>> Sunday, March 21, 2010
(stock image courtesy of CSN Stores)
A few weeks ago, CSN stores gave me the wonderful opportunity to pick a product from their 200+ stores to review in my home. After combing over page after page of gorgeous products, I finally decided that I'd review the Presto PopLite Popcorn Popper.
A little back history on me and popcorn. If there is popcorn to be eaten, I'll eat it! I love being able to mindlessly devour handful after handful of fluffy white popcorn while I watch some good (or even bad) TV!
Fast forward to March 2nd; two nights before I connected with CSN stores. I was settling in to watch LOST with the hubster when I decided to pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave. I have long since given up on the popcorn button- that thing is never accurate with timing. I put my bag in, set the time for a minute, twenty and at the 55 second mark I could smell burning and a closer inspection revealed that the bag had burned a hole clear through and the popcorn that HAD popped was turning black and the rest was still a pile of kernels in the bottom. This is NOT the first time this has happened to me. And it's happened at my house, at my brother's house, at my friend's house. And it doesn't matter what brand of popcorn I use either. Bottom line, I think that microwave popcorn sucks, I think the kernels are probably old and I'm tired of wasting so much of it because of burning.
So anyway, I told Ed that night that I was going to get us an air popper instead. I just don't see any reason to keep using the bagged stuff any longer when it's a let down every time.
Enter CSN. I don't know why I didn't think of it immediately, but when I discovered the wide range of kitchen products they have available on their cookware.com site, it dawned on me what to look for. I found the Presto PopLite Air Popper and it had great reviews from buyers already and it had all my basic requirements, so I went ahead and requested it.
The popper arrived at my house this week and I rushed to the store to buy a jar of popcorn kernels. I bought a jar of Orville Redenbacher's Original Gourmet Popping Corn. I brought it home, opened up the box and discovered a coupon lying in the top of the box for the exact popcorn I just bought, lol! So there's bonus #1 about this product, it comes with a coupon- I just wish I'd opened the box before I went to the market!
Set up is really easy, There are basically 3 parts- the popper portion, the shield and the butter melter/measuring scoop. There is no ON/OFF switch, no dials to adjust, it's just straight forward, plug it in to start the popping, unplug it when you're done.
You use the provided scoop and put in a level scoop (1/2 cup) of kernels. Then you put the shield in place and if you want butter, you put it into the scoop (which doubles as your butter melting dish). A side note here- according to directions, your butter has to be at room temp to melt fully in the amount of time it takes to pop the popcorn. I had mine out for about an hour and it still didn't melt all the way, I had to put it into the microwave for about 20 seconds to get it liquified. Annoying, but not enough of a reason to not buy the popper (for me anyway).
Then once your ready, put a giant bowl underneath it (one scoop of kernels fills a 4 qt mixing bowl) and plug it in. Ooh, the first piece!
Once it gets popping, it goes so fast!
I timed it and it took 2 1/2 minutes to completely pop everything- about the same time as microwave popcorn is SUPPOSED to take. So that's cool, no long wait time.
Then for research sake, we poured melted butter over it and added some fresh ground sea salt. Ed, Austin and I settled in and watched True Lies on CMT
(I love the screen shot of Jamie Lee Curtis in this photo!)
and polished off the bowl in about 10 minutes. Man was it good! Hot, fresh tasting and the real butter- OMG- SO much better than the
fake crap immitation butter flavoring in the microwave kind.
So let's see so far-
valuable coupon inside the box? Check
ease of assembly? Check
quick pop time? Check
great taste? Check
What's left? Clean up. No part of the popper is machine washable, but because you're not adding any oil or anything into the machine portion, you can just wipe it out with a dry cloth and it's good to go. The shield didn't really get dirty and the butter cup is one tiny little thing to hand wash. So ease in clean up? Check!
My final vote? For those looking for great popcorn that can be made easily and healthily (if you skip the butter) this is the popper for you! The price is a reasonable $23.99 and because it's such a cinch to set up and put away, it's not something you'll dread having to "drag out from the way back of the cupboard". This is definitely a kitchen appliance we're going to get a lot of use out of!
I think next time, we're going to sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top and try that out- Mmmmmm, can't wait!
I was given a Presto PopLite Air Popper by CSN Stores in exchange for my fair and honest review of their product. All opinions are mine!