A bowl of freshly made popcorn is always a great snack to satisfy your craving for a crunchy treat. For starters, popcorn is a snack that’s fast and easy to make and more importantly, a healthier alternative to junk food. Making your own popcorn in the comfort of your home can actually be hassle free if you have a popcorn popper.
A popcorn popper is a machine designed to pop corn kernels. There are many types of popcorn poppers available in the market. However, they all function on the same principle, and that is to keep the kernels moving while the machine gradually heats up. After that, you just wait for the kernels to pop and become popped corns.
Steps on how to use a stirring popcorn popper
- Put the dome-shaped lid on—Automatic stirring popcorn makers usually have a base with a metal E component inside that comes with a large lid, which can also be conveniently used as a serving bowl, to cover the kernels during the popping process. Turn the lid upside down and attach it to the base and lock it securely either by using fasteners to keep it closed or placing the screws. The locking system will depend on the machine’s design. Ensure that the lid is attached well and locked tightly to avoid unwanted mess and popped kernels flying everywhere.
- Add the oil and popcorn kernels—Your main ingredients will be these two. Most stirring popcorn makers are designed with a chute in the center of the machine where you’ll be placing the ingredients.
- Add butter—This step is optional. If you want to have your popcorn buttered, you can put thin slices of butter at the top of the lid. There are small slots at the top where butter slowly melts as your popcorn cooks. As the butter melts, your popcorn gets evenly coated with it. If your popcorn popper does not have this feature, you can melt the butter first and add it later on when the popcorn is cooked.
- Plug in your popcorn popper—After you’ve added all your ingredients and securely closed the lid. You can now plug in the popcorn popper. Depending on your model, the machine may immediately start heating. Otherwise, you may need to manually turn on the switch to start cooking. Once it’s on, you will see the stirring arms move and stir the kernels as they cook.
- Listen to the popping sounds—The cooking time will vary depending on the amount of popcorn kernels you’re cooking and their freshness. For most models, it takes about 3 minutes for the popcorn to get all done. However, if you are not sure, just listen to the popping sounds and make them guide your cooking. Initially, only a few kernels will be heard popping. After a few minutes, the popping sounds will quickly increase and then gradually decrease until only a few popping sounds will be heard. This is the signal to turn the machine off. This is important to take note of because if the machine gets too hot, the cooked popcorn may get burned.
- Serve—After switching it off, carefully turn over the popper and use the lid as a serving bowl. You can serve this now if you’re fine with just using butter for seasoning or if you want it plain. If not, this is the time to season your popcorn with salt, cheese, pepper or any flavoring you want. You can also mix in some nuts and chocolates or any extra snack you want to add in.
- Clean up—Most popcorn poppers only require wiping with a paper towel or cloth to get cleaned up. This is just to remove excess oil from the base. It also prevents grease from accumulating into the base which can result in bad tasting popcorn. For the bowl, you can either wipe it clean or wash it with a non-toxic cleaner. You can also do this for the base, if you want to remove the grease on it. Just don’t forget to remove the solution with a damp cloth after cleaning, and don’t let the solution dry on the base to ensure that your next batch of popcorn will not be spoiled.