For many years, my mouth was a popcorn-free zone. When I was seven years old, my parents brought me to see an orthodontist who took one look at my dental x-rays and proclaimed my teeth to be one of the most unusual cases he had ever seen. The solution: seven solid years of headgear, braces, and permanent retainers, during which time I obediently complied with my orthodontist’s strict prohibition of soft drinks, hard candy, apples, and – you guessed it – popcorn. (With all the money my parents were shelling out for my teeth, a bit of dietary adjustment was the least I could do. Besides, it was nice to finally have an excuse to pass up the apples!)
Fast forward twenty years, and I am finally making up for all those years lost to orthodontia-induced popcorn abstention. Popcorn has become one of my favorite snacks, and in the last year, I’ve gotten my husband to join me on the popcorn bandwagon. Unfortunately, with all the popcorn-snacking going on in our home, the prepackaged bags of microwavable popcorn were becoming a bit cost-prohibitive. I started buying popcorn kernels in bulk and popping them in a brown paper bag (following this method). While this was was definitely cheaper, we had a hard time with consistency: either half the bag was left unpopped, or we ended up with a microwave full of smoke and a bag of charred popcorn. I began to contemplate buying a popcorn maker, but didn’t want to sacrifice precious counter space; I (naively) thought it would be wasteful to dedicate a corner of my kitchen to a single-purpose appliance.
What finally pushed me over the edge was the premature death of our old microwave, and our subsequent purchase of a beautiful new one. Not wanting our newest appliance to forever be marred by the stench of scorched popcorn, I headed to Amazon to find a smallish, inexpensive popcorn popper. After sorting through numerous options, I settled on the Presto PopLite Air Popper. At less than $25, it was a steal, and I was impressed that it had an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, based on more than 3,000 customer reviews! I also loved that the popper was available in an attractive shade of red, which I knew would go perfectly with the rest of my kitchen; if a popper was going to take up permanent residence on my countertop, I wanted it to match!
We have had our popper for over a month now, and we could not be more thrilled with our purchase. The popper is incredibly easy to use: just pour popcorn kernels into the popper and plug it in, and you have a bowl full of fresh popcorn in less time than it takes to pop popcorn in the microwave. The Presto PopLite popper can pop up to half a cup of popcorn kernels (about 18 cups popped), which is plenty for Luke and me to share. We hardly ever get any unpopped kernels, and as far as I can tell, there is no way for the kernels to burn. So long, burnt popcorn smell!
One of my concerns with buying a popcorn maker was that it would be a hassle to clean, but the base and the cover of the Presto PopLite popper wipe clean without any need for scrubbing or scouring. The only mess involved is that the popper sometimes shoots out stray kernels, so I usually have to wipe down my counter after making popcorn. Other than this slight messiness, my soul complaint with the Presto PopLite popper is that it doesn’t have a power switch, so you have to plug it in to turn it on. This is a small inconvenience, though, compared to the numerous benefits of the popper.
A great advantage to popping your own popcorn (as opposed to buying the microwavable kind) is that you can customize the toppings. If buttered popcorn is your thing, the Presto PopLite popper has a convenient butter melter (which doubles as a measuring cup). We have yet to try this feature, choosing instead to spritz our popcorn with butter spray or cooking oil. I usually garnish my popcorn with a sprinkling of garlic salt and a drizzle of Sriracha. Pure deliciousness!
My only regret with purchasing a popcorn popper is that I waited so long to do so! Whether you are currently spending way too much money on mediocre microwaveable popcorn, or you are looking for a fun, healthy, and inexpensive snack for your family, I highly recommend welcoming a Presto PopLite popper into your home!