Whether you're watching thrillers like Money Heist and Ozark or comedies like Set It Up, there's no better snack than popcorn. During quarantine, Netflix was my favorite escape and I found myself plowing through bags of microwave popcorn before deciding to try popping kernels myself for a more economical (and environmentally friendly) way to indulge my habit.
It's easy enough to pop kernels on the stove top, but I always seemed to end up with too many burnt pieces, or a sad army of unpopped kernels, even when I diligently listened to the popping percussion and periodically shook the pan.
Then I discovered the Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker by Dash and I've instantly become a popcorn popping queen. It may look like a miniature garbage can, but this is a small but mighty popcorn machine. It's just over a foot tall and easily fits on a kitchen countertop, or if I'm being totally honest, right on my nightstand with a hefty container of popcorn kernels underneath.
The hot air method of popping requires no oil and the one-touch start button is totally foolproof. Popcorn begins joyfully flying around the aluminum heat chamber, like little kids on a carnival ride. Soon, pieces of popcorn are artfully somersaulting out of the spout and into the bowl beneath. Zero burnt pieces and no unpopped stragglers left behind. The popcorn maker can cook up to 16 cups of fresh popcorn at a time, although I have yet to test its maximum capacity. That would be a little bit much, even for me.
My favorite kernels are Black Jewell's heritage popcorn, grown on small Midwestern farms. They're hulless and high in antioxidants and fiber. The best part about popping your own popcorn is having infinite ways to season it. I usually like to keep it simple with Laudemio Frescobaldi extra virgin olive oil and Jacobsen's black pepper-infused sea salt, although the measuring cup for the popcorn maker doubles as a warming tray for butter, which is super convenient. If you're looking to mix it up, just add herbs, garlic or chili powder, or everything bagel spice mix to your olive oil or butter for an evenly distributed flavor. You don't even have to wash the machine if you don't use the butter melting tray. Family movie night has never been so easy.