I like popcorn. A lot.
And, given the range of other possible snack foods, it's relatively healthy, particularly if you pop your own and control the add-ins.
I usually make popcorn on the stove in a regular saucepan. I like the flavor better than packaged microwave popcorn, but the pot needs some babysitting and shaking to get as much corn popped as possible, with minimal burning.
I spent some time perfecting my stovetop popping technique, but it's still hit-and-miss. Most of the time it's good, but sometimes the corn isn't as fluffy, or there are a lot of dead kernels. And then I have a pot and a lid and a bowl to wash. And whatever I melted the butter in.
When I got the Lékué Popcorn Maker to test-drive, it wasn't long before it was in the microwave, popping away. It's darned simple. Add popcorn - you can use a measuring cup or use the lines in the bowl. Add optional oil or salt for flavor. Put the lid on and zap it. Easy peasy.
The lid doesn't fit tightly - it sort of floats, so it sits down in the bowl at the beginning of popping and raises up with the level of popcorn. The instruction said it would take 2-4 minutes to pop the popcorn, and mine was done in about 3 minutes.
The second time I made popcorn, I wondered if I could use a little butter along with the oil to add buttery flavor. I wasn't sure if it would work or if it would burn, so I added just a little. Maybe a teaspoon. And - the butter didn't burn. Even more interesting was that the little bit of butter added a mild buttery flavor to the popcorn, so although there wasn't a lot of fat added, it wasn't as dull as air-popped corn.
The little bit of salt I added also seemed to be well-distributed on the popcorn - no pockets of too much salt, and no flavorless corn. There were, of course, some unpopped kernels, but that happens no matter what method you use. But there weren't many, and the popped corn was nice and fluffy.
Although we're just talking about a bowl and a lid, it has some nice features. Because the lid floats, it vents steam, which is essential for good popcorn making. The bowl is perfect for serving, too, and it's dishwasher safe. And, it folds down, so it takes less space for storage.
Although it's designed for popping popcorn, I could see using it for other things, like heating other foods in the microwave, or for those times you want to serve something in an unbreakable bowl. So it's not a popcorn unitasker. It is, however, pretty flexible, so I wouldn't recommend filling it with something like soup.
Overall, a pretty big success.
Who's it for: People who want to pop their own corn in the microwave.
Pros: It works! It collapses for storage.
Cons: Not huge. Wait. Maybe that's a "pro."
Wishes: As always, it would be awesome if it came in a wide range of colors. I'm not picky, but I know some folks keep their kitchens color-coordinated.
Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.