Last year I discovered the Lékué popcorn maker and, in a moment, my lifelong search for the perfect popcorn popper came to an end. Now, until this collapsible silicone popper came into my life, I hadn't been aware that I was questing for an ideal popping solution — but I was.
There are a few things I don't like about most popcorn poppers: They take up a lot of space, they are often hard to clean, and they always leave unpopped kernels behind. And did I mention what a pain they are to clean? The Lékué solves all of those issues.
My relationship with popcorn makers started when I was young and my dad brought home one of those Wear-Ever Popcorn Pumpers. It made adequate popcorn, but was eventually sold at a garage sale because my mom declared that it took up too much cabinet space.
After that, we used a pyramid-shaped plastic dish designed for popping corn in the microwave, and then eventually switched (like so many other families in the '90s) to bags of store-bought microwave popcorn.
Once out on my own and aware of the issues surrounding packaged microwave popcorn, I switched back to the stovetop method, first using a small, lightweight aluminum stock pot, and then employing a gently used Whirley Pop I'd picked up at a church rummage sale for $3. The biggest downside to the Whirley Pop is that keeping it clean and gunk-free took a lot of elbow grease.
And then came the Lékué microwave popcorn maker. It was an impulse Amazon purchase last fall, clicked into the shopping cart on a whim, but it was love at first use. Made of sturdy silicone, it is easy to clean and collapses down to three inches tall. You can serve the popcorn right in the bowl because it cools quickly and looks nice. And in my microwave, it only takes two minutes and 15 seconds to go from a pile of kernels to popcorn.
Oh, and those unpopped kernels? When you've eaten all the popped corn in the bowl, you can put the lid back on the popper, stick it back in the microwave, and run it again until the remaining kernels pop.
For all these reasons, the Lékué popcorn maker is my favorite way to make popcorn, and I have a feeling it will remain so for a very long time to come!
- Lékué Popcorn Maker, $19.95 at Amazon