Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good Thing #14: Stovetop Popcorn Poppers

Somehow, popcorn sellers managed to make popping popcorn seem like a difficult ordeal, so much so that unless you buy pre-bagged, pre-seasoned popcorn in microwavable bags, it's just too difficult to manage. So people wind up spending way more than they need to for popcorn that tastes so bad it doesn't deserve to be called popcorn when they could be spending far less for much better popcorn, with only a minimum of extra effort.

All you need is one of these:
There's a variety of brands out there, Whirly Pop, Great Northern, Cook'n Home, and others. There are debates over which is the best, but we've found them all to work just fine. Whenever we see them at yardsales, we'll buy them to convert family and friends. New you can find them for under $20, though. 

Put in a splash of oil and some popcorn and heat it on the stove while turning the crank, and about three minutes later you'll have six quarts of fresh popcorn. Is that really so much harder than doing it in the microwave? 

Once you've made the initial investment, popcorn costs pennies a batch. Far, far less than microwave popcorn. It's more environmentally sound because you can buy the popcorn in bulk and you won't have that popcorn inside a paper back inside a plastic bag inside a box. 

Most importantly, it tastes great. Popcorn made this way tastes infinitely better than microwave popcorn. Plus you can choose exactly what to put on it for toppings and how much. You can even add seasonings while it cooks for special treats, like kettle corn. 

We usually make popcorn this way a couple times a week. It's a great way to make an evening movie seem like an event. It's also a guilt-free snack. 

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