Reviewed by Louise Totton
I seem to be on a permanent diet at the moment, constantly watching what I eat and trying to make healthy choices, especially at the dangerous ‘snacking time’ of an evening, between the kids’ bedtime and my bedtime.
At the same time, we’re a couple of weeks into the summer holidays, and it seems impossible to fill the kids up. They seem to be constantly complaining that they’re hungry, and it’s always for a snacks type of food; fruit or cucumber sticks aren’t doing the trick, and I’m not prepared to feed the never ending demands for crisps and biscuits.
It was therefore perfect timing for us to be asked to review the Chef’n Poptop Popcorn Maker. We have made popcorn on the stovetop in a pan previously, and the kids have always really enjoyed it. But as it involves oil, it’s not something that I often treat myself to, and it somehow seems a bit of a faff to heat the oil up, stand at the stovetop and shake the pan whilst the kids are waiting (incredibly lazy, I know!).
The Poptop arrived neatly packaged in a funky hexagonal box, and as I looked at it, I thought how nice it looked and that it would make a brilliant gift. The product itself is made from bright red silicone and is quite ‘retro’ in appearance.
There are no instructions as such inside the box, but simple directions are provided on the box, as well as images so you can see how full to fill it and how to fasten it up. The Poptop is able to make popcorn with it without oil, so we opted to try it out without oil.
Using the product is really simple, you simply add the popping corn up to the lines inside the bowl, fold the lid according the instructions and put the whole thing in the microwave. The lid folds inwards rather like petals, in an origami type pattern, and the device is placed in the microwave for a couple of minutes. After about a minute, we could hear the kernels beginning to pop, and rather like using a pan, the key to knowing when it is ready is when there are just a few isolated pops going on.
We found that when the bowl was filled to the line, the ‘petals’ of the lid opened up as an indicator that the popcorn was done. The instructions then told us to leave it in the microwave for a minute to cool down – good advice as it really is too hot to handle at this stage.
The popcorn was perfectly popped, light and airy. My two daughters thought having warm, fresh popcorn on tap was absolutely wonderful, and I am really happy to let them have it as a healthier alternative to crisps and other snacks.
It also makes brilliant grown up snacks, just by adding a little seasoning. It came with a couple of recipes on a recipe card, both of which were delicious. I also add chilli flakes or cinnamon for an easy flavouring.
By far and away though, the favourite option has been a little ramekin of melted chocolate for popcorn dipping, it feels like a really decadent treat and is so quick and simple to put together.
Buying corn kernels also represents a massive saving on shop bought popcorn, and takes up a lot less storage space in the kitchen. We took ours to our caravan where space is really tight and it was a real boon; I get really irritated by bags of air taking up precious storage space. No such problems here.
The Poptop is dishwasher safe, and after being washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher has come out as good as new. We are absolutely delighted with it, and have already recommended it to several friends.
I would not hesitate to rate it at 5 out of 5. We all love it.
Available to buy from Amazon here.