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1579 of 1595 found the following review helpful:
Great inexpensive popperApr 01, 2010
By Arthur Bradley
The Presto 04820 is a great inexpensive popcorn popper. It is very easy to use--simply pour in 1/2 cup of popcorn and turn it on. A minute or so later, the popcorn gets hot enough to pop and begins to flow (sometimes shoot) out the front of the unit. Have a nice big bowl in front of it! There is a butter cup on top of the unit. The idea is to use the popper's heat to melt the butter. It doesn't quite work out that way, because the butter doesn't have adequate time to melt. Fortunately, the butter cup is microwave (and dishwasher) safe, so you can just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to finish the melting. Popcorn comes out very well popped, no burned kernels, and very few unpopped kernels (perhaps 5-10 total).
After popping, be sure to pour out the few kernels that might remain in the cooker. If you don't they might burn during the next batch. I found this out the hard way, when I smelled smoke and the unit immediately shut off. As long as you pour out the few unpopped kernels, all is well. Very low maintenance unit, just a quick wipe down, and washing of the butter cup.
Definitely, I can give a thumbs up to this popcorn popper.
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677 of 691 found the following review helpful:
Just trying to add value... Found the missing link.Jun 21, 2010
By Bob Tobias
There is not too much that can be added to the excellent reviews and remarkable suggestions. However, if you read this through you'll see I have one key suggestion.
This popper is outstanding. It's not as messy as a stir-crazy and probably not as bad for you as microwave popcorn. It can produce great tasting popcorn if you do this:
Use the right corn - I've had great luck with Pop Secret Jumbo Kernel Jar, 30-Ounce Jars (Pack of 6) and Orville Redenbacher's Original Popping Corn Jar 30oz - 6 Unit Pack.
Other reviewers have provided the excellent suggestion of spraying olive oil with a Misto Gourmet Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer. That is a very good idea and I have an improvement below. Also, if you use this sprayer for any reason be sure to twist the cap on the sprayer when you're done to release the pressure. It'll last longer that way.
You want to use real popcorn salt, for example Popcorn Salt. It's very finely ground and perfect for popcorn.
Now, here's my addition to the process that makes it (imho) perfect. Instead of olive oil in the sprayer, use Orville Redenbacher's Popping & Topping Buttery Flavor Popcorn Oil, 16 oz (Pack of 6). It may be a bit less healthy than olive oil but thanks to the sprayer you only use a very small amount and it tastes tons better!
Finally, I realize the links I've provided are for multiple quantities of everything. It's not to suggest that you buy that much but to provide the names and descriptions of the products I've found to be very good.
UPDATE (2013): We still like this popper and the method described when our goal is for the healthiest result, like with our daughter and her friends. However, we've found that we also really like to use our Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper along with the popcorn I've mentioned in my review of it (currently on page 3). The results are probably less healthy and have a buttery flavor that I remember having at movie theaters a long time ago.
BTW, I feel that honest, effective reviews take the place of first-hand experiences that are lacking in online shopping. I've always appreciated the help I've gotten from other reviewers and continue to return the favor as best as I can. Let me know if you find this information helpful. Also, if there was anything you thought was lacking or unclear leave a comment and I'll do what I can to fix it.
842 of 863 found the following review helpful:
Good 'ol popperMay 17, 2007
I've had one of these for more than 10 years and am ordering a new one because the yellow plastic air guide has just disintegrated from age and heating. The motor and element are still working.
Yes: if you leave it alone it does throw out a few blistering-hot kernels. But if during the first 30 seconds of running you hold it and tilt it back about 30 degrees, it doesn't. As soon as any kernels have popped you can set it down again.
Lowest-calorie popcorn? At the supermarket, buy an aerosol can of cooking oil spray. Face the popcorn bowl, spray in right hand and salt-shaker in left. As the popcorn tumbles out, alternately spritz with cooking oil and sprinkle with salt. The oil spray has basically zero calories (a teaspoon per batch?) but it makes the salt stick to the popcorn!
Fun with your popper, impress the kids. There are always a few kernels that don't pop left in the bottom. And every time, one or 2 will go off a couple seconds AFTER you pull the plug. So: pull out the plug, slowly raise your index finger and point, magically, at the popper. Bang! Blow smoke off imaginery gun barrel.
703 of 769 found the following review helpful:
Presto PopLite Hot Air Corn Popper! SOLUTIONS...!Aug 21, 2005
At first- I experienced ALL of the cons that some of the other reviewers listed with the Presto Popper.
After lots of experimenting- I found solutions for all of them, and often enjoy a "full flavor" HEALTHY buttered/salted bowl of popcorn (inexpensive too!)!
This is how I now make "YUMMY" popcorn!
This takes a little extra effort, but the rewards are well worth it!
For this to work, you MUST NOT LEAVE UNNATTENDED, "for any reason"!
1. Instead of pouring the popcorn in a cold machine- I first preheat it by plugging it in for at least "3" minutes, with the top "completely off" (pour out any old unpopped kernels, before plugging it in!)!
While waiting- I put kernels the measuring cup, microwave my "good tasting" butter substitute (see #2), and fix drinks...
a. I now pour the kernels in, and place the top on, BUT DO NOT PUT THE MEASURING CUP ON TOP YET! This way the kernels, don't BLOW into the bowl..., they just circulate and stay inside & bowl stays cool!
b. As soon as you hear the first small pop (about 1 minute), QUICKLY! Place the measuring cup on top. The popping will soon be VERY rapid!
c. If the popcorn builds up, and does not blow into the bowl, it will burn. I hold onto the still cool top, tilt and firmly shake/tap/tilt... the machine until kernels fall into the bowl, and start blowing in on their own. Leave a few extra seconds for all kernels to pop (tilt back a little).
2. Now for the "good tasting!" butter substitute-
Update#1!- I now prefer organic butter, and finely ground (coffee Grinder...Tnx!)Natural/Healthier (processed salt is bad for you, and so is ANY margarine Google... it!) "Himalayan" mined Sea Salt is supposedly bad for you..., so I switched to Celtic Sea salt!Celtic Sea Salt, Fine Ground, By The Grain & Salt Society, 1 #
Update#2!- If you melt butter... in the cup on top, with ANY air popper! It WILL eventually crack & split!
a. If you must use margarine- I place 1/4 cup of "Country Crock Light" brand margarine (#1 in taste tests, NO trans fat, no cholesterol, cooks/melts... just like butter in ALL recipes/frying..., about $2.50 for a 3 lb tub) in a microwave safe ceramic/glass cup (no plastic EVER in microwave/BAD for you!).
I heat it on 5 for 10 seconds. Then stir well, and microwave for another 5 seconds, and stir well one last time. I then stir in a teaspoon of "Butter Buds" seasoning (for butter flavor)
Ready to pour on top of popcorn, and "quickly" stir in thoroughly with a coffee spoon.
3. For people on low-sodium!- Shake on some "AlsoSalt"- Excellent tasting "sodium free" Salt Substitute, that tastes MUCH like salt (no aftertaste...!)!
Not in most stores yet, but you can find/buy it online with a Google... search.
Comes in three flavors- Regular, butter, and Garlic (all are "EXCELLENT" for ALL cooking...).
4. Shake on some Parmesan Cheese/or Garlic..., for a GREAT taste treat!
98 of 103 found the following review helpful:
Best I've usedDec 22, 2004
Trust a guy who eats popcorn every day - this is the one. Yes, you may get a stray kernel or two at the beginning and a few more at the end. This popper is much better than the others I've tried (3 other models).
This one also creates fluffier popped corn than average which is nice.
It's available for even cheaper at a certain retail behemoth that starts with Wa.
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