Got a loved one who'd list popcorn as their go-to snack? This holiday gift will delight their palates while lowering their 'corn costs and making their favorite treat healthier. It's the Original Popco Silicone Microwave Popcorn Popper, just $16 (down from $20) right now at Amazon. Microwave popcorn is convenient, no question, so why not let your recipient just grab a box of it at the store? For starters, there's all that packaging: The outside box, the plastic wrap around each bag and the bag itself — all destined for landfills — which is one of the reasons this popper has nearly 20,000 five-star reviews. “Popcorn in the microwave without having to buy pre-packaged bags, what's not to like?" wrote an eco-conscious customer.
A healthier option
Meanwhile, the store-bought stuff usually contains various additives and preservatives, to say nothing of enough oil, salt and/or butter to destroy any health benefits, which Amazon shoppers love.
Says a fan: "So pleased with this simple popper. Air popped popcorn has always tasted like styrofoam. For some reason this popper creates tasty, healthy popcorn fast and easy. Not a drop of oil. Just add popcorn to one of the lines in the bottom. In 21/2 minutes or less we have excellent popcorn. Almost zero cleanup and easy to store. We love it and are eating more of this healthy popcorn and less other junky snacks..."
Cut the 'corn cost
Finally, there's cost: A typical six-pack of, say, Pop Secret might run you about $4 at the grocery store. That can add up pretty quickly.
"Yeah so I like popcorn a lot. Like a lot. This bowl has saved me so so much money since I bought it six months ago. Kernels are so much cheaper than the instant bags, and the air popper can let you make healthier popcorn or flavor it your own way..." wrote one happy snacker.
Once you buy the Popco popper it's just BYO kernels — which are incredibly cheap by comparison. For example, here's a six-pound (!) bag of Amish Country Popcorn for $18. That's probably enough to accommodate a year's worth of weekend movie nights.
Meanwhile, the popper itself is fairly ingenious: Just pour in some kernels, add a bit of oil and salt (or not, if you're trying to keep it super-healthy), then zap it in the microwave for a few minutes. The popper is also the bowl you eat from. It's dishwasher-safe and it collapses down for easier storage. (Like I said: ingenious.)
I've owned one of these for a couple of years; it produces flawless popcorn every time and ranks high on my list of must-have kitchen gadgets.
Your thoughts? Share your pop secrets (ha!) in the comments section below.
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.