Pros: No need for a microwave, no bowls to wash, good for camping or traveling.
I'm a popcorn lover, although I don't make it all the time, just when I have a craving. Oh, and I was having a major popcorn craving when it dawned on me - I don't have a microwave in my new apartment yet! I've been making popcorn in the microwave for so long, I didn't know how else to make it. Ahhh... Jiffy Pop to the rescue.
~ Product Description
Surely you're familiar with Jiffy Pop Stovetop Popcorn from back in the days before microwaves. It's a little plastic pan with a wire handle, and the foil over the popcorn expands to contain the popcorn while it pops.
Jiffy Pop pans are 4.5 oz., which makes 4 cups when popped. I happened to get the "Butter" flavor. I'm not sure really now how many flavors are available.
To prepare, on a gas range or camp stove, set the flame to Medium Low. On an electric range preheat for 3 to 4 minutes at medium high setting.
Place the Jiff Pop pan on the burner. When you hear the sizzling sound, continuously shake the pan in very fast circular and back and forth motions until the foil is fully expanded (approximately 2 to 5 minutes.)
Immediately remove the pan from the burner when the popping sounds stop. Carefully open the foil with a fork to release the HOT steam.
A couple of things to keep in mind: do not puncture or tamper with the swirled aluminum foil. And during popping, hold firmly, but do not squeeze the handle of the pan.
~ Nutrition Facts and Ingredients
A serving size is indicated as 2 tbsp. unpopped, which is a ridiculous way of delineating a serving size. The fully popped pan holds 3.5 servings, which is the more accurate way of figuring out the servings size. In any case, here's the nutrition facts per serving:
Calories - 140
Fat Calories - 70
Total Fat - 7g
Saturated Fat - 1.5g
Trans Fat - 3g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 220mg
Total Carbohydrate - 19g
Fiber - 3g
Sugars - 0g
Ingredients: Popping corn, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, less than 2% of salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, natural flavor, color added, freshness preserved with TBHQ, Methyl silicone. Contains milk.
~ My Experience
I'd really forgotten about Jiffy Pop Stovetop Popcorn but when I saw it on my grocer's shelf it was the perfect solution for me since I didn't have a microwave. The pan stores on the shelf easily, with the popcorn sealed inside the foil with a cardboard top, and it will stay fresh.
The cardboard top was easy to open and remove by lifting the tab where indicated. The swirled aluminum foil is flat on top of the pan.
I placed my Jiffy Pop pan on my gas stove with the burner set to medium low, as directed. Very quickly I could hear the oil inside heating up and beginning to sizzle. I shook the pan back and forth and around and around while the oil continued to sizzle. I got tired and stopped for a bit, but resumed shortly. Pretty soon the popcorn began to pop and the foil started to expand. I continued to shake the pan, and watched as the foil ballooned up and out to contain the popped corn. After, oh, about 3-4 minutes the popping stopped, so I removed the pan from the burner and carefully stuck a fork tine into the small hole in the foil at the top. I carefully pulled back the foil in strips, watching out for the VERY HOT steam that came out.
It really helps to be careful when you tear the foil open. If you do it slowly and carefully the popcorn stays inside and you can use it as a serving bowl. No pans or bowls to wash! And if you don't finish all the popcorn, just press the foil over the remain popcorn and it's fine until you get around to finishing it later. (Yeah, right!)
The popcorn was light and fluffy, delicious with a somewhat buttery taste. It was just like any basic popcorn that came out of the microwave. There were maybe just a few burned pieces, not nothing to speak of. Most all the popcorn fully popped, with only a few stragglers of corn that did not pop in the bottom.
~ Final Thoughts
Jiffy Pop Stovetop Popcorn is perfect for camping, motor homes, or when you don't have a microwave handy. Children can prepare this, but just have them watch out of the steam when they open the foil. The popcorn tastes great, and pops well.