meat for me: “I have 25,000 items in this store and you want me to order one thing for one person?! Beat it!” He was right. The web and mail order does wonders for serving narrow niches. :mrgreen:

  5. Hi!
    My hubby is an electrician. I’ll bookmark you and ask him when he gets home what you can do about it. You could probably fix it yourself. Maybe. I don’t know.
    But I will definitely ask the big guy.
    Sorry I sound like a big idiot.

  6. Okay – I asked the man and here what I can tell you:
    Power = Volts x Amps
    Which Equals 120 Volts x 15 Amps = 1800 Watts in a circuit (your plug)
    A circuit can only be loaded to 80% which equals 1440 Watts.
    Therefore when you use your 1250 watt microwave with anything plugged into the same plug, you are exceeding the load capacity on that plug, even if you aren’t using the other appliance.
    The microwave plugged in by itself should work. If that doesn’t work for you, then you should have an electrician come in a look at it for you because the wiring should be checked and the circuit should be tested.
    I hope that helps…
    Karen

  7. That is super-helpful, Karen, thanks! We have a 20 amp circuit so we should have even more tolerance built into the system. I’ll ask someone to come over and check it.
    The problem is the microwave probably wants its own dedicated circuit. I don’t think ANYONE in an older house or apartment on the East Coast has that kind of electrical setup.
    I forgot the refrigerator is also on the same circuit as the microwave and the gas stove has an electric timer and clock so there is more on the kitchen circuit than I previously thought.
    Stepping down the microwave power works for now — it’s good to know everything is behaving as it should — including shutting down the power if too much power is sucked up! 🙂

  8. No, helpful would be him flying to your hosue to fix it. Ha ha.
    He says that new homes are built with the microwave getting a dedicated circuit. Time to move!
    Good luck!
    Does the microwave also want us to send it money? a new mattresss? a Christmas Card?
    😛

  9. i was looking for a 400 watt microwve. least to see if there are such a thing. something small to put in my SUV for when i am on the road i can nuke up some food. i am always on the go and my power inverter is only a 400watt but so far i have found nothing that small. all the new ones are 700 on up.
    your blog caught my attention and i learned some things.
    but i also have questions
    1) why is it that the peanut oil is bad for teeth? what does it do to them?
    2) if the other appliances are not on such as a toaster oven why would it matter in the sceme of things while on the same circut as the microwave. there should be no load if not turned on right? so if in fact the nuker was the only thing running then it would be the only form of load. (course i read that it was discovered that the fridge and other appliances were found to be on the sme circut) —– which brings me to this idea. could it not be possible that his breakers are weak now that they have been used for a curcuit that has been used heavily for so many years??? i remember being in florida and having to replace weakened breakers and that fixed our prolems with them breaking/tripping too often)
    3) anyone know where i can find a small nuker that draws the least amount of wattage. i dont care if it takes 5 minutes instead of 1 to nuke up my homel meal. i just dont want to have to look for a am/pm / mini mart everytime. and i am trying so hard to get off the fast food kick.
    4) the obvious answer for me would be to get a more expensive inverter converting the 12 volts in my car to 120 but the ones i want cost like 200 dollars. i mjight be able to get one for 120 but i was hoping a smaller microwave mit be available. running a 700 watt microwave even on a 800 watt inverter will draw a ton of juice from my car battery and alternator but it might be the only possible answer for me.
    David, i love popping corn on the stove top. i have this problem of burning it most the time but when it comes out right it is so yummy. the microwavable popcorn has way too much slt and other junk like preservatives imho. i know they make some which contain no preservatives but those usually contain more salt. same oes for those with less or no fat. most things u get that are fat free or have no preservatives end up with a lot of sodium (salt). so nothing beats a fresh pot of untainted corn. then add what and how much you want. sometimes i want more salt or butter than other times and sometimes i just need a healthy no at no salt snack while i am sitting on the computer. lord knows sitting at the computer too long while munching away at snacks all day will do more harm than good to the body. microwave popcorn always makes me feel ill afterwards. but when i do want a quickk fix and popcorn is the choice at the time then i spare no expense and get the very best no matter if it cost 5 bucks instead of 99 cents. it really makes a difference.
    last comment. i loved this HUGE sharp carrasel microwave i had. weight in at like 100 pounds and was only 600 watts but cooked the food better than the newer hier wattage foods i think as it cooked more evenly. bought a samsung 800 watter about 5 years ago and i gave to my sis in law because all it did ws fry the food on the edges. u could watch as it looked like it had an invisible laser beam frying the food in a few places while the turn table turned the food. just not evenly like the older one. i read that the older ones ended up rubberizing food. i think that happened only when those foods were not covered or in the righyt container while cooking. i do like how a 1000 wtt microwave can heat up a up of water in a minute rather than waiting 3 minutes in a older one.
    about me: obviously i like to share. have a migraine as i do 360 of 365 days of the year. so i love getting online when i am able and meeting new interesting people and making friends. since my accident where i hit head first and lost much memory i have a tendancy to forget very easily so if i never make it back here know that it was my pleasure to read this blog and learn what i did. but i hope to be back. i am currently sitting in my SUV typing on a small wireless keyboard i blame for most my typos which is velcro-ed to my steering wheel. a lap top and an external lcd monitor are mounted in the cab. i am a network security specialist and enjoy helping others with network and or security problems. so contact me if u like and or need any help.
    http://www.2001networks.com
    sean
    network security specialist (who needs a small wattage microwave)

  10. sean!
    Wowser!
    What a great and intensive comment and I will do my best to answer you.
    I haven’t heard why peanut oil is bad for teeth. I do know peanut oil has a higher heat tolerance so it won’t smoke or burn when other oils will so that makes it perfect for popping corn because you can run a higher heat and get the job done faster.
    If you are burning your homemade popcorn you aren’t using enough oil and you aren’t shaking the pot enough. You must never leave the pot alone once the first kernel pops — you always need to keep it in motion.
    I think the smaller watt ovens are finished. People want fast and powerful. I will check my breakers and see if they are worn out. My microwave is HUGE but surprisingly lightweight. It is serving me well and I am surprised how many foods that once were rubbery in a microwave are not delicious and perfect. I love technology!
    I am sorry to hear about your migraines and I certainly hope you remember to come back!
    :mrgreen:

  11. You guys are great. I am trying to decide if I should take the chance of installing a new outlet for my coming 1500 watt microhood (microwave) in my 101 year old house. I don’t quite have my answer, but you have given me somethings to think about.
    My concern begins with my circuit breaker. I noticed that when I used my 600 watt mixer (Kitchenaid) for cookies the lights flickered for about 30 mins and then dimmed the lights in the entire kitchen and basement. It also caused lights upstairs to dim. Things that were on different breakers according to the index and the response of clicking them on and off.
    Does this mean that a 600 watt appliance can cause the power of my whole house to overload? What will this mean about adding this fabulous monster of a microwave to my kitchen? Perhaps the problem with the kitchen has to do with the refrig. According to the index on the breaker though it is broken up to different switches. Clicking them on and off confirms this too.
    I thought that any thing on one circuit button was independent of the other appliances, but that 600 watt mixing seamed to effect my entire house. So now I am wondering if there can be sort of zone (not just single breaker switch) imbalances that can effect the whole house. If this is the case can this be moderated some how?
    Ultimately should I “step away” from the “basic wiring book” with my latest DIY challenge?
    Please provide your suggestions.