|This kitchen appliance or piece of kitchenware may be any utensil that is used to pop kernels of corn on a stovetop, in a microwave or over an open fire. Electrical popcorn poppers built as an appliance are made to produce popped corn in hot cooking oil. An alternative to oil poppers are the air poppers that use hot air without cooking oil, which is desired by health conscious individuals that do not want oil on their popcorn. Air poppers produce a dry kernel that will not hold salt well, but can be moistened with melted butter if a texture is desired that will hold other seasonings such as salt. Microwave poppers come in many different shapes and sizes, some as simple as a plastic container with a lid or some with lid devices to allow butter to be drizzled onto the corn as it pops in the microwave.
Other varieties of poppers include the stovetop popper with a turn crank connected to a spindle and blade that can be manually circulated around the bottom base of the popper pan. The rotation of the blade allows the kernels to be moved within the popper so the heat is distributed around the kernel to pop it more effectively and without leaving many kernels unpopped. Popcorn poppers that are made to be held over open fires consist of some type of a formed metal mesh or flat metal that may be round, oval-shaped, square, or rectangular for use when camping or on picnics where open pit fires are most common. This type of popper has been used since early times when popcorn was first discovered as ears of corn were thrown into a hot fire. The popcorn popper was then developed to be held over fires made for cooking in the homes of early settlers and the basic concept remains very much the same as was created for popping corn during those times.