Help me find a popcorn popper

My air popper finally gave out on me. I went looking for a new air popper, but they all have the “butter melter” cup. I hate that feature.

#1, I don’t use butter on my popcorn.
#2, they don’t really work. The butter doesn’t melt fast enough.
#3, if you don’t fill it with something, the popcorn pushes the damn thing out and then you have popcorn all over the countertop and floor.

So what I’m looking for is an air popper without the little cup at the top, like the one I had until very recently.

Anyone know where I can find one?

I found one by Toastmaster that fits my description, but has a terrible review.

I found another Nostalgia old-timey looking thing that’s twice the cost, but also has terrible reviews.

I also found a number of reviews where people bitch about the butter melter cup, for exactly the reasons I listed above.

WTF is wrong with appliance makers? Don’t they read reviews or listen to customer feedback?

I have the Presto 4820 and I like it. The butter cup has never popped out. I don’t put anything in it. I just use it as the measuring cup for the popcorn.

put some pocket change in the cup to give it some mass and it won’t push out.

unbuttered air popped popcorn is a food group just like pizza.

Have you thought about not using an air popper?

I use a large stainless steel bowl, some aluminum foil (pierced several times with a knife), and a pair of pliers. And popcorn and a little oil, of course.

I picked up an air popper at a yard sale for fifty cents. I’ve never had any problem with leaving the butter cup empty. Never even heard of such a thing. It works like a dream.

I have one of these microwave poppers.

The come with discs that you supposedly “need” for it to work, but you don’t really need them. I can get them, but I have to go out of my way, so I don’t bother.

We simply use a pot with a few drops of oil. It’s not as light as air popped popcorn, but it is far from the drenched with butter flavor you get with that butter melter. I also find it’s a lot faster than a dedicated popcorn machine.

I see what you mean about the butter melter. Stupid idea. Someone said put a few coins in to give it some mass, and that should help it.

And then what? Wait for climate change to heat it up? :wink:

I could post the exact same thing except I think mine is the Presto 4821 branded with some old buck-toothed nerd.

I hate the butter melter. The instructions say that the butter has to be room-temperature and not fridge-temperature. What is the point of that? In the age of microwaves, its time has passed.

Our air popper is ancient (I can’t be arsed to go look what brand it is, as I’m sure you can’t buy this model anymore), and the main thing I hate about it is that it has no switch; you just plug/unplug to turn it on and off. :mad:

Never had a problem with the butter melter. I use it to measure out the popcorn and then stick it back in place while the popcorn pops, and it’s never come out. However, I use a large metal mixing bowl to catch the popped popcorn, and sometimes the pieces like to escape out the other side. So I just cover the whole thing with a large piece of cheesecloth (which is kept with the popper). I have to stay and watch the thing anyway because it pops pretty fast, so no safety issue. I imagine you could do the same thing.

I use that one also. The discs help a bit but, as you say, you don’t need them. What I like best is that I’ve never had unpopped kernels left in the thing. You do need to pay attention to the popping because if you leave the thing in the microwave too long, two things can happen: burnt corn and melted top.

Popcorn is just a vehicle for the butter and salt, and sometimes cheese. If it pops the popper is fine. But the butter should be microwaved and poured on while stirring. Then comes the salt.

I have one of these, too, and we use just the bowl and lid. I don’t have the black base thing. My kids have used it nearly every day for at least 2 years. It uses as little or as much oil as you would like, even no oil. If you do want butter, melt it separately.

Another vote for the Presto 4280. I had one that I used at least four times a week for about 11 years and it finally gave up the ghost last month, only after being knocked from the countertop twice in a week. Good product for about $15 investment.

Being about food, this may be more suitable for CS than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

I have a Sears popper that’s over 20 years old. It’s very similar to the Presto and may be just a Sears-branded version. I only use it a couple of times a year. The butter melter/popcorn measurer has never popped out by itself.

I think I only used the melter once, but as everybody else has noted, it didn’t work well and I just gave up. I thought maybe a small metal cup of the right size might work, like a steel measuring cup, but I never got around to looking for one.

You don’t have a stove? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll appologize up front since I know this won’t help you at all in finding an air popper. I’ve tried all types and have now settled on a big heavy Wok (with a lid) with real peanut oil and of course a pan of real melted butter warming beside it. I don’t eat it often, but now I want the real thing, with real butter and real salt.

I have one of those movie theater popcorn machines in my basement home theater area, but when we’re having people over I pop a few batches in the wok and fill up the machine. Makes a fun serving piece, and everyone raves about how good it is.

No problem with the move, but the topic [del]isn’t[/del] wasn’t popcorn, it[del]'s[/del] was popcorn making appliances. Just explaining why I put it in GQ in the first place.

I had a popper with the butter cup once, and I did have a problem with it coming out. I found several reviews online where people describe the same thing, but not many. Not nearly as many as people complaining that the butter doesn’t really melt in the butter melting cup.

I don’t have a microwave, so those are right out. And I already have big pots and pans to make it with oil, but I prefer air popped.

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I’m gonna give the Presto a try, since I’ll only have wasted $15-20 on it if I hate it. I’m sure Goodwill or SA or the children’s shelter could use it if I decide I don’t like it, eh. I might have been tempted to try a microwave popper, but, alas, I do not have a microwave. (FFS, I just got a toaster oven a couple of years ago. Still no TV. For a geek, I’m also a weird kind of Luddite.)

Also, since the thread has now been moved to CS, I’ll provide my version of popcorn:

Snowboarder Bo’s Near Zero C Popcorn

#1. Air pop as much popcorn as the popper will hold at one filling and still function.
#2. Spray lightly with butter-flavor canola oil (yes, like the non-stick cooking spray stuff).
#3. Cover liberally with Molly McButter™ (butter or cheese flavor; I prefer the butter flavor.)
#4. Enjoy a snack that almost zero calories.