Why should you invest in a popcorn maker?
Who doesn’t like popcorn? That delicious smell and that wonderful aroma of freshly popped corn wafting through the air is one of the warmest and most comforting smells of all. It is the most appetizing and the go-to snack for everyone, be it kids or adults. Watching a movie can simply not be complete without devouring at least a bowl full of popcorn, be it at home on the couch or on the mighty big screen.
The question is, how can someone fulfill their popcorn cravings? The easiest and simplest option of them all seems to be by making some microwave popcorn which can be prepared in just a few minutes. However, the thing is that we do not realize the disastrous effects of microwave popcorn.
Let me break down several disturbing facts for you about microwave popcorn. The microwave bag itself contains several chemicals, namely PFOA and diacetyl.
- PFOA: A chemical is thoroughly coated onto the bag, which breaks down during the cooking process and forms a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, otherwise known as PFOA. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies PFOA as a likely carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).
- Diacetyl: It is used to give microwave popcorn the buttery flavor we all love. This horrible chemical leads to bronchiolitis obliterans (also known as the popcorn lung disease) if ingested regularly for a long period of time.
Not only do the people eating this microwave popcorn are in danger, but even those working in the factory are no longer safe! Studies conducted in 2003-2004 have shown that workers who had engulfed fumes of diacetyl have ended up sick from the popcorn lung disease.
With such eye-opening evidence, how can we continue to ingest such harmful chemicals on a regular basis? Why not choose a healthier option in which all of the ingredients are from your own kitchen with no extra flavorings or chemicals of any sort? Why sacrifice your health when you can opt for other less risky options?
Making your own popcorn at home with family or friends is as easy as can be, especially when there are so many popcorn makers readily available in the markets nowadays.
There can be nothing better than ‘real’ homemade popcorn with all the freshness and surety of being free of chemicals.
Being easy on the waistline, with about 100-120 calories (or less depending on the popcorn maker) in a bowl of popcorn, these are the ideal snack for health nuts as well.
Top 9 best popcorn makers and their critical features
There are numerous popcorn makers on the market nowadays developed by different companies, most of which have different mechanisms on how they pop the corn and available under a wide price range. Starting from the finest, here is a list of popcorn makers and their relative features.
1. Cuisinart CPM-700 EasyPop Review – Best overall Home Popcorn Maker
Available in a deep red color, this user-friendly product has an on-and-off switch without the hassle of plugging and unplugging every time you have made piping hot popcorn. This, in turn, helps to save you from any burns or accidents.
What’s great about this product is that the customer’s ease and safety were kept in mind while it was being designed. It also has a small cord that has a special built-in storage area, which means there will not be any dangling off the cord on the kitchen counter, making it safer to use around children. It is also equipped with a built-in ventilation system which ensures that the popcorn remains dry at all times without going soggy in the middle and retains its crunch.
The results from this product after just six minutes are a batch of delightful popcorn with no unpopped or burnt kernels. However, if you wish to avoid burnt kennels, you need to remove the popcorn dome when the corn has finished popping. You have to follow the instructions on the manual rather strictly; it might take you a few tries to get it right.
2. West Bend Stir Crazy 82505 Review
This popcorn maker has the capacity to make enormous amounts of popcorn which is a huge plus. Be it hosting a large gathering or just having friends over, this sounds like a good option for every extrovert out there who loves popcorn in its freshest form. The West Bend 82505 comes with a large lid which also serves as a huge serving bowl for guests. If you are looking for something different and exciting, it is also available in several different colors.
However, there was some wastage of about 1.25 teaspoons of kernels from each cup. Another downside is that there is no measuring cup given along with it.
3. Presto Stirring Orville Popper 05200 Review
This popcorn maker does have some appealing features. Equipped with a slightly different hot plate, it does not produce either unpopped kernels or any burnt ones. It has a heat-resistant design with a transparent cover top that lets you see the popcorn as it pops. You can make generous amounts of scrumptious popcorn each time. If you love buttered popcorn, then this might just be the choice for you as it has a special built-in melting device for butter, which distributes it evenly over the popping kernels. This product is manufactured in China in black color.
The only downside is that it does not have an on-and-off switch.
4. Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air CPM-100 Review
The mechanism of this machine is a little different from the others, which make it slightly more popular among the people who want to avoid oil or butter altogether. It comes with a brushed stainless-steel base with an embossed and impressive logo. It has a removable chute for easier cleaning, which makes it more practical and convenient. It also features a butter tray if you want to add a little more taste and depth of flavor to your popcorn.
Following the mechanism of making popcorn by the action of hot air, you can effortlessly throw together 10-15 cups of air-popped corn with only 30 calories per cup! Although this handy device does waste about 3/4th of a cup of kernels, this is still not a huge amount and does not outweigh its pros.
5. Great Northern Hot Air Popper Review
This is also one of the best as it uses hot air to pop regular or gourmet popcorn. The natural and light popcorn produced by this maker can only be made within 2-3 minutes. This shows that it pops up to 18 cups and even faster than a microwave! With 42% fewer calories than any microwave popcorn, this is definitely a healthier route for popcorn lovers.
However, it falls in the middle of the pack because its electrical cord is 45 inches long which makes it less manageable.
6. West Bend Stir Crazy 82306 Review
With an overall rating of 8.33/10 and 24 cups of perfectly popped corn with a great texture, we can say that this product will not let you down. It has a non-stick coated popping surface with heat-resistant handles and base which make it easier and manageable to use.
It also has a 40-inch cord (which is a bit longer than usual). However, it leaves one tablespoon of unpopped kernels every time.
7. Nostalgia Electrics Retro Mini Hot Air Popcorn Maker Review
With its sleek and elegant design, this retro mini popcorn maker definitely catches the eye. It has an exclusively designed popping chamber which ensures a constant airflow. Using hot air to pop the kernels, it is a fairly priced device well within the price range for people looking for a sophisticated yet affordable and functional design.
Regrettably, there were about 1.25 teaspoons unpopped kernels for every half cup of kernels being used.
8. Presto PopLite Hot Air Popcorn Maker Review
Featuring a simplistic design, it is the lowest costing popcorn maker on this list! Is it a bargain? I would like to think so because various tests designed to check its productivity have shown that it has performed about 30 percent faster than many of the leading products. Due to its design, it is easy to use and clean as well.
If you do not mind a lot of unpopped kernels (approximately 2 tablespoons’ worth) and are looking for a healthier and cheaper alternative for making popcorn, this is a reasonably good choice for you.
9. The Great Northern Pop Frenzy Review
This popcorn maker had practically no unpopped kernels. Its secret lies in the sophisticated design which has an exclusive automatic stir rod that continues to rotate the kernels while they are being popped so that none of them are left burnt or unpopped.
Another positive point of the design is that the dome-shaped bowl can also be used as a serving bowl. You can easily pop and serve in about six minutes. It also has a non-stick surface which is relatively easier to clean and manage. The popping dome that comes with it also serves as a serving dish.
A negative aspect of this popcorn maker is that it lacks a measuring cup or a recipe book. It also has a warranty of only 90 days which is quite short as compared to the others.
To sum up, all of the popcorn makers mentioned above have some commendable features which are definitely worth trying. You have a wide range of options to choose from with all the things being considered, from design, to price and to the actual method of producing mouth-watering crunchy popcorn. If you are looking to fulfill all your popcorn needs while still being healthy, these popcorn makers can definitely change your life.