Excellent hot air popcorn popper
August 23, 2018 6:01 PM   Subscribe

I used to have an excellent hot air popcorn popper. Things that made it excellent:

It popped well without burning popcorn or leaving many unpopped kernels
It had an on/off switch instead of always being on when plugged in
The butter melter was metal rather than plastic, with a rubberized bit on the end so it could still be picked up when hot
The top that the butter melter sat on was screened rather than open, so popcorn wouldn't fly out if it wasn't in place
It had a measuring cup built into its lid that opened directly into the popper, so you could add popcorn AFTER it was preheated while the butter was melting without having to remove the whole lid

It died some years back and I have yet to find a good replacement. A Presto popper makes good popcorn but has none of the other features. A DASH one has an on/off switch but leaves a lot of unpopped kernels and lacks any of the other features. I've experimented with multiple microwave poppers without luck (even at low power, the popcorn starts to burn before half the kernels are popped). I prefer air-popped to oil-popped.

So do you know of a popper that has at least some of what I'm looking for?
posted by metasarah to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I have this one, which I picked up at Target: West Bend® Air Crazy Hot Air Popcorn Maker in Red

Note: I didn't experience ANY of the issues the people in the BB reviews did.

I've had mine for a few years. It does have a plastic tray for the butter/measuring but it isn't too hot to handle. Usually at the beginning of the cycle a few unpopped kernels will fly out of the front and I just chuck them back in (by lifting the plastic tray). I don't think I've burnt a single kernel.
posted by sm1tten at 8:24 PM on August 23, 2018

Is this ebay listing for a vintage Wear-Ever Popcorn Pumper the one you had? They say it's in good condition... actually, there are a lot of similar listings if that's it.
posted by Kriesa at 9:41 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Forgive me for breaking the rules here, but I got this microwave popper and it changed my life. Put some kernels inside and a little butter on the lid and BAM! perfect popcorn. I love it so much.

The only catch is that you cannot hold the handle when you wash it or it will break from the weight of the water.
posted by 4ster at 5:05 PM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have had the best luck in picking up an "older" or vintage popcorn popper at thrift stores. I have a Orville Redenbacher Air Poporn Maker that I picked up from a thrift store, mainly because it looked exactly like my childhood one. And I was beyond pleased to find that it pops popcorn perfectly.
posted by Thirty7Degrees at 6:55 PM on August 24, 2018

I make a lot of popcorn (like a LOT of popcorn). I melt the butter separately in the microwave, I got this measuring cup, all butter melts in 30 seconds and rubber handle makes it easy to hold. I never found that the butter melted fast enough in the built-in ones, with this method the butter is melted before the popcorn is coming out of the popper and i can pour it on as the popcorn fills the bowl thereby getting it on all layers (now if I could figure out how to effectively salt as well).

I use the Orville Redenbacher Air Popper (mine is older than this). You want something with a good down angle, otherwise popcorn flies out as it pops. Nothing compares to my older Orville Redenbacher version that died about 10 years ago, I can't find anything that down angles enough, I super glued some additional plastic to mine to help control it.

It doesn't meet your on/off switch requirement but I've never had any burned popcorn and maybe 3-5 kernels left at the end. This one has been going for the last 10 years, and again, I make popcorn enough that I own something just for popcorn butter melting :)
posted by magnetsphere at 6:41 PM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

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