Popcorn is a snack that gives you a wide array of options- there are several ways to cook it, with near infinite seasoning options. Popcorn can be savory, salty, sweet, spicy… it’s all up to the chef!
There are three basic type of popcorn poppers on the market today- air poppers, microwave poppers, and oil poppers.
Air poppers make the healthiest popcorn. Air poppers are basically big hair driers repurposed to pop popcorn. Did you know that nutrition experts are beginning to consider popcorn to be a superfood? It’s hulls have an extreme concentration of healthy stuff. Despite the health benefits of air popping, there’s trouble in paradise- air popping leaves some kernels unpopped, sometimes the popper will prematurely eject kernels, and the popcorn tends to come out a bit on the bland side.
Then we have microwave poppers, which look like little more than a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. These have lots of problems but are incredibly convenient and easy to clean. You have to experiment with different power settings to get the popcorn popped right, the bowl gets very hot in the microwave, and the bowls can even scorch and crack from cooking. The lids can warp. When new, these can give off a plastic smell that ends up flavoring your popcorn. Despite all of this, some people still like these due to their convenience.
Then, we have oil poppers. This is the kind of popper that is used in theaters, but there are two main varieties- stovetop units and electric standalone units.
Stovetop poppers can make fantastic popcorn, provided you get the temperature right. Cleanup can be hard, as these units tend to have several moving parts to clean. When cooked right, these can make amazing popcorn. And you can even use them over campfires. My experience with these has been less than stellar- I burnt the popcorn.