Tuesday, February 10, 2009

DIY Popcorn

I like popcorn. Considering how much popcorn is sold in this country, I'm betting a lot of you do, too. Whether you think of it as a movie-viewing essential, or a casual TV snack, the popped kernel of corn is a staple of American snack food. And, popcorn is one of the rare snack foods that actually isn't bad for you! That is, until you dress it with gobs of flavorings.
I'm not against flavored popcorn. I enjoy as much as anybody else the myriad flavors that are out there: kettle corn, caramel, cheese, butter, extra butter, movie butter. They are all delicious. However, there is one flavor that doesn't get enough attention: plain with salt.
For quick and easy home popcorn preparation, pass up the preflavored microwave bag and dive into the hot air maker. I've tried using the type of corn poppers that are supposed to pop the corn out into a bowl, but, ultimately, popcorn and hot-but-not-popped kernels go flying everywhere.
The Salton Popcorn Popper keeps the popcorn entirely enclosed during the popping process. Like a hot air popper, it can pop corn without the use of oil. It works by heating the kernels on a nonstick surface, using a bidirectional rotating stirrer to keep the kernels moving. After a few minutes, the popcorn is done and the cover doubles as a serving bowl. Not only do you get to control the flavors, but you get to make sure you have no more unpopped kernels scatted about the room.

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