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I recently bought the Sur La Table Non-Stick Mesh Popcorn Grill Popper on clearance, for only$6:

http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-1356575/Nonstick+Mesh+Popcorn+Grill+Pan

It looked like an interesting gadget, and figured I'd try it for the bargain price. You toss the popcorn in the popper, and hold it over coals or a fire until the corn pops. I tried it on a charcoal grill a few weeks ago. It takes a few minutes for the corn to heat up to the point of popping, and I had to hold it really close to the heat for it to work. Once they start popping, the wonderful aroma of grilled corn starts to fill the air.

Once it's all popped, you just pour it into a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Kind of a fun experiment.

The final result was disappointing, though. The resulting kernels were on the small side, with lots of old maids. This could be a result of my fire not being hot enough. The bigger letdown was the flavor, though. If you like the taste and texture of hot-air popcorn, you may not mind it, but to me it was too reminiscent of those bland air-popped packing style peanuts. Kind of lifeless.

Since there's no oil involved, even the salt doesn't want to stick to it, so that doesn't help either.

As a novelty item, it's fairly interesting, but not practical for true popcorn aficionado. I'll probably end up using it more for grilling vegetables, shrimp, or other small items. I do want to try grilling corn with it, but frozen (thawed) sweet corn. That's right, sweet corn already off the cob, but with that great grilled flavor. Sounds crazy, but it just might work, and it would be faster and easier than grilling cobs and then cutting off the kernels.

Scott
 

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Flavacol was a game changer for popcorn. It's not overwhelming at all. Thanks for the recommendation. The wife approved as well, she went for seconds which never happens
 

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A couple years ago I looked into the finer points of cooking popcorn.
Coconut oil, Flavacol, and medium-high heat turned our humble Whirly-Pop and generic yellow popcorn into a treat I am truly proud of.
I was not to keen on putting the seasoning in the Whirly-Pop initially but it works like a champ.
The coconut oil also makes cleaning the cooker incredibly easy.
 

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What a great thread. Wish I had something to add... Sure do love eating the stuff! One of my favorite foods.

Hmmm.... Popcorn pizza.

Bet that's never been tried!
 

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Alright guys quick question for you!! I ran out of oil and I'm really wanting popcorn but don't want to run to store can I substitute it for all vegetable shortening and if so how much should I use to make 3/4 of a cup of kernels? I normally use 1/4 cup of oil
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Yes, you can use shortening. I've never tried it, but I know my way around a kitchen and you should be able to substitute that for oil.
Might use a touch less though. A quarter cup is a lot regardless of what kind you're using.
Let it melt before you put the kernels in.

Let us know how it goes. :T
 

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Well I found a bottle of coconut oil my wife had and I'm by no means a coconut fan but when the mind wants popcorn I'll do what needs to happen lol. Now all I can do is smell coconut and I hate it but the popcorn taste quite nice. It actually might be the best batch I've ever made
 
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