“ Popcorn maker „
I enjoy popcorn, most often when watching a film. I used to make popcorn in a pan, and simultaneously enjoyed and was terrified by the violent bursting of the kernels when they exploded under the heat. Very often I found my pan would sustain some burning, and as well as being a pain to clean this gave the popcorn a horrible bitter taste. For Christmas a few years ago, then, being able to think of no other gift I was in need of, I requested a popcorn maker.
Now, I have not used this device very often since it was bought for me, and I will admit the first couple of goes left a little something to be desired, but once you get the hang of it you can create popcorn that is to your taste, and it takes very little time to achieve these results. The machine works at 1200 watts, and once it begins processing the kernels the explosions that emanate from it are quite startling. They do not quite have the effect of popcorn in a pan, when you can feel the corn trying to pop its way out of the pan lid, but even so it can be quite noisy. I have also found that even though the device can create popcorn swiftly (it takes 2 - 3 minutes to create a batch of up to four litres) you will find you very often are left with a handful of unpopped kernels.
The device comes with a melting cup if you wish to create buttered popcorn, but this cup is very small and you can taste very little butter on the emerging product. I often add a bit of extra salt for flavour. Operating the device is generally very simple, however. All you do is pour the correct amount of popcorn into the body of the machine, attach the lid and hit the Power button. The process is, as I said, fairly swift, and you will find your popcorn is ready to be eaten in only a few minutes.
If you choose to add butter to your popcorn the cleaning process can be a little troublesome, as the fat is water resistant and so the inside of the device requires some scrubbing. You should also be careful not to leave the device on its own once popping begins, as although the lid is generally secure it has dislodged on one occasion, and if a hot kernal makes contact with your skin it can leave a sore, red mark. For a machine costing around £25 however, you can produce tasty, fresh popcorn in minutes and save your pans from burning.
My aunt gave me this 'novelty' item, quite a while back, I've grown particularly fond of it, and find myself using it on a regular basis. Before given this gift, we had only ever attempted to make our own popcorn conventionally - emptying bowls of corn into a saucepan and watching them fly all over the kitchen, of which was if anything entertaining to say the least, it would however have been nice to have actually tasted some had we been able to salvage any from our hair and floor.
I own the more recent silver model and in terms of design, it makes a pretty addition to our kitchen worktop (as well as bearing a remarkable resemblance to R2D2). It's reasonably sized with the following dimensions: Depth. 20.87" Height, 12.6" and Width. 20.87".
Our family are real sinners when it comes to snacking, be it when we're watching a movie or just to fill a hole in between meals, there's always some excuse for some extra calories. However pop corn is a happy compromise, despite being low in fat, you wouldn't guess it as it never fails to deliver a deliciously tasting snack.
We like to add various flavourings to ours through either using the plastic measuring holder to melt butter, or adding salt or toffee etc. We also think up our own concoctions which involve a range of variations of what we call flavoured 'sugar dust'- inspired by Jamie Oliver himself. His own recipe, of which is our favourite, having tried it out and tastes yummy, it's called spiced sugar & Christmas popcorn. This recipe involves blending bay leaves, orange & lemon zest, vanilla and sugar in a food processor, before letting it dry out a little, before finally scattering it over a sieve into your hot popcorn.
There are a few downsides also; the gadget can be quite noisy when in use, but this has to be expected with 'pop' corn, at least it lasts a bearable 3 minutes, of which is certainly worth it. Also the chamber itself is lacking in depth, meaning a lot of the corn you put in is returned to you 3 minutes later in its original state, which can be quite irritating.
I myself am not a massive popcorn fan, just generally due to the fact that I get the little bits of corn stuck in my teeth and choke on the little bits, yes this has been the case for me since I was little lol. Back to the reviewing though I do occasionally fancy some popcorn so when my boyfriend is making a massive batch to eat all to himself I do eat a few on the rare occasion.
Before the popcorn maker we decided to try the popcorn that you put into the microwave in one of those bags that im sure we all used to enjoy when we were younger, but to our horror it certainly did not taste like it used to, it was so disgusting.
So that year my boyfriend actually received a popcorn maker for Christmas which was pretty handy. You can buy these popcorn makers from around the £20 mark but you can also find some really good discounts if you search around on the internet.
This popcorn maker never fails to produce really nice tasting popcorn the only disadvantage I would say is the fact that you sometimes have to hold a tea towel over the bit where the popcorn comes out because it is just an open bit and the popcorn sometimes comes popping out of everywhere and goes all over the place.
The popcorn maker comes with a little lid looking thing that you actually use to melt the butter if you want buttered popcorn, I find this a little too small though (probably due to the ratio of popcorn that is made in one batch) so my boyfriend uses a cup and the microwave to melt the butter. I am sure it is perfectly fine to use though if you are making an average amount.
There are newer makes of this product which would probably look better in the modern kitchen, but this one we have had for the last 2 years and it has served us well and lives in our cupboard so it doesn't really matter if its not completely up to date.
I do also find that the top part of the popcorn maker (the lids) are not very secure I find when I am packing it away that I knock them off on numerous occasions.
The maker is a little bit noisy but that's not too much of a worry as it takes about 2 minutes to cook the popcorn so it's not for long.
Melting Cup for butter/measuring cup.