Stove Top Popcorn Poppers
Any new thoughts on the best? I've heard that the new Whirly Pop design is not as good as previous ones. Anyone have a favorite stove top popper that's not an older design Whirly pop?
I bought a Whirly Pop 20 years ago. It popped popcorn ok. It was easy to burn the popcorn because the aluminum is so thin. It was not easy to wash the Whirly Pop. I know, you do not have to wash it after each use but eventually it needs to be washed and by that time the oil on the lid is sticky and impossible to entirely remove. Prior to the Whirly Pop I used an old Mirro electric popcorn popper. It too was easy to burn the popcorn, but it was the kind my mother used. I also had one of those electric popcorn poppers with the plastic top that you flipped over to use as the popcorn bowl. I have no idea what happened to that one.
My point is that I have popped popcorn in various devices and the best one is what we are currently using, an Ikea 365+ 5 quart kettle. It has a thick disc bottom so the popcorn never burns. You just put the oil and popcorn in the kettle, put the lid on have the burner on high (ceramic flat-top YMMV) and wait for it to finish popping, there is no need to shake the kettle. It takes a cup of popcorn and produces 5 quarts of popped corn without burning or scorching.
I do mine in a 5 quart stainless copper-bottomed dutch oven. I hate unitaskers in the kitchen, so no special popcorn poppers for me. This is also my pasta boiling pot, and comes in useful for many preparations (although I won't be using it for stews and braises anymore now that I have my Le Creuset). I make a lot of popcorn, and I've never had any trouble with it.