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I am very fond of using popcorn machines as a simple way of making your own home made, warm popcorn which is a lot cheaper too. This popcorn machine looks great in our kitchen and we simply leave it on the counter for people to see and use; we find it gets used more when it's out ready. There is no need for a manual, just simply put in the popcorn seeds and turn it on. The motor will spin the popcorn around in a circle whilst blowing hot air around the seeds to get them to pop. One great reason for using this popcorn machine is that it does not require any oil or butters and it just simply uses hot air to make the corns pop.
As they start to pop, the motion of the machine will make the popped corn fly out the top of the machine down into the spout where you?ll have to have a bowl ready to catch it; we have had some fun forgetting about putting a bowl under the spout of the machine or even the machines lid! The only error I have experienced with this is that not all the seeds pop and there will be a fair few left over which have become burnt and cannot be reused to pop. As well as this, some of the seeds do fly out of the machine, meaning not all of them have a chance of being popped. Because of this, I would say that 20% of the seeds that you put in the popcorn machine either do not pop or have burned. However, it is still a lot cheaper to make popcorn through this method and can be done in under a minute!
I am very open to the power of persuasion. If I see anything gadgety advertised on TV with bright colours and a promise that it'll make my life easier, I'm there. How else to explain the proliferation of microfibre cloths in my kitchen cupboards and not one but two mini vacuum cleaners?
Dooyoo, then, is quite a bad place for me to be. The sequence works like this: other people review gadgety stuff, I read, I want. In this case it was a review of a popcorn machine that did the damage. I had barely read the first line before I was noseying on Argos to see what they had. The model in that review was no longer in stock near me, but this one was. Within hours, I'd paid my monies and was popping my corn. I'm a marketing professional's dream.
~*~ Appearance ~*~
It's a tall cylinder shape that tapers in slightly towards the bottom and has a clear plastic guard and scoop on top. The top front edge has a slight indentation to allow the popped corn to drop into a bowl. Although it doesn't have a huge footprint - it's only just bigger than my kettle - it is quite tall and the top of the machine gets hot in use, so it wouldn't be a good idea to keep it on a counter that's underneath cupboards. I set mine on the hob when in use so the extractor fan can whisk away the popcorn smell and it lives in the cupboard when not in use. The cable isn't extensively long, but not so prohibitively short that it needs to be squeezed right against the socket either. I'd say it's around 60-70 cm long.
It's made of a dark red glossy metal which looks quite good, considering the relatively low price. Pleasingly, it blends in nicely with the colour scheme in my kitchen (I do like it when things match) but would probably fit in well with most decors, unless you've painted your kitchen fuchsia pink in which case it's not a popcorn machine you need; it's a subscription to Homes and Gardens.
~*~ Usage ~*~
Unlike most modern kitchen gadgets, this machine is almost ridiculously simple to use. The plastic dome rests on top to prevent a popcorn explosion, you then measure out the amount of kernels you want to use with the clear plastic measuring cup, empty them inside the machine, place the measuring cup on top of the dome, turn the machine on and wait. The machine will rev into action with a hellacious noise (it's *really* loud and never fails to scare the bejesus out of the dog and the cats) and you'll feel the heat coming from the top of the machine. After a few minutes you'll see the kernels starting to bounce around and then they'll start to pop. I've found it's best to have a really big mixing bowl under the aperture as they exit the machine at some speed. Even then, you'll still find the odd piece goes skittering around the kitchen. I don't view this as a downside, though, as it's always vastly amusing to watch kitties and dog haring off at top speed with a piece of popcorn in hot pursuit. Within 4 - 5 minutes all will be popped and you can turn the machine off and leave it to cool.
~*~ Popcorny good points ~*~
This machine works by blasting the kernels with extremely hot air rather than frying them. Thus, it's very healthy indeed as there is no fat involved in the cooking process and popcorn itself is quite a healthy food. Obviously, if you then slather the popcorn in melted butter you kind of undo all that good work. On that point, it's nice to know exactly what's in your popcorn and that there are no additives that you haven't put in there yourself. You can go the whole hog and have melted butter and grated cheese if you choose to, or you can be virtuous and stick to a sprinkling of cinnamon.
The popcorn is always cooked perfectly with none of those burned bits you get if you leave microwave popcorn to cook for even a couple of seconds too long. Any time I've made it it's has always come out warm, fluffy and light.
Popcorn is really cheap, if a little tricky to track down. No Tesco near me sells the kernels, but Sainsbury's have it in their 'whole foods' aisle for about 50p per bag. Given that 60g makes a really generous portion, this is a bargain.
The machine is very light and thus portable. I have it stored in a top cupboard and it's a doddle to lift it high above my head.
~*~Popcorny bad points ~*~
The machine is really loud. If you're trying to make stealth popcorn without your kids/partner/pets finding out, this may be where you come a cropper.
The top of the machine gets very hot when in use, so perhaps best to keep little helpers out of the way until it's had a chance to cool down.
Because there's no fat used in the cooking process, it can be quite hard to get any seasonings to 'stick' to the popped corn. I've found that if I give the popcorn a couple of sprays of Fry Light (or any other oil-based spray), stir it around and then dust on seasoning, it works much better.
There will always be quite a few kernels of unpopped corn but these don't bother me - I just put them back in the bag once they've cooled. It tends to be less than 10% of the total which don't pop, which is definitely better than bags of microwave popcorn.
The lid and aperture at the top work fairly well but the popcorn comes out at such speed that there will always be 10 or so pieces that make a bid for freedom by going pinging round the kitchen.
If you don't make enough, you'll have to leave the machine to cool completely before you make any more, otherwise the motor may overheat. Look at it as all the incentive you need to help yourself to generous portions.
Overall, if you're someone who likes to have a bowl of popcorn once or twice a week, or who wants a filling but healthy snack, then this is a good investment at £29.99. Otherwise it might be better to stick to the occasional bag of microwave popcorn lest this become another appliance that's destined for the gadget graveyard.
A fun and delicious Popcorn Maker preparing fresh Popcorn with hot air in approx 2.5 minutes.Features include an on/off switch non-slip feet and 1100w power.