A classic favorite, popcorn has, for decades, been produced by popping the kernels in an open fire or oil.
Needless to say, the two methods are somewhat cumbersome.
Plus, popping in oil means you’ll be ingesting more fat (45% of the snack’s calories are derived from fat).
Enter an air popper and popcorn addicts have a new darling..
This wonderful device pops kernels with hot air and is the best way to make a nutritious, healthful snack.
Here is how to use an air popper to pop regular or the finest gourmet popcorns for a healthier, low calorie treat.
How to use an air popper – popping procedure
An air popper will deliver your favorite snack faster, healthful, and is more economical than most microwave popcorn. It’s easy-peasy to use and virtually leaves no unpopped kernels.
Follow these steps to make a perfect batch of pretty darn tasty popcorn with a hot air popper.
How to use an air popper – step by step
- Air popper
- Measuring cup (if your air popper didn’t come with a measuring device)
- Heatproof bowl
- A knife
Preparing the ingredients
Measure 1/2-cup of popcorn (or the quantity indicated in your unit’s instructions).
Most air poppers feature a butter-melting cup that can function as a measuring device.
Remove it and use it to measure the required quantity (first place the air popper on the counter/tabletop).
Of course, you also need to pull the cover out of the base.
Tip: In most cases, you can work with any quantity between 1/2 and 3/4 quarters cup.
- Now pour the popcorn you previously measured into its popping chamber.
- Replace the cover (simply put it back where it was).
- Also put the butter-melting cup back on top of the appliance’s cover.
Step 1: Add butter/margarine
Start by cutting and putting in your preferred amount of margarine/butter (room temperature is recommended) into your butter-melting cup (if desired).
Step 2: Position the bowl
Position the heatproof bowl below the chute of your unit’s cover.
Your popped popcorn will be caught in the bowl as it travels out of the chamber.
Step 3: Start to pop
Plug the air popper in and let the party begin. Be patient at the beginning as it has to warm the kernels you placed in the base before they can pop.
Tip: Like the cup, the plastic cover (where available) must stay on throughout popping to keep the popped corn from flying all over the space as the machine heats up.
Step 4: Unplug the unit
Unplug the air popper from the electrical outlet after the kernels have finished popping. It’s really fast and nearly all should have popped in about 2 to 3 minutes.
Tip: As the corn pops, the margarine/butter in the butter-melter will melt.
Step 5: Season the popped corn
Sprinkle the melted butter/ margarine onto popcorn and proceed to toss gently. You may add salt to your desired taste if you so wish.
Step 6: Clean unpopped kernels
Some unpopped corn could remain in its chamber after you’ve stopped popping. Empty any kernels that remained unpopped from the base.
Step 7: After popping maintenance
Leave the air popper cool after you’re done popping the popcorn.
Now wash the unit’s cover together with the butter-melting cup.
Tip: You must never wash the two parts in the dishwasher. They’re usually not dishwasher safe! Instead, wash them by hand with warm water (add your favorite dishwashing detergent for the best results).
Remember to rinse well.
- Do not leave the air popper unattended while popping. In fact, the yield can be so great with some poppers and you’ll need to add an extra bowl during popping.
- A hot but wayward unpopped kernel can be thrown out of the popping chute occasionally. To avoid scolding, keep your kids and both your hands and face away from its popping chute during the process.
- Because a couple of kernels might continue popping even after you have unplugged the unit, check that all popping has ceased before removing the butter melter and cover.
How to pop more batches
You can quickly pop more batches to please every one of your guests.
Here is how to use an air popper to create more popcorn for your party:
- Before popping the extra batches, make sure you have emptied the appliance’s popping chamber. Simply remove the cover (use hot pads since it might still be hot) and turn the device upside down to pour remaining popcorn/unpopped kernels out.
- Next, wash and completely dry the butter-melting cup if you had used it in the just-ended popping round.
Now prepare the ingredients and repeat the popping steps as explained earlier.
How to use an air popper: frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How does an air popper work?
An air popper spins your raw popcorn kernels inside the central chamber.
Meanwhile, the built-in electrical element will be generating heat and the heat will be released inside the unit when the kernels come to the outer vanes.
As a result, the water inside the kernels will soon be transformed to steam.
The fibrous hull will reach a point when it’s overwhelmed by the pressure making the kernels to rupture.
The popcorn is then blown out of the central chamber (it’s now very light) by the machine’s circulating airstream.
It will then land into the waiting bowl having traveled through the chute.
Tip: You’re free to add other seasonings (not just butter) in the special compartment to make the final product even more delicious!
Why does my air popper shut down?
Air poppers are typically thermostatically controlled and will shut off if overfilled or when used to pop continuously for long periods without being allowed to cool.
Simply unplug it, empty everything, and let it cool for approximately 15 minutes if this happens. It should work smoothly once plugged back in.
Recreating movie theater style popcorn at home is always a daunting task.
But with an air popper, your homemade popcorn comes pretty close to the movie magic- the satisfying crunch has no match!
You’ve learned how to use an air popper to make airy and fluffy popcorn that’s favorite of health conscious popcorn aficionados.
We bet that you will never go back to oil poppers once you gobble the impeccably crunchy kernels.
Side note: Although air poppers were originally designed for homes, commercial versions have been gaining popularity since they pop with less effort and are easier to clean.