Presto is one of the biggest names in popcorn poppers, and the Presto PopLite Hot Air Popper (04860) is one of the most popular. But how does it perform? Will it work for you?
The PopLite is a basic air-popper, with a measuring cup in the top chute which doubles as a butter warmer. The chute and measuring cup are not dishwasher-safe.
Hot air poppers heat popcorn kernels from below, with an updraft airflow which pushes the popped corn out the chute and into your waiting bowl. Occasionally, an unpopped kernel will bounce out with the popped corn. We found that this happened much less with the Presto PopLite than with other similar poppers. In our tests, the PopLite came very close to the manufacturer’s claimed 18 cup output, and left very few unpopped kernels.
No oil is needed in the cooking process, and for that reason, some people find air popped corn to be dry. This is easily addressed by drizzling melted butter or spritzing olive oil or other light oil-based topping after the popping is complete. The PopLite can even help, as the kernel measuring cup on the top of the chute serves double-duty by melting butter if you don’t mind the additional cleanup.
In our testing, the PopLite turned 1/2 cup of kernels into popcorn in approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This in on par with the best air poppers, as fast microwave popcorn, and twice as fast as oil-based poppers.
The PopLite is slightly louder than average for an air popper.
Presto provides a manual on the use and cleaning for the popper, and a one-year warranty. There is a cup on the top of the chute for measuring a 1/2 cup of kernels and melting butter if desired.
The Presto PopLite does not have a power switch, so starting and stopping the process requires plugging and unplugging the power cord from the wall. This is inconvenient, and could be a concern for those with children who may use the appliance.
The Presto PopLite Hot Air Popper is a no-frills performer that efficiently makes excellent popcorn. There are almost no unpopped kernels left, and very little cleanup required when the PopLite is finished.