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How to make perfect Air-Popped Popcorn

From Kernel to Crunch: How to Make Perfect Air-Popped Popcorn

Making perfect air-popped popcorn is really easy-peasy. Are you ready to embark on a popping journey that'll leave you smiling from ear to ear? Get ready to ditch the microwave and join the air-popping party! In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the delightful process of popping popcorn with an air popper - and some of the things to watch out for.

Ready? Let's get poppin'!

Choosing the right kernels

Honestly, any method to make popcorn is easy, but this might be the easiest…right next to using “the popper,” in the microwave.

First, let's start with the foundation: the popcorn itself. A secret tip from the Dell Cove kitchen: Every air popper is different. Each one heats differently. And there’s nothing worse than being excited about making popcorn - and then realizing that half the kernels you put in your popper didn’t pop. (#$#%&!)

So opt for high-quality popping corn kernels, preferably ones labeled "hull-less" or "thin hull". Personally, we've found that to make the best air popped popcorn, you need to use a “hull-less” kernel, or a popcorn with a super thin hull, like Dell Cove’s Baby White popcorn kernels or Movie Night popcorn kernels.

The hull is the outside coating of the kernel, and can be those pieces of popcorn that can get stuck in your teeth sometimes. Not great. And given that some air poppers don’t get super hot, that thin hull will mean that more kernels should pop in your machine.

Because of that, you'll want to use popcorn kernels that have thin hulls - or the material on the outside of each kernel. The thinner the hull, the easier it is to pop!

Gather Your Gear

Next, it's time to round up our popcorn-popping gear! All you need is your trusty air popper. Make sure your air popper is clean and raring to go. Be sure to follow your machine's manufacturing directions on how to clean it, prior to use and after each use.

Measure Up

Grab a measuring cup and scoop out the perfect amount of popcorn kernels, and set the kernels aside. For us, we've found that about 1/2 cup of kernels is just about right. Just remember, we're aiming for a happy medium – not too few kernels, not too many. Goldilocks would be proud!

Don't forget, air popping machines can be different, depending on manufacturer. Be sure to double check the instructions on the maximum volume of kernels your popper can handle

Let the Popping Begin

Again, read the instructions for your particular machine. For many air poppers, here are the next steps.

Plug in your popper, and switch your machine on. This will turn on the fan and warm up the heating element inside the machine. Remove the plastic chute - it can get hot and burn you!

Let the machine warm up for about 1 minute. Then, pour those kernels into the popping chamber of your air popper and put the chute back on your machine. Place a large bowl in front of the machine - beneath the chute - to catch the popped corn.

Watch Your Kernels

Now, get ready for some serious popping action. It's like a mini fireworks display right in your kitchen. Sit back, relax, and watch as those kernels dance and twirl in the hot air. It's like a popcorn ballet, and you've got front-row seats!

A secret tip from the Dell Cove kitchen: Smaller heritage kernels - like the ones we grow - can sometimes be a little light weight for poppers with strong fans. Don't panic if you see kernels flying out! Just pop them back into the machine, and keep poppin'!

Keep Your Ears Open

Listen closely as the kernels start to pop and sizzle. I always think it sounds like music to my ears, that this popcorn masterpiece is well on its way. Can you hear the popcorn applause? Bravo!

When the popping slows down to a gentle sizzle, it's time to call it a day. Switch off your air popper and allow your machine to slow down. Give it a minute - there might be popcorn kernels about to pop!

Get Creative with Toppings

CAREFULLY open the lid of your air popper and shake out any extra popped kernels into your bowl of freshly popped popcorn.  Now comes the fun part – adding your favorite toppings! Whether you're a classic butter lover or a sprinkle fanatic, there's no wrong way to top your popcorn masterpiece. Let your taste buds lead the way!

Scoop it into a big, happy bowl and get ready to dig in. It's snack time, and you're the popcorn hero!

Time to Clean Up

Once the popcorn party winds down, it's time to clean up shop. Following your machine's manufacturer directions, give your air popper a quick wash and dry, and it'll be ready to pop the next time you're feeling snacky.

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