Microwave popcorn poppers in bags is fast and convenient. But the quality tends to be mediocre. And take a look at the ingredient list on a bag of microwave popcorn — you’ll find trans fats, which elevate bad cholesterol; flavorings and additives not from nature; and lots of salt. And that doesn't begin to cover the coatings many manufacturers use to line the microwave bags.
In addition to the unhealthy (even harmful) ingredients is the environmental aspect. The bags are extremely resistant to natural biodegradation. The large amount of production of microwave popcorn bags has become a significant contaminant source to our environment.
Using the microwave to pop popcorn now has a healthy and environmentally safe alternative—the microwave popcorn popper.
Microwave poppers offer the convenience of popping corn in the microwave without the additives that are found in microwave popcorn bags. These poppers are usually a plastic bowl with a vented lid. They may also be made of glass. However, glass can shatter, which may make the unbreakable plastic or silicone popper a better choice.
Some microwave poppers made of silicone. A BPA-free silicone popper can be a good alternative. Just the tiniest drizzle of oil (and sometimes even that is optional), popping corn and about three minutes in the microwave gets you a healthier snack.
There are a variety of versions. Look for one that comes with a lid, or that creates its own cover with “petals” that unfold as the corn pops.
Some have measurements marked directly on the bowl itself, so there’s no need to us a measuring cup or spoon to measure oil or un-popped kernels.
The size of these poppers determines how much popcorn can be popped. Some pop up to 10 cups while others pop as much as 14 cups. The time to pop also varies from two to four minutes.
If storage space is at a premium, choose a collapsible version. These are only about two inches tall when collapsed.
Most of these microwave poppers are dishwasher safe which makes clean-up fast and easy.
These microwave poppers tend to run between $10 and $20. That cost is quickly recovered when you don’t have to buy expensive, commercially prepared microwave bags.
For a review of microwave popcorn poppers, check consumer search.
Tell us about your experience with a microwave popcorn popper. Which one did you use? Was it easy to use? How did the popcorn taste?