Skip to main content

I've Used This Popcorn Popper for 20 Years

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of freshly popped popcorn. This gadget makes it easy.
By Published Dec. 6, 2022

I cook with a core cadre of faithful kitchen gear every day: among them, my trusty cast-iron skillet, my rimmed baking sheets and my chef’s knife. But when work is done, I turn to my other true loves: movies and popcorn.

I think nothing translates to “me time” like a huge bowl of salty, buttery popcorn. 

For more than 20 years, I’ve been using our winning popcorn popper, the Nordic Ware Microwave Corn Popper. (Well before our team ever tested it, actually.) It’s about as simple as can be: a sturdy bowl and vented lid. 

At less than $20, this is the best “bang for the buck” I’ve ever gotten out of one piece of kitchen gear. And it’s still working deliciously after all these years. 

Sign up for the Cook's Country Dinner Tonight newsletter

10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

How Do I Use the Nordic Ware Popcorn Popper?

You pour in ⅓ cup of the most basic popcorn (a few dollars per bag), put the lid on, toss it in the microwave, and cook for about 4 minutes, until the popping slows down. That’s it.

No oil to add, nothing to plug in, no trying to catch the airborne corn—nothing. 

The corn comes out fluffy and fragrant, with a scant few unpopped kernels left behind. I usually transfer it out of the hot popper and stir in plenty of melted butter (Pro tip: A butter knife held vertically is the best tool for this—it doesn’t toss popcorn out of the bowl and distributes the butter nicely) and salt generously.

Equipment Review

Microwave Popcorn Poppers

Sometimes simplest is really the best.
See Our Winner

Cleanup takes 10 seconds in the sink. I’m back on the couch and the popcorn is still hot. 

Thick and sturdy but lightweight, this bowl combined with the vented lid pops corn more efficiently, safely and reliably than using a regular bowl or paper bag. (Also: Some paper bags, especially those containing recycled fibers, can ignite in the microwave.)

One caveat: Don’t put the lid in the dishwasher; it can warp. 

Is the Nordic Ware Popcorn Popper Safe?

If you’re worried about microwaving in what feels like plastic, don’t be. 

“Our microwave popper is made from a thermoset material that cures under high temperature and pressure during the manufacturing process,” said Jennifer Dalquist, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Nordic Ware. “This permanently cross-links molecules inside the material so that it cannot melt or break down once it is cured."

The company also conducts annual safety testing of their products using independent third party labs, Dalquist said, verifying that this popper is perfectly safe for use in the microwave. It’s BPA- and melamine–free, too.

400+ One-Pan Recipes

The Complete One Pot Cookbook

Level up your one-pan cooking with foolproof, simplified, and flavorful recipes for a skillet, sheet pan, Dutch oven, Instant Pot, and more. Plus, our “Cook It Three Ways” feature gives you added flexibility to prepare recipes based on serving size and vessel type.