The whimsical Nostalgia Electrics Mini Hot Air RHP310 popcorn popper has a look and style reminiscent of a 1950s teen hangout. You can make eight cups of air-popped corn in only two to three minutes, and in our testing of this popcorn maker, we ended up with 10 cups.
Unfortunately, we did have some unpopped kernels, about 1.25 teaspoons' worth, from a batch made with a half-cup of kernels. Some popped kernels also hit the kitchen counter, so it is best to use a tall-sided bowl with this hot air popcorn popper. You can use the square cap on top as a measuring cup.
The resulting popped corn tasted fine. Not everyone loves air-popped corn, since you make it without oil, which alters the taste. However, it makes a great low-calorie treat for anyone who is watching the scale: One cup typically contains about 30 calories if you eat it without butter or salt. In case you want to try something different, Nostalgia Electrics provides some recipes on its website, including Parmesan popcorn and popcorn peppermint bark.
This air popcorn popper does not have dishwasher-safe parts, but they are easy to wash by hand. If you want a hot air popper whose removable parts are dishwasher safe, take a look at the Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air CPM-100.
The unit comes with an on-off switch that might seem like a trivial thing, but it's a helpful safety feature found on the best popcorn makers. You won't have to reach past the hot popcorn popper to unplug it, risking burns.
The cord is a reasonable length at 35.5 inches, although it is not as short as some of the best popcorn poppers' cords. Having a relatively short cord, as this machine does, cuts down on the possibility that the cord will loop down over the side of a counter and tempt a child to yank it.
You get only a 90-day warranty with this electric popcorn maker, which is quite short in the industry. However, in other areas, you get plenty of help and support if you run into problems. You can reach the company via email or phone. It also offers FAQs on its website as well as a user manual, in case you lose the one included with the machine. You also can watch a demonstration video on the website to see how the machine works.
You can make great popcorn with this popcorn machine, even if there are a few unpopped kernels, and the cleanup is pretty simple, though you must wash the parts by hand. The Nostalgia Electrics Mini Hot Air RHP310 will add some '50s flair to your kitchen and give you a good snack in the bargain.