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I love having movie nights at home for several reasons. One – I can stay in my pjs and no one cares. Two – I can pause the movie for potty breaks so that I don’t miss anything. Three – I don’t have to worry about my feet sticking to the floor. Four – I won’t get in trouble for bringing my own snacks! Five – I make better snacks than the local AMC Theater! Plus, they are cheaper at home too!
Plus, the air popped variety is a great snack and Weight Watchers approved! (or so says my mom…regularly) So, I used to use one of the hand-crank stovetop popper pans, like the ones you put on the stovetop and crank.
That did not last me very long for a couple of reasons. One – cleanup was a real pain with that type. Two – your arm gets a little tired after a while! (especially if your “muscles” are as small as mine!) So, I did some research and found me a much better way to make popcorn at home – a hot air popper. To learn about better options for making air popped deliciousness at home, keep reading!
Air Popper Popcorn Machines – Why You Need One
If you love popcorn and are still eating the microwave variety, then you need to stop right now!! If you have not heard the news, there are some serious health risks when it comes to eating the microwave kind. Seriously bad health risks.
- CBS News article – Chemical in artificial butter popcorrn linked to Alzheimer’s
- AARP Article – Chemical in microwave popcorn bags linked to cancers and infertility
Now that you know the health risks, let me tell you how awesome these little popping machines are.
They are super easy to use at home or the office. Clean-up is truly a breeze! They are cheap little kitchen gadgets. Using one of these allows you to make it a healthier snack because you can use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter. And, you can control the amount of salt on it.
Remember, by itself, the food itself is a healthy snack because it is a whole grain.
What To Look For When Shopping
I think it goes without saying that the most important thing here is getting a popcorn maker that delivers that perfectly popped corn without burning it or leaving too many unpopped kernels left once it’s done. But, there are a few other things that we think you should look for as well.
Is It BPA Free?
Though you can still make great popped corn with a popper that isn’t BPA-free, it just plain better for your health if you do use one that’s free of the harmful BPA chemicals in the plastic.
I know that I don’t want that kind of toxic stuff leaking into my food, and you shouldn’t either!
How Much Can It Make?
If you’re single or just a couple, then pretty much any of the popcorn makers on the market are going to be enough to satisfy your cravings. But, if you’re a larger family or just someone with a larger appetite, then you should look for a high capacity popcorn popper.
Easy To Clean?
For those of you who will be melting butter or coconut oil for your popcorn topping, this right here is an important thing to consider. That stuff is all greasy and I don’t want to be left having to hand wash it once I’m done eating.
So, you might wanna look for something with dishwasher safe parts so that you, too, can avoid washing any extra dishes after movie night.
Presto PopLite Hot Air Popper Review
How can you not love this little Presto popping machine? Seriously. If you take just one look at the Presto hot air popping machine, then you will see that it is tops in its class! And that is no lie right there. I have personally been using one of these for a few months now.
What I really like about it is that it is VERY fast when it comes to going from kernels to a bowl of yummy popcorn. Seriously, you can have a heaping full bowl of super tasty goodness for movie night in around 2 minutes.
Pro tip: Don’t use more of the raw kernels than your bowl can handle! Once, I ended up with the popped kernels all over the counter cause my bowl wasn’t big enough! It was a giant mess, even if it was pretty funny at the time.
Another great feature – it pops without oil – which is PERFECT for anyone out there who is watching their waistline! There is a little bowl on top where you can place butter to melt during cooking. Or, do like I do and leave that empty and spray some olive oil on it once it is all popped and in your bowl.
Presto Orville Redenbacher’s Fountain Hot Air Popper Review
Don’t you just love the look of this one? It looks so sleek and sophisticated compared to the Presto model above. And it should. It runs about double the price. That being said, if I wanted something that looked great to impress guests, then this would be it.
Not only does it look smart, but it works as well as the Presto popping machine maker. It works just as fast and even has the butter warming tray at the top. It just looks a lot better.
It does seem a wee bit quieter than the Presto model, but that might not matter to you since it will be only on for a couple of minutes at a time.
Of course, what I don’t like about this one is the size. Yeah, it make look cool but the reality is that this thing takes up a lot of space on the kitchen counter. After a couple of weeks of trying this little machine out, I ended up taking it back to the store and returning it. I just needed some of that counter space back!
Don’t Forget The Kernels For The Machine!
If you are looking for some great kernels to go with your new home gadget – do not buy the cheap stuff at the grocery store. Seriously. You are already saving money by using this thing so get the good stuff! You might even be surprised by how inexpensive the gourmet organic white and yellow kernels are – plus, the bag lasts quite a while. You really cannot go wrong with any of the three that I have listed below.
If you are looking for suggestions of which kind to buy for your at home use, here are my top picks. These are the ones that I use in my own home. Right now, I have a bag of the Arrowhead Mills that I am working on emptying.
- Great Northern Organic Yellow Gourmet Popcorn
- Trader Joe’s Organic Popping Corn
- Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Popcorn
For better health benefits, I suggest using coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. Just try it at least once – you might be surprised by how good it is. And, go easy on the salt when you add it! Enjoy your snacking and home movie nights!
top image: Pexels