Product Review: Stove-top Popcorn Maker

June 28, 2011

Product Reviews

Last Christmas, I purchased a stainless steel stove-top (old-timey) popcorn popper from Lehman’s.  It had gotten good marks from other buyers in their comments section, so despite the price tag, I bought one as a family gift.

Not Your Microwave Popcorn

This was hands-down one of the best things we’ve ever gotten.  Not only does the popcorn taste so much better than the chemical-laden stuff you zap in the microwave, it’s much more frugal in the long run.  Plain popcorn kernels are far less expensive.

It’s very durable and well-made.  It has a stirring mechanism, though we have found it isn’t really necessary.  The lid is clamped on so it doesn’t fall off when you pour out the popped corn.

We chose the stainless steel model over the aluminum for durability and because many think we should not be cooking in aluminum since ingesting it is not good for our health.

We have been so pleased with this popper that when our son saw an aluminum one (Whirley-Pop brand) in a thrift store recently, he wanted to have a back-up that they could keep in the camping supplies.  We tried it out and found it to be quite inferior to the stainless steel version.  It rocked on the stove because it was a bit rounded on the bottom.  It did not distribute the heat as well and needed more attention as it popped.  I’m not sure how it could be related, but we also noticed that the popcorn seemed to be all shell that stuck in our teeth even though it was the same bag we’d used last time.

The popper has been quite versatile too.  The guys have taken in on Boy Scout campouts and used it on a grate directly over the campfire.  The other Scouts insist it makes the best popcorn they’ve ever tasted and request it be brought along each time.

Popcorn To Boost Morale

In a previous post, I listed some items we would consider storing away for use as morale boosters in difficult times.  We use this popper often now, but I would make sure to have plenty of plain popcorn put up for the future.  A 50 lb bag from the big box store will go a long way!  And don’t forget the salt and oil.

I have also read that in a pinch, unpopped corn kernels can be ground into cornmeal for bread or tortilla making.

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11 Comments on “Product Review: Stove-top Popcorn Maker”

  1. Wendy D. Says:

    You are so right! These pop corn poppers are AMAZING! I did not eat pop corn for years because it just always tasted and smelled so… ick! Ours is aluminum, and I’m with you – this is the ONLY aluminum pan in our house – I had no idea they even came in stainless steel! Looks like I’ll be looking for a new one. However, I must say, ours was brand new when we received it as a gift from my late MIL and it works beautifully, it doesn’t rock on the stove at all. My guess is the one your son bought must’ve been abused and warped. That being said however, I WANT a stainless steel one now!! Thanks for the review!


    • Laura Says:

      Thanks for your endorsement, Wendy!

      The popper we picked up in the thrift store was probably warped from its time on the shelf there. Aluminum just doesn’t resist dings too well. It looked pretty new otherwise and even had the original “owner’s manual” with it. That is worth having. It contains recipes for interesting flavored popcorn.

      I found the website for the company and the page with recipes in case anyone is interested.


  2. SurvivalWoman Says:

    I have an old Revere Ware pot that I use on the stove to make popcorn. An old trick is to heat the oil and popcorn together instead of adding the popcorn after the oil gets hot. The bottom of the pan is a bit burnt from a mishap or two (and I am too lazy to scrub) but other than that, it makes great popcorn.

    So inquiring minds want to know: what makes the corn pop better or tastier in the popper? Not that I need another kitchen gadget, of course.

    — Gaye


    • Laura Says:

      We will have to try heating corn and oil together. Thanks for that tip.

      One of our sons did a science fair project this year in our homeschool group testing the effect of temperature on the number of kernels popped. To our surprise, the frozen kernels popped more uniformly. Maybe the rapid transition of frozen moisture to boiling within them makes them more likely to pop? Not sure.

      I’ve attributed the taste difference to the lack of artificial additives. One of the ironies of the scout troop insisting on having the popper along is that the main Scout fund raiser is selling the microwave variety!


  3. californiabusinessupdates Says:

    I have an old Revere Ware pot that I use on the stove to make popcorn. An old trick is to heat the oil and popcorn together instead of adding the popcorn after the oil gets hot. The bottom of the pan is a bit burnt from a mishap or two (and I am too lazy to scrub) but other than that, it makes great popcorn.


  4. gustiefarera Says:

    I love popcorn. so its good idea for me to provide a popcorn maker in my office. so every one can enjoy it and work happily. thank


  5. Brandi Says:

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time
    I had spent for this information! Thanks!



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